ERIC Number: ED413895
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Librarians and Censorship during Three Modern Wars.
Murphy, Katherine B.
The wars of the twentieth century have clarified American librarians' evolving attitudes toward censorship, while at the same time providing impetus for changes in those attitudes. This study uses content analysis to examine librarians' attitudes toward censorship during three periods: the First World War, the Second World War, and the Vietnam War. Articles from "Library Journal,""American Libraries," and "Wilson Library Bulletin" were coded for: references to war, social issues, and intellectual freedom concepts; the writer's attitude toward censorship; approved and disapproved motives for censorship; and language used to refer to targeted items. Two major trends were identified through this analysis: a steady though non-uniform shift from a pro- to an anti-censorship position, and a shift of focus within the censorship debate from political-military censorship to moral-social censorship. Possible causes for these shifts include changing concepts of the library's mission--from moral guide and teacher to guardian of the public's right to know; the evolution of the library profession; the differences among the three wars themselves; radical changes in the country's social atmosphere; and the tendency within any forum to focus debate on topics in the mid-range of opinion, between unanimity and taboo. A coding sheet and supplementary tables are appended. (Contains 27 references.) (Author/SWC)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Master's Research Paper, Kent State University.