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ERIC Number: EJ861939
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0276-3915
Lemuria: Description and Travel
Lonergan, David
Community & Junior College Libraries, v15 n3 p159-162 2009
Librarians face a dilemma, one to which most of them appear to be oblivious. Everybody knows about lots of modern problems that confront libraries and librarians these days. The problem under discussion here is of another order altogether: that librarians are taken too seriously by some of the populace they serve; that they sometimes do not take responsibilities seriously enough; and that this can have serious repercussions for the library user. Librarians are often perceived as humorless crones (or drones) who worry about overdue charges and keeping it quiet in the reading room. However, librarians occupy one of the very few categories of public person that has not squandered the public trust, whose perceived persona is one of decency. The dilemma to which the author refers is a result of that trust, in addition to a profound misconception of the librarian's role in modern society. Librarians were identified early on as defenders of public decency, perhaps as a result of the moral crusades of Melville Dewey and his ilk, or the common requirement a century ago that librarians (who were almost always female) must be unmarried. To this day, even for people who never set foot in a library, the building itself may resonate with overtones of propriety, in a way that few other public places still do. (Contains 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A