Librarians heroes in war to save freedom

“I have expanded my pantheon of personal heroes. To a list that includes beat cops, Shriners and firefighters, add librarians. As we bring freedom to Iraqis, there’s also a battle to preserve Americans’ freedoms. Librarians are the unlikely front line soldiers in that war.”

“Not that all tome tenders I’ve known have been defenders of liberty. I was editor of the Polk County Itemizer-Observer during a particularly contentious library levy campaign in Dallas, Ore., about 20 years ago. A certain woman was among the more outspoken in opposition to renovating the 1920s-era Carnegie building. The librarian at the time pulled me aside to ask in a conspiratorial whisper, “Do you know what kind of books she reads?” referring to the levy opponent. “Young adult fiction,” he snickered, as if that were all one need know about her credibility.”

“He showed no compunction about snooping in this patron’s files, or sharing it with a reporter.” (from The Seattle Post-Intelligencer)