Librarianship and Resistance

Librarianship and Resistance, by Sandy Iverson, published in Progressive Librarian 15, is an article about our role in society as librarians. It is particularly concerned with refuting the myth of \"neutrality\" that informs so much of our professional education. Our ethic of neutrality masks our support for dominant ideas. This dynamic is usually invisible to librarians themselves. \"As our global society becomes increasingly based on the commodity of information, power becomes increasingly focused and managed by those with access to information. Those without such access remain marginalized. Librarians have been trained in the management of information. Therefore, I see their role as inherently political. Unfortunately, all too often librarians have rejected the political nature of the work they do. In these times of increased commodification of information librarians have sought to play leading roles in the new \"information society.\" In order to do so, they have uncritically accepted the ideals of professionalization and have embraced the principles of objectivity and neutrality.\"

....\"While librarians are trained to maintain an objective or neutral stance they are also expected to make decisions regarding \"good\" and \"bad\" materials. Librarians are often seen as \"experts\" in determining the literature and other resources that their clientele needs. Unfortunately, they do not often recognize the inherent bias at work in making these decisions. Librarians generally regard the selection of materials as apolitical....\"