The Dialectic of Library Values

“This is one of the difficulties involved in framing library values; it could be argued that values, if specific enough (and they need to be specific), are outdated almost as soon as they are set down. But another, more egregious problem, is that organizational values – especially those of a state institution – have to posit a universalizing view of society in order to create consensus and maintain hegemony. In this sense, institutional values are often (always?) little more than propaganda. Put another way, institutional values are ideological. But this raises yet another contradiction, since library values, for example, are specifically meant to be non-ideological. A good example is the ALA Code of Ethics, which purports to specifically exclude individual ideology from library work, implying that the library itself is above ideological considerations.”

Read the full article here:

The Dialectic of Library Values

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