First of all, I would like to say that I don’t think that there is anything determinedly wrong with our values; they are good enough the way they are currently written. But, do we—being the magical and mythical creatures that we are—really want to settle for good enough? While I do think that, ultimately, we could benefit from a complete restructuring of our values, that is not the purpose of this piece. No, for this little piece of commentary I want to turn your attention to one value in particular: preservation. Now, before you decide to send the angry mobs after me, I’m not implying that I think preservation is unimportant, or that we shouldn’t be doing it—I just question whether it should be one of our values ...
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...ping provide access to the bigger picture that many patrons would be unable to see elsewhere. By adding materials that might be challenged, librarians are opening up the floor to conversations that might never have happened otherwise.
This value can be incredibly beneficial for all librarians. If librarians are acquiring materials that are outside of their comfort zone this allows for a more diverse collection that will likely better represent multiple viewpoints. Controversial materials are often materials that contain diverse content—knowing this, librarians might be more likely to allow self-censorship when weighing the risk/benefit analysis of adding these materials to their collections. By making self-permittance a value librarians can rest assured that the ALA stands behind their decisions to add materials from all viewpoints and sides to their collections.
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