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Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century
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The "values revolution" rejected virtues and thus left the professions such as librarianship with the problem of what to substitute for them. The American Library Association is attempting to substitute values for virtues. The questions then comes: what values? How do we define and practice them? How do these values fit into the present context of libraries? Michael Gorman, one of the world's leading library thinkers, has attempted to address these and other important questions in Our Enduring Values.
He begins by defining values as beliefs that are enduring preferences relating to the means and ends of the profession (p.6). When he attempts to give criteria for whether values are good or bad, he fails (p.8). Mr. Gorman's method is to derive the values from writers on the philosophy of librarianship. He than discusses the importance of libraries as institutions and physical locations. The chapter titles list his important values as stewardship, service, intellectual freedom, rationalism, literacy and learning, equity of access, privacy and democracy.
How well does he accomplish his goals?Read more ›
A reviewer of this book has already said what I think on this approach of our profession:
[John Allen Delivuk - In the last century, we have seen a revolution in thinking, the move from virtues to values. The Victorians lived in a world where virtues such as honesty, modesty, faithfulness, kindness, patience, and self-control defined people. In the Victorian world, professions were not defined merely by professional knowledge, but also by common set of absolute virtues.]
See my listmania for more content that adds values / ethics / morality as a component of the LIS education