Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Censorship and Librarians

Academic journal article Library Resources & Technical Services

Censorship and Librarians

Article excerpt

Editorial: Censorship and Librarians

Censorship is on the rise across the country, in the form of challenges and subsequent removal of books from library shelves, as well as throughout the world in more explosive forms, such as the Salman Rushdie death threat. But there also are more subtle forms of censorship involving the erection of barriers to access that stem the free flow of ideas and their incorporation, for better or worse, by individuals. The relationship of censorship and librarians probably is clearest and most immediate to those whose responsibilities lie in collection development, especially in selection of materials. The lead article in this issue, Fujimoto's "Representing a Document's Viewpoint in Library Collections: A Theme of Obligation and Resistance, " addresses the tensions inherent among conflicting professional goals and ideals that ask librarians to be simultaneously neutral and proactive, objective and subjective. Other papers in this issue investigate less-visible barriers to dissemination of ideas attributable to cataloging, indexing, and classification practices. Knutson's "Comparison of Online and Card Catalog Accuracy" and Wilson's "Form Subdivision and Genre" evaluate the implications for bibliographic/intellectual access to materials of catalog accuracy and subject heading design, respectively; while McGarry and Yee's "Cataloging of Conference Proceedings," Markham's "LCC, DDC and Algae," and Maccaferri's "Cataloging Ottoman Turkish Personal Names" examine the impact on the lay public of specific practices in the descriptive cataloging of conference proceedings, classification of literature on algae, and establishment of name headings. …

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