Wednesday, March 02, 2011


What would Joanne do? :)

We had a conversation in class the other night about ethics and information professionals. The prof said that there is some indication that Timothy McVeigh (OKC Bombing) consulted a librarian about bomb building.  She asked would we give that out.  I was the only one in class to say no. And my statement was more along the lines of I couldn't live with myself if I found out information I gave out had caused the deaths of people in that fashion.  A couple people went down the "slippery slope" route... if you don't give out "how to make a bomb" where does it stop.  We shouldn't judge what people would like to know. Blah blah blah. The ALA believes that we should provide information without judging the information being requested but there's one guy we read about who agrees with my way of thinking. You have to consider society. Someone else pointed out (or maybe it was slippery slope girl) that it would be like pharmacists refusing to give out the morning after pill.  I quickly pointed out that a - pharmacists have a binding professional oath as opposed to librarians who have a voluntary oath and b - many many places have upheld that pharmacists can refuse to provide the morning after pill. (And physician's don't all have to provide abortions if they do not choose to.) Anyway, apparently I'm a dissenter in my class.

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