Friday, June 23, 2006

Librarianship......USA versus UK style.....

I've been reading with some interest the difference between librianship in the UK and USA. Its seems to me at the moment in the UK we are more concerned about the closers of our public libraries (see here, here and here). This is a major concern. But things seem to be even more disconcerting in the USA in my opinion. With the case of Jo Ann Pinder (director of the Gwinnett County Public Library) being dismissed from her job 'without cause' (read full details here), as she was buying books for Spanish residence (amongst other things). In another case, Digg pointed to the case in New York, of a Director of libraries being under fire for not releasing information to the police, as they lacked a sub poena (and was against the fourth amendment). Also, the case in Lisnews in which a Idaho libraries may not get extra cash from patrons because of sex books which 'young children' may see. Ok, i'm looking at the extremities, but I just wonder how you can work as a librarian, supervisor and act as a guardian to morality? Thankfully, in the UK we don't have this trouble, but could it happen here?
Well, it could. With the increase in refuge's (real or otherwise), people's dislike on spend taxpayers money on Non-english book could cause consternation. Stephen Leary has provided an insightful look into this over on his blog. As for dismissing our directors for inapproiate material (read sex), that seems more doubtful (or am I being idealistic?). As for us stopping the police looking into library details, in the present climate of fear after 7/7, i'm not so sure. But i'd like to think all librarians and members of the community would stand up against this intrusion of privacy.By the way, this in no way is an attack on America perse. Some of my best friends are American ;)

No comments: