On the media – local ed.

Posted by: on Feb 22, 2007 | No Comments

Quote heard on MPR today…

Only puny secrets need protection. Big discoveries are protected by public
incredulity. Marshall McLuhan,

Journalists + Librarians = Free speech

As a faithful reader of my neighborhood newspaper, The Northeaster, I have but one recurring regret, i.e. that it is not available online and thus I have to cut and paste the old fashioned way, or, in this case, transcribe the text to digital format – it’s just that good!!!

Under the headline: “Hey…Be careful with those libraries of ours” (sure to catch my eye) the editor offers keen insights re. “the Merger” (of Minneapolis and Hennepin County Libraries) and hits the nail on the head. “The problem for us,” the editor notes, “is that we see the library – any library – in a slightly different way. There’s an undocumented kinship among newspaper people and library people, of virtually any political stripe: We fight censorship (by definition, only a government can censor, and we are referring here to censorship by governments). We abhor book banning. We stand for freedom of speech and expression on all sides of all issues. While accepting the need to curtail certain expression…we generally hold that the more repugnant the expression the more important it is to fight attempts to censor it, because if the government is allowed to censor any expression (for example, expression that’s repugnant to most people), it can censor any expression (for example, expression that’s repugnant to the rich and powerful). The way to counter repugnant expression involves exercising one’s own freedom to express the displeasure and tell why it’s repugnant. The solution to a ‘free speech’ problem will be found in more speech, not less….

…We hope any library management system will have strong protections built in for library personnel who defend unpopular speech and expression, and strong ‘whistle-blower’ procedures should management or government workers step out of line”

Northeaster, (Minneapolis) February 21, 2007