Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Librarians" fired over League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Last week, according to ICV2, two library employees were fired for taking a copy of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen off a "hold" for an 11-year old girl. I don't have all the facts, but much can be inferred by some of the comments made on the two news pages linked in the ICV2 article.

It appears that the two were staff members, not librarians. That seems likely, as I can't imagine a professional librarian doing this.

It made me very happy to see so many of the commenters come to the defense of the First Amendment and the role of libraries in protecting it for everyone.

Some of the commenters suggest that the Black Dossier was the title in question, even though it's the first book of the series that's flipped through in the news video.

That leads me to what I'm most upset about with this story: the lack of attention paid to getting things right in news stories. Are these ladies actually librarians (because the general view is that everyone who works in a library is one)? Did they ask? Did they look at what is actually inside the book in question? Note the headline: "Librarians fired over porn." Someone involved needs to learn something about either graphic novels or pornography.

I've had some experience with TV news reporters covering a story, perhaps even being told in detail about something, then seeing the results that are broadcast missing the point completely. This seems to be the case with the majority of stories dealing with subcultures not entirely in the mainstream, like gamers or Trekkies.

If they can't get simple facts correct in these stories, how much stock can be put into others?

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