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Title:Censorship and Selection: The Librarian as a Trustee of the Public's Right to Know
Author(s):Bixler, Paul
Subject(s):Collection development (Libraries)
Book selection
Abstract:At any given moment of time in any individual library the book collection is the payoff on the librarian's performance as selector (or as censor). The book collection is the basic evidence of the librarian's professional competence in choosing the materials he sets before the public. It indicates whether he understands the community his library is designed to serve, whether he is aware of public demand that is latent as well as that which is blatant, whether he has courage to reject as well as to buy, whether he sees the whole forest while he is selecting some of the trees. The book collection is the eating of the pie of selection. Yet it is so intimate and individual a matter both for the librarian and for the library user, it varies so in its content from library to library, that it is impossible to deal with it practically or in detail except in an extended report on a particular library. I doubt that I am competent to discuss the book collection in any library but my own. In any case there is not time to describe a total book collection even of a few thousand volumes. What I can do here is to discuss some of the conditions surrounding selection. This will mean giving somewhat more attention to the attitudes of the public and of librarians than to individual books. Books are important in themselves but as volumes on a library shelf they are, first of all, significant in relation to use and potential use within a particular community. Librarians are also to be seen within a social context, and before considering some of the details of their job as selectors, suppose we look at them in longer perspective.
Issue Date:1956
Publisher:Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:In D.E.Strout and F.T.Eaton (eds). 1956. The nature and development of the library collection : with special reference to the small and medium-sized public library. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 117-133.
Series/Report:Allerton Park Institute (3rd : 1956)
Genre:Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:published or submitted for publication
Rights Information:Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois 1956
Date Available in IDEALS:2007-07-13

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