When I was trying to think of topics for the last week of NaBloPoMo, Eilonwy suggested I talk about what I've learned in school this semester. As it turns out, one of my last tasks was to write a brief philosophy statement along those same lines. I will now share it with you.
It is an absolute necessity that we treat each patron with as much equality as possible. If nothing else, that’s one thing that I have been reminded of constantly throughout the semester. Everyone has the right to information and we have the responsibility to make it available to them. We may not agree with those we serve, want to help them, or even like them. However, we must still provide for them and their information needs. We must make what we have equally available to all we serve. This means not only providing the resources and the tools with which to find them, but also to teach patrons and users how to access and make use of it.
Additionally, as information professionals, we have a responsibility to the information. We have a stewardship for preserving and providing access to the shared human record of history and information. We may not be the only ones regulating its creation, availability, or use, but we certainly must make every effort to account for what we can. We are responsible for its organization and dissemination. We are also responsible for keeping some information private.
Exactly what and how we care for both our patrons and the information will greatly vary by situation, based on who we serve and the information we are stewards over. What cannot change is our dedication to the profession and our willingness to find a balance between competing values.
With that, and a few small things I have to do tonight, I'm done with school for 6 weeks! Let the holiday festivities begin!