Librarian as Power broker

I came across this link at the end of the course outline criticizing The Atlas of New Librarianship and making the Instructor’s call for librarians to be change agents within their communities and agents of innovation seem like a raving power seeking, radical, militant, leftist. I will read the section on power and literacy again in the book.  I actually liked the vision of librarian as power broker fighting for privacy and intellectual freedom, fighting against filtering and censorship of information, giving power to the community through literacy.  Librarians being involved  in various types of literacy, reading, writing and beyond those two skills, in order to empower members sounded just fine to me.  Just in terms of the basic reading and writing, I thought of a friend who has minimal reading skills, he could not read and write to open a bank account himself.  He gave a relative the power to deposit money in his account for him and was robbed. Literacy makes one able to understand and take independent action and that is what makes literacy empowering.


One thought on “Librarian as Power broker

  1. If you want to see the latest in this discussion of power see:

    What I finally realized was that we weren’t really talking about librarianship, but political views and divergent views on social justice. Steve feels people chose to be empowered, and therefore if a person lacks power in a community, that too is a choice. I feel while people may chose to be empowered, they are not always presented with the same opportunities for empowerment. Inequities in society can rob people of those choices (due to race, class, sexual preferences, gender, bad parenting, etc). Libraries and librarians can be a force to equalize opportunities and empower in the knowledge domain-but only if they themselves have standing and respect within their communities.

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