April 22, 2013
Library School and Positivism

Hey tumblarians- I’m working on a blog post for the Desk Set this week and have a question for y’all about your training. Archivists like Verne Harris have argued that the field of archival science is haunted by the specter of 19th century Positivism, or the belief that archives and information science represent some ‘truth.’ Similarly, FĂ©lix Guattari has argued that social sciences are plagued by an ‘outmoded ideal of scientificity.’

So, here’s my question: do you feel like concepts like ‘neutrality’ and ‘objectivity’ were dealt with critically in library school? Do you think, in our training, we are taught to think critically about our vocation, about our role in not only recording but also shaping culture?

  1. natashainlibraryland reblogged this from librarean and added:
    I responded privately, but now I want to respond publicly, too. In this age where information is so easily accessed we...
  2. manythingsvaried reblogged this from librarean
  3. librarean reblogged this from thereluctantlibrarian and added:
    I’m not in library school yet, but this is interesting to think about!
  4. natashainlibraryland answered: we are not the main “preservers of information” so we forget our role to record and shape. more emphasis in school is needed.
  5. bflolibrarian answered: I graduated some time ago, but there was absolutely NO mention of anything like this, no critical theory or pedagogy.
  6. myotopia answered: On my way to library school & definitely hoping these questions will be discussed/encouraged! Looking forward to your post.
  7. ianaleksanderadams answered: I didn’t go to Library School, but I deal a lot with academia and archiving and it seems like no one is taught to ‘think critically’ period.
  8. chrischelberg answered: In the courses that I took, no not really. They only came up in the Into to LIS course. I think they matter, but I’ve seen no treatment.
  9. thelifeguardlibrarian answered: yes—we got into this heavily in collection management & in discussing academic library publishing and digitization projects.
  10. text-block answered: My alma mater, the University of Missouri, was actually pretty decent when it came to this, but it was during reference training.
  11. thereluctantlibrarian posted this