Because of the recent, and brilliant, article in LJ by my friend Leah White, I have decided to dip into the archive and repost “Our Voice” in its entirety:
This whole HarperCollins issue along with constant attempts to cut our funds has got me thinking. Libraries and librarians have been learning to find and use our collective voice over the last few years, but is it enough? Are we rising to the occasion quick enough, or with enough force and power? I think about all those who protested recent events in Wisconsin, and while I know that librarians were present, it was not a massive turnout on our part. We have so avoided politics because of our ethical desire to inpart unbiased information to the patron, but is it time to rethink this method?
Yes we should always provide fair and unbiased information to patrons, but that doesn’t mean that we should just roll over politically and economically. We have been using our voice, and launching advocacy campaigns that have helped improve some of our funding crises, but is that all we can do? Is it wrong to educate our public?
We have a story! We have a voice! We have pride in what we do! Now is the time for us to rise up! If we don’t do it soon we soon could face the realization that the publishers have eliminated us from the growing eBook business. Moreover, funding may be so drastically reduced that we cannot afford to even purchase print copies.
It’s time for us to stand up. It’s time for us to take a stand! If you are in leadership and you are not willing to be human enough to stand up, then now is the time for you to stand down. There are so many voices in our profession that are worried about their “image” or “brand” that they are not willing to do anything but complain in private and off the record. It is to you that I say that going silent, turning a blind eye or deaf ear is condoning the behavior. It is your story that will be lost in history. To those willing to stand; to those who have been standing for a long time, let us fill the world with our voice; let our story be heard.