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in which a point is missed

Written on February 27, 2007

Neil Gaiman takes on the idea that

“surely saying “It won the Newbery Medal. We order the books that do that. It’s been the most respected guide to quality children’s literature since 1922,” would fend off most threats to a school librarian’s job… wouldn’t it?”

isn’t really enough. I have to agree with the opposition on this one, especially given his example:

Well, twenty years ago, when I was younger, quite poor, had two small children and a mortgage, I quit the best job I’d had to that point — writing for a national UK paper — because I didn’t want to write a front page article that editorial had concocted that was obviously untrue.

There is a big difference between attaching your name to a story in a national newspaper, a story that you know to be untrue, and defending a children’s book in your local library. One of those could cost you your current job, the other could cost you your career, in addition to any legal remedies that might result.

While I agree in principle that there is a special obligation I can’t argue with someone who doesn’t want to sacrifice their job to it over this.

Filed in: del.icio.us.

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