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Jeff Christiansen <[log in to unmask]>
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Jeff Christiansen <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 18:46:59 +0000
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I am reminded [time travel music here] of a paper I had to write some time ago, titled "What Do You Do When the [Library] Roof Leaks." Of course the point was not a leaky roof, but how to handled completely un-expected issues. That was a different place and time and we did not have 'Alternative Facts', just .... facts. 

OPINION: While it is not a librarian's job to advise patrons on 'truth' we have been trained to make purchases based on reviews from credible review sources. I'm not sure of what there is currently, but, you know, ones like: Library Journal; Book List; Kirkus Reviews and annuals along the lines of 'Best Reference' 'Best Non-Fiction' etc. These would NOT include AMAZON. 
In the medical library field there is some built-in review in the form of as articles in peer-reviewed professional journals. The buzz word there is 'Evidence-based Science.' If you don't believe in science OR evidence, you got a problem. B.A.F. (Before Alternative Facts) the poster-issue was 'Scientific Fact v. Creationism'. Maybe that debate was a little more 'slippery'. The fact of climate change is evidence-based. The denial of it is politics-based, in spite of 'research' funded by parties having an interest in denying. For years there were claims backed by just such research did not cause cancer. If you suspected you might have a disease would you put your life in the hands of care based on evidenced-based science or some on some un-named person saying: "10 million have NOT died as result of cancer; last I looked maybe 8-10 people have died from cancer." Just sayin' for example.

The standard for librarians is not to necessarily purchase any and all requests. Strategies include asking a person to make a request and see if there is a credible review for an opposing viewpoint, or looking yourself. Something also not in that former time and place was the rampant use of the term "Elitist". You might hear that if you cite the need for a review from a credible source. (BTW. I read the A.F. that NOAA and the EPA had long ago been taken over by Muslims who had fudged all the climate data. Really.)   As with the creationism thing, library boards sometimes have to get involved.  

Retired librarians are people too.
Jeff Christiansen, MLISGorham ME