"I certainly never write a review about a book I don't think worth reviewing, a flat-out bad book, unless it's an enormously fashionable bad book." --
says, John Gardner in Conversations with John Gardner
Quoted from 'Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations'     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p.150. Available @ Amazon.com

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Christian Librarianship

Librarianship for the faithful, revisited.

Christian Librarianship: Essays on the Integration of Faith and Profession. Gregory A. Smith (edited by), Donald G. Davis (Foreword by). ISBN: 0786413298, ISBN-13: 9780786413294 ,Paperback, 239pp, McFarland & Company.

Some interesting quotes:
  • "Thus Christian librarianship worthy of the name is less a matter of managing things and less a matter of managing things and more a matter of interacting with people." (p. 73)
  • "Christians have been villians and heroes as preservers of culture. Part of the destruction of the great library at Alexandria has been laid to the charge of Christians. On the other hand, the Renaissance was able to build on the storehouses of culture preserved by Christian institutions." (p. 88)

  • My 2 cents:
    Of the 16 essays, I see some insights meant for the global audience in the essay by John Allen Delivuk, "Multiculturalism and Libraries: A Biblical Perspective," an extract is as follows:
    Implications for Christian librarians
    First, we reject the view that moral standards create a cultural group.
    {Second ...}
    Third, Christian librarians need to influence the selection of America's cultural canon.
    Fourth, Christians must reject the view that race, ethnic background, or sexual orientation is more important in job selection than one's accomplishments.
    {Fifth, ...}
    Sixth, Christians should also remember their multicultural religious heritage.
    Finally, Christians should beware of the power struggle philosophy of some multiculturalists, and beware of abusing the political and media power we are increasingly gaining.

    "The text's intended aims are to help Christians in the library profession integrate their faith into their work, to provide a foundation for further dialogue of library issues from a Christian perspective, and provide students and scholars of library science with an understanding of Christian librarians and their unique concerns."

    What others say:
    VOYA - Sherrie Williams
    This professional resource offers direction to Christian librarians in all types of library settings on integrating their beliefs into the workplace... The strong evangelical Christian flavor of this book might limit its audience. It could be valuable in the education of librarians for Christian institutions, but it lacks wide professional appeal. [source: bn.com] See also Table of Contents at bn.com

    As a reader of this book, and a professional librarian, I wish the book had answers to my questions:
    a) where on the earth are such librarians trained and who certifies them?
    b) With technical education and information sharing skills (neutral as they are for every perspective), how do librarians perform as evangelists or ministers
    c) While there is some literature on faith-based librarianship, this book makes no mention whatsoever (not even in its bibliography), for a general librarian, about Jewish, Islamic and other genres of librarianship.


    Tim said...

    Interesting piece. Not being a librarian, my interests are small, but on the larger issue of Christian integration, it's nice to read that someone is thinking about faith and the library. Who knew? Oh, and nice blog template.

    Mohamed Taher said...

    Thanks for this visit Tim.
    I am glad that this post got your attention.
    Best wishes for 2007