Why Filtering Information in the practice of Librarianship is necessary

In the field of Library and Information Science, the term reference service: is a key concept. The concept is defined by Reitz (2004) as all the functions performed by a trained librarian in the reference section of a library to meet the information needs of its various patrons. A basic function in reference service is the provision of various information sources, such as books, academic journals and magazines upon the request of library patrons; however, an issue arises when the requested information resource contains private records and information or sensitive subject matter such as the making of bombs, child pornography or suicide. The situation described raises a question: should a librarian provide the requested sensitive information, or should it be filtered or, in some cases, barred from being accessed by library patrons? This paper argues that a librarian should filter information resources presented to library patrons, based on professional, ethical and legal arguments. Before arguing for or against the filtering of information, the context and state of discussion and argument within the sphere of Library and Information Science must be defined. Examining various papers of librarians such as Coyle (1995), a librarian against censorship who states that the rejection and censorship of works and titles based on what people find acceptable, offensive or distasteful would stifle the progress of human thought and study because of the exclusion of information...

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