Admitting My Biases

In my first post, I mentioned the role my worldview plays in developing a philosophy of librarianship. So I thought to myself, I should actually talk a bit about my worldview. And I’m going to. I am essentially going to lay out some of my biases for you. Admission of bias might make some librarians nervous, and this is something that I’m sure I will address at some point in the future. Suffice it to say, I don’t feel that way. I have two people and their books to thank for that, Thomas S. Kuhn and The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, and George M. Marsden and The Outrageous Idea of Christian Scholarship. Kuhn reinforced the idea that bias is inescapable, while Marsden identified the benefits of bias for scholarship.

With that background established, you’re about to learn a bit more about me. My worldview at its base is Christian and Lutheran more specifically. More than being an American, more than dating a Canadian, more than my rather unique political views, more than pretty much anything I can think of right now, this is the foundation of the way I think about everything. And I think admitting that has helped me a lot. It established facts for me that other people really struggle with, facts that play an important role in librarianship. Let’s look at just a couple: God is all about relationships. If I had to boil theology down to one short sentence, that would be it. Hence, it is pretty easy for me to see relationships as key to librarianship too, because God isn’t in one silo while librarianship is in another (unlike so many resources). Here’s another: absolute truth exists. If you’ve followed discussions surrounding R. D. Lankes’ The Atlas of New Librarianship (see Lane Wilkinson’s blog, Sense and Reference, for some of my favorite stuff), you’ll know why this is significant.

OK, I said just a couple, but here’s one more. And it’s going to show my historical training. Historians think about change over time, and they usually look at that trajectory through a lens. Either things get worse over time, they get better, or things stay the same. That’s putting it simply, but you get the idea. My Lutheran background has actually led me to the latter conclusion. Things stay the same. Do you see what this could mean for librarianship?

There is obviously a lot to unpack here, but that’s the beauty of a blog, right? I’ll get around to it in the future.









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