Sunday, April 06, 2008

On the General Awesomeness of Librarians

This week, we've started to plan our panel at the annual convention of the Society of American Archivists in San Francisco. The super cool librarians in our group include the "E-Learning Librarian" Karen Munro at Berkeley, who writes a terrific blog, Bill Landis at Yale, and Donna McCrea at the University of Montana.

Certainly the public policy importance of librarians and archivists has been underlined yet again this week at Radical Reference, which reported how the search engine of the "the world's largest database on reproductive health, containing citations with abstracts to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished reports in the field of population, family planning, and related health issues," POPLINE, was monkeyed with to exclude results that might come up with the query "abortion." Although the hosting institution, Johns Hopkins University, subsequently reversed the decision, apparently officials of the current administration felt that publicly-funded digital archives had to avoid terms that might be offensive to partisan conservative groups.

Update: More on the abortion stop-word story is here on NPR.

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