I truly believe in the role of the library in enabling intellectual freedom. I do however accept, as Vandergrift (1997) explains, my judgements in selection of literature, and also the way I chose to organise such literature are, undoubtedly reflective of the bias of my own values. Yes I see a little “protection” in the way we classify our fiction (Easy, Junior fiction, Young adult, etc) in my library at times although, such divisions are predominantly for “guidance” and access.
Am I cautious in selection, as Vandergrift warns against? I think possibly I try to be courageous, aimed with my Vision Statement and Collection Management Policy, but having experienced the trauma of a questioned book (which remains in the collection I’m happy to say), certainly I want to avoid it again. Interestingly our fiction classification system upheld keeping the book as it was in part of the collection not intended for the age of the reader who accessed it. We try not to limit access by age and look more closely at the nature of the individual however, it gets really foggy here but not too often thankfully…Knowledge of literature is so important here.
Thinking too the company I deal with in purchasing a lot of fiction has already exercised many levels of censorship: possibly political or societal – effected by popularity/the market. Possibly reticence to publish the controversial?