The Librarian in Black on Being Objective

What a great piece. At the end, she writes:

“[I]f you’re doing it for a company (directly) and for money or some other reward, or otherwise gaining some kind of benefit from association with that company, then I do believe you lose your objectivity.”

I tend to agree. My blog is published by Information Today. I write a column for their (almost) monthly magazine. I receive payment for speaking and organizing tracks at their conferences. Have I lost my objectivity? Maybe. Do I care? Not really. Because my readers (supposedly) get a lot out whatever I do for this blog, their conferences, and their magazine and I am paid for doing that. Do I criticize ITI more than, say, ALA or LJ? Of course not. I wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me. Would you? Doubtful.

So, if I’ve lost my objectivity or if you see me as being biased towards one vendor over another, and don’t like that, you know where the unsubscribe button resides on your reader (ah, the power of opt-in). But, if you like what I do and don’t care about who pays me for it, keep reading the blog.

That said, take a long look at LIB’s post. We have differing thoughts on the subject and it’s much more important to understand the other side of any issue (which is why I watch FOXNews).

One Response to “The Librarian in Black on Being Objective”

  1. Sarah Houghton-Jan (LiB)
    June 20, 2007 at 2:31 pm #

    I guess we are different. I have often bitten the hand that feeds me, if it means that by doing so I am sticking up for what I believe is right. That doesn’t make for the easiest environment sometimes, but I (and others around me) always know I’m sticking to my beliefs and not pulling punches because I want that paycheck, or that new staff position added to my department, whatever. I’d rather know I was objective and honest than have $1000. Not that I couldn’t use it.

    Others have told me I’m too hard-lined, and not flexible enough, so you’re not the first Steven, nor will you be the last, I’m sure :)

    You make a good point that if people think that you’re being biased, they can just stop reading your work and stop listening to you. I do think, however, that being in the public eye, being a commentator on the world around us, requires a certain degree of objectivity. But, as always, we (and everyone else) can agree to disagree.

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