One of my professors has recently become much more vehement in his belief that it is criminal (yes, criminal; his words) to put misinformation and stereotypes in the hands of children. He says this particularly in the context of libraries, and how important it is to weed. The dominant belief in library school seems to be that less is more, and that nothing is better than something if the something is too outdated or innacurate. Opposition to this viewpoint has pretty much been characterized as somehow overly sentimental or obsolete, the place of old spinsters and gasping parents who think librarians are trashing treasured classics. Because at this point I’m mostly interested in tolerating this class (and, ultimately, the program in general to get my degree) I haven’t really voiced any kind of opposition to it.
But my experiences with another professor have led me to question this viewpoint. Let’s just say, hypothetically, that someone in a small town has a really extensive personal library. Let’s also say that parents frequently send their children to this someone because they know he’ll be able to help with things like reports and essays. Then let’s say that this same someone often directs these children to his pre-1950 Encyclopaedia Britannica set.
Is this really criminal?