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Journal Article

Supporting Intellectual Freedom: Symbolic Capital and Practical Philosophy in Librarianship

Emily J. M. Knox
The Library Quarterly: Information, Community, Policy
Vol. 84, No. 1 (January 2014), pp. 8-21
DOI: 10.1086/674033
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/674033
Page Count: 14
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Supporting Intellectual Freedom: Symbolic Capital and Practical Philosophy in Librarianship
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Abstract

AbstractSupport for intellectual freedom has been a part of librarianship since the 1930s. There are three primary phenomena that form the foundation of this support: codification, institutionalization, and investigation. Codification occurred primarily through the ratification of the Codes of Ethics and the Library Bill of Rights by the American Library Association (ALA). Institutionalization refers to the establishment of committees dedicated to upholding intellectual freedom by the ALA. Finally, investigation includes both scholarly and nonscholarly research into intellectual freedom and censorship within library and information science. Using Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of symbolic capital, this article argues that these three areas are the foundation of a practical philosophy for librarianship that encourages librarians to eschew censorship in their institutions.

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