Library and Information Science

Library and Information Science ISSN: 2435-8495
三田図書館・情報学会 Mita Society for Library and Information Science
〒108‒8345 東京都港区三田2‒15‒45 慶應義塾大学文学部図書館・情報学専攻内 c/o Keio University, 2-15-45 Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8345, Japan
Library and Information Science 68: 85-116 (2012)

原著論文Original Article

科学的合理性に著しく反する図書を図書館はどう取り扱っているのか聞き取り調査を手がかりにLibraries’ and librarians’ perspectives on the handling of pseudoscience books: Interviews with librarians

1近大姫路大学教育学部Faculty of Pedagogy, University of KinDAI Himeji ◇ 〒671-0101 兵庫県姫路市大塩町2042番地2 ◇ Oshiocho 2042-2, Himeji, Hyogo 671-0101, Japan

2東北文教大学短期大学部総合文化学科Department of Liberal Arts, Tohoku Bunkyo Junior College ◇ 〒990-2316 山形県山形市片谷地515番地 ◇ Katayachi 515, Yamagata, Yamagata 990-2316, Japan

受付日:2012年2月8日Received: February 8, 2012
受理日:2012年10月16日Accepted: October 16, 2012
発行日:2012年12月20日Published: December 20, 2012




Purpose: Pseudoscience, which mimics science but is not ‘true’ science, has been increasingly criticized by scientists or science communicators. Many libraries may struggle to handle books that conflict with valid scientific rationality. This study empirically examined the handling of such ‘difficult’ books at public libraries.

Method: From October 2009 to February 2010, semi-structured interview surveys were conducted at six large and three small public libraries in Japan. The librarians responsible for book selection at libraries were asked nine questions on book selection, purchase requests from users, library cooperation and so on.

Results: The following results were obtained: (1) library collection development is largely dependent on classification numbers described in catalogs for book selection, and therefore, ‘difficult’ books have been placed on the shelves of science if a classification number indicating a scientific field is assigned to such a book. (2) In a well-funded library, its librarian may assume that other small libraries hope that it will purchase ‘difficult’ books for the library. (3) Even if a librarian believes that ‘difficult’ books should be held in the library, he or she may personally feel that such books are not desirable, which leads to the so-called ‘battle of shelf’, and place them in closed stacks. (4) The views on ‘difficult’ books vary between large and small libraries. Large libraries may consider their existence on the shelf to be a problem, whereas librarians in small libraries tend to regard that pseudoscience books can help to raise the literacy of users and diversify the library collection.

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