Does the BBC hate librarians?

From some of its headlines in the last week, you’d be forgiven for thinking the answer is “yes”!

First up was this delightful individual, who they (and other news sites) decided to label as a “librarian” of child pornography images. The original source of the word librarian seems to come from the quote at the bottom of the page:

Det Chief Supt Mark Braithwaite, from Cleveland Police, said Thompson had been “a critical piece of this network”.
“He was the librarian/warehouseman for a myriad of images that were distributed to like-minded individuals both in this country and elsewhere.”

Also, a second quote from a different source in a Reuters UK report:

“He was a senior administrator for a pedophile website and was effectively a librarian for the storing and distribution of indecent images of children,” Detective Sergeant Rebecca Driscoll said outside court.

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but what he was doing (as stated above) is storing and distributing those images.  He’s not cataloguing them, tagging them, organising them. He’s not a qualified librarian, he has no library work experience, he doesn’t currently work in a library, he doesn’t do information research, he doesn’t work in any way like that which would be recognised as a librarian. So why the BBC decided to use the word “librarian” to describe him, I do not know! Is it because it’s more recognisable than “warehouseman”? Others have protested too about this twisting of the word which should be describing an information professional. As they say, as if our profession doesn’t have enough problems with trying to project a good / modern image, now it’s getting this unpleasant connotation too?

But, yes, fair enough, the BBC are merely quoting police sources, so why have I decided the BBC’s got it in for us this week?

Well, it’s down to another sloppy headline: “Library error halts wind inquiry”.
There was no error by the library involved, or the staff…the error was on the Scottish Borders Council’s part, yet the BBC still manages to make it appear as though a library was responsible for a costly delay in a public enquiry.  


Come on BBC, what have you got against librarians this week? Your reporting’s getting almost as sloppy as this Times report of legal bloggers (more on that later)!

Author: Jennie

Law, libraries, books, crafts, and general geekery.

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