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Harassment and Blogging

A student felt harassed.

And that's what she wrote in her blog. That's what I echoed in "Sexual Harassment @ Your Library?" But it looks like my post had some unintended consequences, and Robs Quiambao has deemed it necessary to remove her original post, and write "Lib Matters, My Apologies," which includes the following:

As I’ve written in my previous post, maybe he’s just being nice and all that. And I’m not saying that he’s not. And on second thought, maybe "harassed" was too serious or heavy a word. (Besides, I had no idea this issue would be this big.) Nonetheless, it doesn’t take away the fact that I feel uncomfortable when he does that; and I’m quite freaked out... Anyway, I might just tell Mr. Librarian himself that his actions make me feel uneasy, so everything should be cleared up.

My apologies to all the librarians who were offended by my previous post.
I agree that what she felt was important. I do not agree, though, that the use of the word "harassed" was too heavy. That's what she felt. I don't think there's a need to apologize. I don't think she did anything wrong. She was writing about her feelings on her blog. So I really wonder who the offended librarians were and what they did to make Quiambao feel that she had to apologize for what she wrote.

I do, however, need to apologize to Robs Quiambao and to this blog's readers for equating "harassment" with "sexual harassment." I did, in fact, put a question mark at the end of my post's title, but that is no excuse for suggesting that what occurred was a form of sexual harassment. The harassment may have been sexual in nature or not, but it was not for me to make that connection. And I apologize.

Finally, I would like to point out that it was not my intention to start a controversy. It was actually my way of encouraging librarians to use the Internet to find out what users are saying about their libraries. Why? Because written satisfaction surveys are only as good as the questions asked and the answers given. Because stories that circulate by word-of-mouth are not likely to reach the ears of those who need to hear them. Because a complaint is a gift, and complaints are not always officially reported, but may be found via the Internet. And so, I guess it's time for a post on how librarians can find out what their users think about them...

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