In defense of professional anonymity

That may seem a strange title for someone whose blog is neither anonymous nor entirely professional (see playlists, baseball, or LGBT). But there is something about the slew of recent online conversations* about silencing, about gender, about race, about all sorts of inequalities and biases that affect the profession and affect us as individuals within the profession, that have me wanting to publicly proclaim my unqualified support for those who choose to join these conversations anonymously, via pseudonyms, and/or in private communications.  I get it, I support it, and I dare say that anyone who has a problem with it just might want to check their privilege.

Speaking of privilege, one of the reasons I am not anonymous is because I do benefit from certain kinds of privilege and am trying (clumsily and imperfectly, to be sure) to exercise that privilege in ways that promote a more inclusive profession that is welcoming and safe for all. The other big reason I eschew anonymity for myself is that I lived many (too many) years denying big important parts of myself, and not being my true self in public. That kind of secrecy very nearly destroyed me. So for me, the healthiest choice is openness. But it is a choice, and it is mine to make. And I have mad respect for others who make different choices. Of course I long for the day we live in a world that is so completely safe and equal and kind-hearted that no one ever needs to fear repercussions of any kind for speaking their mind. But anyone who is paying attention knows we ain’t anywhere in the vicinity of there yet. So I for one, welcome all the voices, even (especially) those who elect to speak anonymously.


* If this were a perfect blog post, there would be lots of links here. This is a quick and dirty blog post.

1 Response to “In defense of professional anonymity”

  1. 1 sophylou August 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    WordPress ate my comment!

    Thanks for this. I think this is especially important given the discussion on the Taiga blog of how librarians are often assumed to be speaking for their institutions (which is quite different from how things worked in my previous field) — these alternatives give us some space to speak as ourselves or work out the relationships between our selves and our institutions.


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