I did my undergrad at Marquette University, a Catholic Jesuit school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While I love Marquette, it was ridiculously expensive, especially considering the value and quality of the flagship public university here. Hindsight’s 20/20, right?
In my experience, the cool thing about a Jesuit university, is that while we were required to take an extensive core curriculum, including significant amounts of theology and philosophy, I never felt like their religious views were being crammed down our throats. In fact, it was more like, “Yes, this is what we [as Catholics] believe, but here are ALL of the points of view. You decide.”
Or, in the words of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities:
Jesuit colleges and universities are places of intellectual integrity, critical inquiry, and mutual respect, where open dialogue characterizes an exciting environment of teaching, research and professional development. The Jesuit ideal of giving serious attention to the profound questions about the meaning of life encourages an openness of mind and heart, and seeks to establish campus communities which support the intellectual growth of all of its members while providing them with opportunities for spiritual growth and development.
All in all, I loved the Jesuit approach to education because it honored my liberty of thought. It’s funny, but it is exactly THAT emphasis on liberty of thought that draws me to Library and Information Studies as well.
Consider this, from the ALA on Collection Development:
Librarians have a professional responsibility to be fair, just, and equitable and to give all library users equal protection in guarding against violation of the library patron’s right to read, view, or listen to materials and resources protected by the First Amendment, no matter what the viewpoint of the author, creator, or selector.
Basically, one of the tenants of librarianship in the United States is intellectual freedom. Between that and an emphasis on privacy protection for patrons, the ALA’s view on intellectual development is right up my alley.