At Literary Hub, Stacie Williams writes about what it means to be a librarian:
In 1962, British librarian Douglas John Foskett wrote a paper titled The Creed of a Librarian: No Politics, No Religion, No Morals, in which he argued that “the librarian ought virtually vanish as an individual person, except in so far as his personality shed light on the working of the library.” Neutrality has been enforced from the top down, with our policymaking professional organizations, down to individual librarians in their repositories, as a way of shifting the responsibility of moral judgement from librarian to patron. For instance, neutrality says a patron who asks for help searching for romance books but says, “Don’t give me anything by a Mexican author,” isn’t to be questioned or challenged about a stance that may be prejudiced. Neutrality becomes a way to avoid questions or ethics that are wrong or make people uncomfortable. Article VII of the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics, amended in 2008 but first adopted in 1939, says “[W]e distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.”
At one of the bookstores I worked a very long time ago, a customer wanted to return a copy of Mein Kampf that he had bought from the store. When the bookseller asked why, the customer said that the edition had a foreword by a Jewish author placing the book in context and explaining why it should be read and not erased from history. The foreword, written by a Jewish author, rendered that edition of Mein Kampf "an inferior text," the customer argued, and he didn't want the book because it was "contaminated."
The bookseller, who happened to be Jewish, immediately backed away and refused to help the customer any further. She started crying and left the sales counter. Likewise, I refused to even talk to the customer, who then became agitated. Eventually, a manager stepped up and refunded the customer his cash, in an effort to get rid of him. It was a controversial decision — why should this awful human being get what he wanted, when we didn't guarantee any return? — and I still think about it often.
I am not a librarian and I have not attended librarian school. My only context for the questions raised in Williams's article is the above bookselling story and my experience as a journalist, and my opinion is this: objectivity is bullshit. Nothing human is apolitical, and to pretend otherwise is dangerously ignorant. (Note the repeated use of "he" in the Foskett quote above, which is a political decision that Foskett likely didn't realize was even a political decision.) I believe that it's better, in most instances, to acknowledge your politics, to be transparent about them, and to help the patron as best you can.
Williams draws a similar conclusion, but in a much more thoughtful way. I encourage you to read the piece.