Librarians Without Borders Without Name

The group Librarians Without Boders, started at the University of Western Ontario, and aimed at founding “an organization that would benefit libraries around the world” has been asked by Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières to stop using the name.

It’s the white coats the librarians wear: that’s the problem. Far too many people in the world have been summoning librarians to the bedsides of the ailing; far too many donors have been sending money by mistake to “those doctors, you know, those people with their hair up in buns and who wear glasses and say ‘shh!'” instead of to the truly heroic Hippocratic healers.


  1. More groups with this name seem to be popping up all the time. It makes me wonder if they had a similar campaign against Engineers Without Borders and the like?

    To be fair, Médecins Sans Frontières did offer to sign an agreement to allow them to co-exist with the “Without Borders” name. But it is telling that they have opted to find a new name.

  2. Funny you should mention engineers without borders, Connie: I was only an hour ago speaking to one of my students who is a member of engineers without borders, and indeed, Medcins Sans Frontieres are pressuring them to change their names. They’re afraid of the brand being cheapened, I guess, by the proliferation of “without borders” groups. There’s even a clowns without borders group, apparently.

  3. I have long been a fan and at times financial supporter of Médecins Sans Frontières, so I find it disappointing they feel they have to spend time and money on this. Instead they should be reaching out to work in co-operation with these like-minded groups. So much more could be accomplished that way.

  4. The expression, “sod off” comes immediately to mind.