February 25, 2005

MORE TEDIOUS AND SELF-SERVING ATTACKS ON BLOGGERS: Second-string talk radio host Mike Gallagher has been attacking bloggers. Not surprisingly, it turns out that he has his own reasons for disliking the open entry of the blogosphere:

He has a blog. And it’s on the “Gallagher Gold” section — the part you must pay to access.

Though why anybody would pay $49.95/year to read it is beyond me. No wonder he doesn’t like the idea of people giving it away!

Then there’s this tiresome elitist schtick from Michael Gorman, the President of the American Library Association. Honestly, all this does is give ammunition to the people who say that libraries and librarians are obsolete in the digital age. I’ve always disagreed with that position — but if Mr. Gorman is a typical specimen I’ll have to rethink my stance, given that, judging by his comments, Gorman isn’t even very good at using Google.

UPDATE: Slashdot readers are comparing Gorman’s screed to a bad blog entry. And there are more comments here.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Librarian Michael McHenry emails:

Gorman’s screed is another in the long list of reasons of why I refuse to be a member of the American Library Association – even though it’s my boss who would pay the dues. I am a rare breed, a librarian who is both male and conservative, and I use Google (and blogs) for my job every single day. As you suggested, if Mr. Gorman isn’t finding what he needs in Google, then he obviously isn’t using it correctly. And I wonder how he feels about the number of librarians and libraries who blog…

I’ve only worked in libraries for 10 years, so maybe the elitism won’t hit me until after another decade or two.

Heh. Well, my mother is a librarian, and she’s not that much of an elitist. Neither is librarian / blogger Mike the Librarian, who isn’t very impressed with Gorman’s take.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More still from another librarian:

I’m a former member of ALA, and I read your post about ALA President Gorman
with interest but little surprise. Yet another case of “Free speech for me but not for thee.” Mr. Gorman is / has been a member of ALA’s Social Responsibilities Roundtable, the political-activist arm of the organization. A couple of years ago, ALA and SRRT refused to stand up for political dissidents in Cuba, because the dissidents had dared to open “independent libraries” (in reality little more than small private collections of banned books) and referred to themselves as librarians (without benefit of the hallowed MLS – horrors!). The Castro government arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced over 20 people for this activity, and the ALA said not a peep. They took Castro at his word that the dissidents were “American agents”: Link

It meant more to the Association to be anti-US than pro-human-rights.

For me it was the height of irony that an organization that has a Freedom to Read Foundation, and that sponsors “Banned Books Week” here in the States, would not champion the freedom of non-Americans to read. This shameful episode convinced me once and for all that ALA Membership was not worth my hard-earned dollars. Many of my colleagues agreed; lots of us no longer belong to ALA because of their knee-jerk leftist politics.

A Carolina Librarian
(If you use this, I prefer that my name not be used, since my director’s in tight with the Big Guys at ALA).

Wow, chilling of dissent in the library world.

MORE: Yet another librarian chides Gorman.

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