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Counterpoint: Libraries Should Be Run Like Charities

Despite all the great benefits from running libraries like businesses – from three martini lunches to government bailouts – we all know this wouldn’t really work. Oh sure, go on about being "responsive" to the "customers" all you want, sensitive pony-tail man, but all this talk about libraries as businesses ignores that fact that libraries don’t provide a product or service for money. Without that, we’re missing two crucial components of the business experience: profitability ratios and incentives.

Though the phrase grates on my nerve, some librarians nevertheless like to talk about the "bottom line." In libraries, there is no bottom line. Without some way to gauge profitability, it makes no sense to talk about a business model. How would you really know if you were successful? Especially if you’re trying to perform an actual public service, and not just try to get people through the door anyway possible? Businesses have gimmicks to get people through the door, but they’re assuming people will buy things. But in libraries you get them through the door to play Guitar Hero, and they…play Guitar Hero, which serves no public good whatsoever. I guess if the goal is to get people to play games, you’ve succeeded, but that’s a pretty worthless goal to fund with public monies.

And then there’s incentive, or the lack thereof. There’s always the disincentive of being fired if you don’t put on a happy face, but that’s hardly the way to motivate people to be their shiny happy business selves. Bonuses might work, but since libraries can’t possibly show a profit, there can’t be any bonuses. Some commenter last time talked about how librarians fear the profit motive. I don’t fear the profit motive. It’s simply that I’m sensible enough to know when discussion of the profit motive is appropriate (i.e., when there is some profit to motivate) and when it’s not (i.e., in libraries). You can’t have a profit motive without profit. I should think this would be obvious.

Even when it comes to the worst disincentive, the extinction of the library is hardly going to happen anytime soon. Some librarians prattle on about how libraries need to be everything to everyone to be more "relevant," but the only time we see libraries closing are during severe budget crunches, not in the general run of things. And if that’s the case, as I argued a couple of weeks ago, none of the trendy nonsense peddled by some librarians is going to save any libraries. So while directors might be able to fire people at will, that’s not necessarily going to motivate anyone, and with librarian salaries what they are it’s not clear why anyone would become a librarian at all. With the low pay and the lack of prestige comes the knowledge that your job is more or less secure. Otherwise, why not just work in retail or commit some crime where you can be sent to prison?

I just don’t understand why some people want to read fluffy management books and try to find new models for libraries. We already have a model that works for libraries, though. It’s the charity model.

The charity model begins even before the job, with the library school. People just hand over money to these library programs for little in return. This is the essence of charity. This charitable contribution keeps the library school professors from having to work too hard. If teaching at a library school weren’t such a cushy gig, those professors might have to go out and work in actual libraries. The charitable contributions of library school students in the form of tuition protects them and us from this horror.

Upon getting their MLS, these charitable librarians go out into the world prepared to do good works for little reward. They apply for job after low-paying job in the hope that they’ll be able to serve their fellow citizens and do good for them. Eventually, they land such a job and suffer the drudgery, tedium, and intellectual stultification that comes with so much library work for the off-chance they’ll get to service a genuine information need. Their salaries usually remind one of the Sermon on the Mount. Librarians are the meek who hope to inherit the earth. They are the last who hope to be first. See the librarians in the field; they sow not, neither do they reap. Etc. Librarians receive very little material reward. Often enough they’re abused by the very people they’re trying to serve. This is because while many of us like to act charitably, people often resent being the objects of charity, and the people who use public libraries the most are definitely the objects of the (coerced) charity of others. Hence they sometimes act like resentful proles who have just discovered they can’t buy NASCAR tickets with food stamps.

The whole library system depends on the charitable instincts of librarians, and thus libraries attract charitable people. Librarians tend to be nice people. Suckers, certainly, but nice suckers. Sure, they use too many exclamation points and wear too much clothing with animal pictures on it, but they’re good people who are just there to help. 

Are there some uncharitable, mean librarians? Absolutely. You’re reading one, apparently. But they’re the exception.

We shouldn’t discourage the charitable instincts of librarians, and jabbering about business models is bound to do that. Libraries are never going to get much money, and they’re never going to be like businesses. That’s why we should all start talking about the charity model instead. The ALA assumes it anyway most of the time. Librarians are the saviors of the earth! They do what they do for the people.

These assumptions should just be made completely explicit. "Go to library school to serve humanity!"  Make it absolutely clear from the very beginning that librarianship is a calling, like the religious life. Just as religious have to undergo privations and suffering on their way to beatitude, so do librarians, only their privation and suffering is called library school, and instead of vows of silence they have group work. The vow of poverty is the same.

Don’t you see, businessy librarians, that all your talk isn’t going to transform non-businesses into businesses? That just can’t be done. But it’ll discourage the altruistic, selfless folks who flee the heartless world of commerce and flock to librarianship not because they want to do well, but because they want to do good. These selfless altruists need to be encouraged with kind words and maybe some smiley face stickers, not set up as the object of your businessy ridicule.

So I offer my kind words to the selfless saints who work hard every day serving an ungrateful public, those honest, unassuming, unwept, unhonored, and unsung heroines and heroes who show up each day with a smile on their faces and a song in their hearts. Here’s to you, librarians!

Charity begins in the library. Help the (information) poor: Become a librarian!

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Comments

  1. Library Cynic says:

    “Libraries are never going to get much money, and they’re never going to be like businesses. That’s why we should all start talking about the charity model instead. The ALA assumes it anyway most of the time. Librarians are the saviors of the earth! They do what they do for the people.” I’d like to think of it being more like teaching as a role, but teachers aren’t taking things lying down like librarians, in terms of pay, working conditions, etc.. ALA tends to think in terms of poverty. One reason I left public library work was making less after 3 years than a starting teacher with a BA, having zero benefits, and being an at-will employee. Then spending what in todays dollars would be around $300 to interview for a job where the folks hiring hadn’t seen a resume they didn’t like. Better to have put the $$ into lottery tickets. Lastly, I realized that despite my being what some might consider “nice”, I’m not a masochistic chump. I’m probably not as “nice” as I was once, either. ALA can stick it.

  2. laura says:

    AL, I think this is one of your most interesting posts, and it broaches a concept that libraries should be examining more closing. Sarcasm aside, the charity model might actually be a better match for public libraries.

    And, yes, *way* too many sweaters with animals.

  3. Sun Tzu says:

    No. No. NO!!!!!!

    Libraries should not be run like businesses or like charities, they should be run like ARMIES!

    Like it or not, libraries are under siege and we need to go out there and start winning some battles.

    I say we form an alliance and have the AL as our Field Marshal.

    Semper Fi. Carry on.

  4. Frogger says:

    If you don’t think libraries have a bottom line, then you’ve never been in charge of a budget (but then that shouldn’t be surprising).

  5. Nathan says:

    Reminds me of the book “Sacred Stacks”
    Thanks AL. Good stuff.

  6. Mr. Kat says:

    Cultural organisations seeking financial assistance to support their activities increasingly have to comply with fiscal and accounting practices that can sound quite technical. This is now usually just as true of “government” (public) and foundation support as it is of support from the private/commercial sector. Many terms drawn from commercial practice have now become standard in the public sphere, as a result of widespread overall reductions in public expenditure and the constant quest for “efficiency savings”.

    Generic term for sources of support for cultural activity that are not easily categorised under the more usual, traditional headings (such as “grant”, “earned income”, “donation”, “sponsorship”, etc.). This is therefore a growing area of “non-government” support, which is also distinct from commercial sponsorship, etc. It can range from “soft” loans from quasi-banking institutions that apply ethical criteria, to barter systems in which goods and/or services of value are exchanged without money changing hands.

    By derivation “love of one’s fellow men” (same as the Greek “philanthropy”), this term was originally applied to voluntary giving to those in need alongside the application of “poor law” by governments, local authorities and the church. By extension, “charity” has come to refer generally to “charitable trusts”, i.e. any organisation established legally as a non-profit entity to provide some form of public benefit. Within Europe
    this covers the legal status of most cultural organisations in the independent sector, although governments often tend (e.g. in Lottery contexts) to retain a more traditional view of “charity” as being mainly about social welfare and community health.

  7. soren faust says:

    AL, what you’re talking about is in fact the original idea of the public library, what was called in the 19th century, the social library. The early institution was staffed by volunteers who believed that the library was good for society, believed, in fact, that they should sacrifice their free time to its operation. Only when the economic depressions of the 19th century all but destroyed the charitable spirit did it become evident that the public library should become more stabilized; they did this by making the library a government agency and public taxes paid for its operation and now a “professional” staff.

    Your next installment should be on public libraries as government agencies, which is what they are. Charity is simply not sustainable in a society governed by the vagaries of the economy. Their bottom line is not the bottom line of a business, but that of a government agency—a non-essential one at that. All this talk about business models is foolish when all your funding come from taxes and budgets that are at the mercy of the macroeconomic state.

  8. Brent says:

    AL is clever at the semantic game. The way AL phrases the issue, naturally people are going to disagree with her.

    I think there are aspects of business/nonprofit charitable organizations that are worth considering. Others aspects are not. That wouldn’t be an interesting post, though!

  9. The Un-Profit says:

    Sure, run your library like a non-profit.

    Then your director, like a nameless local one will demand to be paid as much as other non-profits in the area. While cutting back on the number of books bought. While cutting back on the number of branches. While cutting back on hours. While cutting back on staff in all areas.

    Or you could run it like the great non-profit OCLC. Check out their bottom line some time.

  10. soren faust says:

    To describe the library as a non-profit organization is an oversimplification.

    Whereas profit-making corporations exist under the premise of earning and distributing taxable business earnings to shareholders, the non-profit organization exists primarily to provide programs and services that are of benefit to others and might not be otherwise provided by local, state, or federal entities. While they are able to earn a profit, more accurately called a surplus, such earnings are retained by the organization for its future provision of programs and services, and are not owned by nor distributed to individuals or stake-holders. In the United States, the laws governing charitable non-profits are based around the Internal Revenue Code, Section 501(c)(3) and the tax-deductible contribution guidelines of Section 170. Corporations classified as such, with gross receipts over $25,000, must report financial activity annually to the IRS, by means of a Form 990.

    The exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3) are charitable, religious, educational, scientific, literary, testing for public safety, fostering national or international amateur sports competition, and preventing cruelty to children or animals. The term charitable is used in its generally accepted legal sense and includes relief of the poor, the distressed, or the underprivileged; advancement of religion; advancement of education or science; erecting or maintaining public buildings, monuments, or works; lessening the burdens of government; lessening neighborhood tensions; eliminating prejudice and discrimination; defending human and civil rights secured by law; and combating community deterioration and juvenile delinquency.

    NPOs can attain tax exempt status but such status is not automatic. Many non-profits are operated by either volunteers, paid staff or a combination of both, usually reserving the senior executive positions to paid personnel while the entry-level and field positions are frequently held by volunteers. Additionally, an NPO may have members or participants or beneficiaries or students etc. as opposed to customers in for-profit organizations. They require a board of directors, governance in accord with by-laws or an organizing document, such as a charter or declaration of trust.

  11. anonymous says:

    Remember, charity begins at home. At home I use Google. Sit there and chat amongst yourselves as libraries sink slowly into a pit of DDR and homeless.

  12. Forever Anon says:

    AL, you obviously don’t understand that libraries do have to think about the bottom line. They are spending their citizens’ tax dollars and believe me, they have to be held accountable for every penny they spend. You’ve obviously never been yelled at by a patron who claimed they “paid your salary” or complained about something their tax dollars supposedly paid for. If you had been yelled at, you would definitely see that libraries do have think about the bottom line and be at least somewhat “responsive” to their patrons. Soren hit the nail on the head earlier when he said public libraries are government agencies. It seems a lot of peole need reminding of that fact. Public libraries can’t be run solely like businesses and they can’t be run solely like charities.

  13. AL says:

    Budgets? I am familiar with these budgets of which you speak. Bottom line? I suppose. But being handed money and then figuring out how to spend wisely it isn’t what businesses do.

    Oh, and vulgar insults will not be tolerated. Keep your insults civil!

  14. Samuri Librarian says:

    It were a joke, sonny.

  15. Anonymous says:

    So, if you are a public library and you don’t receive tax dollars, just how do you fund your library?

    If you do indeed take tax dollars, then you do work for the taxpayers.

    Sorry, that is what PUBLIC service is about.

  16. Forever Anon says:

    “But being handed money and then figuring out how to spend wisely it isn’t what businesses do.” True, but what are governments supposed to do with taxes? Hmmm…I think that would be being handed money and then figuring out how to spend it wisely. Obviously, the wisely part is mostly ideal because it rarely happens. But it all goes back to public libraries being government agencies and not businesses or charities.

  17. Anonymous says:

    It’s not as if libraries are alone here. Taxes fund all sorts of services that people don’t pay directly for, and yet the people doing the work get paid for it. From police officers and fire fighters to the people who maintain city parks

  18. Anonymous says:

    … anyone involved in any way with the street and highway systems; everyone who works for a public school in any capacity whatsoever. I don’t really get why librarians should be singled out for special mockery.

    (Can’t say I’m thrilled with the Library Journal’s comments field, here).

  19. soren faust says:

    To describe the library as a non-profit organization is an oversimplification…

    This post was copied from Wikipedia, “Non-profit Organization”, because it’s evident that the Imposter posing as Soren Faust has a level of intelligence that can barely exceed a reliance on plagiarism—and from a second hand source, no less.

    AL, it’s really too bad that you have little control over your blog; Trolls are waiting on the sidelines because there is nothing more that they would like to do than destroy your blog. In a way, you’ve relinquished a kind of autonomy when you came over to LJ. It seems to me that LJ owes you more control than you have considering how much more traffic your blog is attracting to their otherwise soporific Site.

  20. anonymous says:

    Gee, I am glad that all libraries are stamped out of the same cookie cutter and that librarians can be plucked off the MLS line and plugged in.

    We don’t want anyone out there thinking about what is best for their particular situation. We are librarians, we are not paid to think. Well except for the AL. And in that case there is not enough money.

  21. Frogger says:

    “But being handed money and then figuring out how to spend wisely it isn’t what businesses do.”

    What!? That’s exactly what businesses do. It’s called revenue and expenses.

  22. Mr. Kat says:

    Soren, I find my imposter to be equally dense. That post was so far removed form this discussion is shouldn’t even be here.

    Anyhow.

    I find the public to be a very perplexing gorup. They LIKE declaring themselves as having say in a wide range of things, especially anywhere they send their money. Public entities such as fire departments, schools, and the military DO NOT have to answer to this public in any way shape or form! How these entities spend money is entirely foreign to the public, and thus, the public is incabale of understanding how their tax dolalrs are spent. They are most incapable of understanding WHY their tax dollars are spent this way, and thus, that is why libraries are GOVERNMENT agencies and not even “Public” agencies in the way your local park or sidewalk is a “public” place.

    The end of Library status as Charities makes a ton of sense as mentioned by a previous poster. Damn those economic downturns!!

  23. Rosie O'Donnell says:

    My imposter is overweight, rude, and obnoxious. Oh wait, that’s me…

  24. Rush says:

    You do have to answer to the public in a round about way. They elect their representatives to see that their interests are taken care of.

    If you want government to spend money however they see fit with no oversight, then raise the tax rate so that everyone gives the guvmint all they make and then the guvmint will decide how much everyone should get.

    With this plan, I would hope that the AL would be the highest paid person in the USA.

  25. Forever Anon says:

    “Public entities such as fire departments, schools, and the military DO NOT have to answer to this public in any way shape or form!” Any way, shape, or form? Ummm…what about elected officials? That is one “way, shape, or form” that they are held accountable. Fire departments and schools (as well as police, street, parks, and any other city department mentioned in earlier posts) all are held accountable to city council and the people who elected those representatives. Schools and libraries also have their own boards and are also held accountable to state boards of education and state library departments. There are means of accountability everywhere. I do agree that the general public doesn’t fully understand how their taxes are spent. That is one reason to have city councils and other supervisory boards to elect people who will analyze spending and such.

  26. carptrash says:

    “In libraries, there is no bottom line.”
    Perhaps in some that’s the case, but in other’s it’s “You don’t pay the electric bills then the lights go off.” Making reading, for example, difficult.

    Then (i.e., “now”) a patron needed to sign up for a computer and the sign-up page was full so I told him to sign under the bottom line, came back to you, my guilty pleasure and read:
    “there is no bottom line.?
    But what does it mean? eeeeeek

  27. Mr. Kat says:

    Our military services take their money and spend it precisely how they see fit – and then ask for more because they routinely operate with budgets with billion dollar deficits. The military has figured us out in a way – and no public citizen has the ability to question how that money is spent – even if the public were to become president, the money is still spent as the branches see fit.

    I still find it hilarious that the general public would have the audacity to tell a library or a fire station who theey could manage their money better. I stil recognize that the public can very well form public boards, populate them with anti-library funding legislators, and then shut down a library by political coercion.

    Libraries simply do not have the ability to stand up for the very ideas of intellectual freedom this country set forth and as reinforced by the ALA. And our public generall does not “Get” the meaning of a number of amendments in the bill of rights. As our public becomes more and more ignorant, it becomes clear libraries are in for a duesy of a deal even if they are standing up for that iw “Right” in our country.

    I still hold to the notion in this current moment that the majority of our people are simply too affluent to truely appreciate the information that is available to them in the public library. There are those who still pour through the stacks, but their numbers dwindle.

    Regardless of Model, Libraries once worked becasue they had effective monopolies on providing informaiton resources. The Monks were some of the few people who could read within their times, and thus, they held the libraries. With the age of enlightenment came a bibliographic explosion that made it possible for the public to advance; Libraries were then held by not just the clergy but also wealthy magnates who had interests in collecting books. Libraries were not separate buildings so much as they were simply a collection of materials in a set space.

    These colelctions were then willed to the city and the state for the general enlightenment of the peopleas a gift of charity back from one who had done so well. As long as there were many of these wealthy conissuers dying off, libraries and a rich flow of new material along with funds for operations.

    If libraries were to be run like businesses, they would already be businesses with full business licenses. They ARE NOT Businesses. Some libraries do operate as charities particularly in the early stages of development. It is clear however, form the history of our past, that this model cannot sustain a library in the long term. Eventually we must turn to the government model where money is extracted from the public and then given to organizations the public would not otherwise dream of funding in any way if they had the choice in their personal lives. 1, they don’t use it, but rarely; 2 they can’t see it, no matter how often they use it; or 3, it is so essential it should be free, becasue essentials are rights, afterall.

    Todday’s library runs into the biggest problem becasue we can all afford our own home reference resourse, the Internet, and we have wonderful tools available to use that internet to find great information all across the globe. The library only worked so well because it in effect held a collection in confidence that the public could not afford to hold on their own, containing information the public could nto get in any other way – becasue the other way was simply too expensive.

    The Military is essential to protecting our freedom of sovereignty.
    The Fire Department is essential to protecting our freedom of shelter.
    The Schools are essential to protecting our freedom of Self Government [NOT our freedom of prusuit of property!], our libraries are essential to protecting the freedom of Information.

    It’s so hard to protect that last entity when so few Americnas truely believe in it in the first place!

  28. Mr. Kat, Bureaucrat says:

    Spoken like a true bureaucrat.

    I bet you don’t let people check out books from YOUR library. They might smudge them or tear a page or, zounds, not return it. It is your books (and all other material) after all and nobody has a right to it unless you have a weak moment.

    I would call you a Marxist but a better analogy is King. Like King George III. You will tax us but not let us represent ourselves.

    The days of government running or trying to run all aspects of our lives is coming to an end. It started with Reagan. Sure he created huge deficits but in terms of government programs helping the citizens, he pushed that off onto states. States now are starting to crumble and are putting more and more on the local governments. Now that it is hitting right on people’s doorsteps, the people are going to rise up and burn your library to the ground.

    Beware.

  29. carptrash says:

    “The Military is essential to protecting our freedom of sovereignty. : And I am guessing that this is NOT the place to argue about this sort of statement? eek

  30. carptrash says:

    Whoops. I was assuming that this is NOT the place to debate to above statement when a frisky 3 year old patron hit the . . .. probably more than you need to know. eek

  31. Mithrandir says:

    Mr. Kat,

    where do you find the time to post so much??

  32. Mr. Kat says:

    My employment is light but the pay is still great when I get it! And I have the help of imposters now too.

  33. Mr. Kat says:

    I should add that as a college student I have spents years on the internet. My mind and my fingers have become fluid in conversation, thus it is easy for me to write the responses. As they say, the more you practice, the easier activities become.

  34. Auntie Nanuuq says:

    Oh, Please….

    We ARE Charities!!!

    It’s all FREE & Open Use!

  35. Forever Anon says:

    “I still find it hilarious that the general public would have the audacity to tell a library or a fire station who theey could manage their money better. I stil recognize that the public can very well form public boards, populate them with anti-library funding legislators, and then shut down a library by political coercion.” First, why shouldn’t the general public express their opinions? It is being run with their money. Granted, some of the public can’t see past themselves and their own needs, but there are more than plenty who can see the bigger picture. We need to quit generalizing. The public does not mean lowest common denominator. Second, the public cannot form a board on its own. It has to be part of the system, the organization of oversight. Joe Schmo and his 12 friends can form a board, but can’t make changes at the library unless they are appointed or elected to a proper library board. “Our military services take their money and spend it precisely how they see fit”–There is some oversight somewhere in the system. Someone has to approve the budget somewhere along the line. Isn’t that Congress or the President? The oversight of the military is different than libraries or schools or even essentials as police and fire. All of those are funded on a local level have means of accountability on a local leve. The military is not funded with local taxes, so the oversight will not be local.

  36. Forever Anon says:

    I don’t even know if I’m responding to Mr. Kat or his “imposter”. Either way…there it is.

  37. Karl says:

    “Oh, Please…. We ARE Charities!!! It’s all FREE & Open Use!”

    All Free? Wow.

    How come my library doesn’t get more books then? Or Computers? Or more faux-guitars for the big tourney? I mean, if it truly is free, then the library should be able to go to the warehouse and just get this stuff, right?

  38. Bob Cratchit says:

    I guess all the real librarians are gone off for Thanksgiving.

    I hope that old man Scrooge AL gives us a piece of coal to keep warm until the holiday is over.

    Or at least a cranberry.

  39. Mr. Kat says:

    If library schools understood the concept of freedom of information, we would be having less conversations like this one.

  40. carptrash says:

    “the more you practice, the easier activities become.”
    Actually, I have not found this to be true in re-shelfing children’s books.

  41. Library Cynic says:

    “Soren hit the nail on the head earlier when he said public libraries are government agencies. It seems a lot of people need reminding of that fact.” Right, but you have librarians and libraries in more areas than I’d care to think that get short shrift compared to schools, although the same public libraries in some cases supplement schools with their collections. You know how teachers gripe about pay and working conditions. Schools get extra funding though lottery proceeds in some places, libraries get zip. There’s a saying that when a new subdivision addition needs 12 new fire hydrants, where do you pay for them? Go take it from the library budget. There is at least one state in the Midwest that has no mandated library service btw. You get outside of the big city, or even small city/town and there aren’t even places you can buy books, yet the towns normally have at least one or two liquor stores – YEEEHAAA!
    :-/

  42. soren faust says:

    The more libraries can prove that they benefit the business community, the more funding they are likely to receive. One area that libraries can prove their worth is information literacy.

    Over the years, many libraries have supported literacy education efforts by providing teaching resources, space for tutoring, and information and referral services. Some program sponsors have compiled bibliographies of adult new reader materials–materials that are not too “childish” to appeal to mature learners and that respond to their personal interests, such as getting a driver’s license. Others have adopted or developed software programs that provide interactive drills and testing for computer-assisted learning.

    A more active approach has been taken by libraries offering literacy classes or one-to-one tutoring programs. Many libraries have outreach programs designed to meet the needs of specific groups of people with limited literacy skills. For example, people for whom English is a second language, who present a diversity of first languages and literacy levels, have been reached through tutoring programs with materials that match their cultures and interests. Appropriate materials have also been distributed to the institutionalized, including those in prisons, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and group homes for the elderly and disabled. Intensive prison programs, coordinated under a literacy librarian, have offered specialized software and English-as-a-second-language training

  43. carptrash says:

    And usually each liquor store is counter balanced by at least two churches. Same patrons, just used on different days. eek

  44. soren faust says:

    yet the towns normally have at least one or two liquor stores

    Speaking of which…a guy came into the library the other day with 4 pints of vodka and instead of being like all the other drunks in the library, decided to just whip all four bottles out, place them on one of the “study” tables and start getting it on. He even offered one of the security guards a hit. So, yeah, I think liquor has it’s place in the library. I tried to get him to check out John Barleycorn by Jack London, but to no avail. Martini, anyone?

  45. carptrash says:

    Or, if you have music
    “John Barlycorn” must die” by Traffic
    I’ve had lots of folks who smell like a brewery (or like they just came from a Jah Revival) but never had one open up.
    Life. It’s still better than most of the alternatives. eeek

  46. Mr. Kat says:

    First, why shouldn’t the general public express their opinions? It is being run with their money. Granted, some of the public can’t see past themselves and their own needs, but there are more than plenty who can see the bigger picture. We need to quit generalizing. The public does not mean lowest common denominator. Second, the public cannot form a board on its own. It has to be part of the system, the organization of oversight. Joe Schmo and his 12 friends can form a board, but can’t make changes at the library unless they are appointed or elected to a proper library board. “Our military services take their money and spend it precisely how they see fit”–There is some oversight somewhere in the system. Someone has to approve the budget somewhere along the line. Isn’t that Congress or the President? The oversight of the military is different than libraries or schools or even essentials as police and fire. All of those are funded on a local level have means of accountability on a local leve. The military is not funded with local taxes, so the oversight will not be local.

    It is clear you have never lived in a community where what is your lowest common denominator is indeed the greatest coommon factor. In these communities these people think EVERYBODY should think like them and they will go to great lengths to make sure that becomes a reality. If there is a library board, these groups will soldier together and put up their own representitves for election; given how poorly the general community understands politics, it is quite easy to BUY elections. All you have to do is spend X amount of Money per vote in each district and you have a seat. Governor Evan Meecham ran his entire campaign on this principle. The Scary part is his formula actually Worked!

    The ONLY people who should have a say in precisely how the money is spent in libraries are those who have gone through the program and understand how libraries work. These people understand why libraries exist and they pursue that goal even if it is not popular with the general public. This could be your library or the library board of directors; one requirement to serve on such a board should be an MLS. The public can offer advice and they can express their opinion all they want, but to ever vest real direct control with this entity is a dangerous thing to do.

    Public opinion easily shifts and sways with the current popular trends. the role of the library is to stand fast as a beacon echoing the documents of this country and further passing that message on through the free dispersal of information to anyone and EVERYONE who may want it, regardless of what it is.

    Your presidential and congressional oversight only goes part of the way; what is congress going to do when the forces include a request for 50 Billion of “Classified?” They get their money!!

    P.S. Imposter, Library schools GET information freedom. It is the lowest common denominator [and yet greatest common factor when you see how loud they shout] that does not GET Informaiotn Freedom. If they DID, we would not have these issues!

  47. carptrash says:

    “one requirement to serve on such a board should be an MLS. “
    Either you are kidding or you have started your holiday high a bit early. There is only one MLS in this entire community.
    Mostly thiough, I tend to agree with you. eeek

  48. Forever Anon says:

    “The ONLY people who should have a say in precisely how the money is spent in libraries are those who have gone through the program and understand how libraries work.” I never said they should have a “precise” say in spending. I said they have a right to voice their opinions and to have those opinions heard. And taxpayers do have say in spending. We have who request that the library purchase certain books. That is taxpayers expressing their opinions on how their taxes are spent. What about votes on sales taxes or other funding? That is taxpayers expressing their opinions on how their taxes are spent. “One requirement to serve on such a board should be an MLS.” Now I know you don’t live in the real world. First, how many people in a small, rural town are going to have an MLS? Maybe one, if that. Second, in my experience it is often the people with the MLS that do NOT understand how libraries work or how to budget. There are plenty of competent people without that degree that can understand the concept of libraries. A degree does not equal intelligence or common sense. Finally, my definition of lowest common denominator and yours apparently differ greatly. You went off on a tangent about people buying votes and such. I was talking about the poor, the homeless, the uneducated, the unwashed masses that everyone else seems to associate with public libraries.

  49. Library Cynic says:

    “Joe Schmo and his 12 friends can form a board, but can’t make changes at the library unless they are appointed or elected to a proper library board.” That’s what they sometimes do, they get appointed. I know of at least one library system that was seriously damaged as a result of “Joe the Board President” running the show. Joe knows the right people to back in an election to be appointed to a board that’s already a political dumping ground for other supporters or spouses of same. Hey, let’s lower the bar and make “Book of the Month Club” membership a qualification for the board :-/ . That and a minimal donation to the politician of their choice, at least enough to get an appointment.

  50. Library Cynic says:

    P.S. Does this blog ever remind you a bit of an AM Radio call-in program for librarians?

  51. Mr. Kat says:

    I’m kidding but I’m not kidding; As I was taught, those who have the MLS [should I add, and ALA certified MLS] understand WHY we uphold the Intellectual Freedom on principle. Obviously, since there are so few people with an MLS, this would create a new MARKET for people with the MLS!! Beautiful, no??

    Forever, your definition and my definiton of the least common denominator are very similar; the only difference is, you have chosen the low end of the spectrum, 2, 3, and 5 while I have chosen to look more towards 7, 11 and 13. When you think about it, these groups are really no differnt except that the larger factions have greater political and financial power; these greater factors could be your local Union, your local Church group, or your local PTA parent group.

    In all of these cases you have people with Fringe Ideals – that is, Ideals that apply best only to a small subset of peosple. The problem is, the more affluent these gorups are, the more likely they are to want to exert THEIR personal agendas onto Everybody Else as the Perfect way to live. They may blame faults found with 2-3-5 people as a result of not having what 7-11-13 people have. Not the house or the vehicle or the job, of course, but rather the Faith, the Community connection or the Social aspect.

    I take great offense whrn the 11 group decides they want to tell ME and everybody else that I shoudl ONLY read material approved by them – and I take greater offense whtn they take political office or pass propositions. Proposition 8[CA] and [202]AZ is a perfect example of what happens when one group pushes a proposition politically!! Can you compete with the fundraising potential of the Mormon Church???!!! All they have to do is Guilt their parishes into tithing just a another percent more and they can fund any initiave they wish!!

    Anyhow, sorry about that tangent. But it deeply bothers me when the public, which as I said before follows trends and fads far too easily, pushes a way that is ideal for some and impossible for others.

    For this reason our libraries are run on a Government Model: The public can scream and yell and b***H all they want, but inside the place keeps running day in day out like nothing ever changes.

    The library is not there for the affluent – it is there becasue someday you and I may not BE affluent, and then it will be nice to have that luxury which only before was a burden or tax nuisance.

    Oh yeah – that nonsense about your Vote being your Voice: Don’t ever let anyone con you out of your opinion by shutting up after an election. If something is empiracly true before, it is still true after, and if it needs to be corrected, then you still have a proper voice of dissent and you SHOULD use it!! Just keep in mind the common good, and please don;t puch for somethign that pushes YOUR way of life on MY household!!

  52. Mr. Kat says:

    Pardon my Proposisiton Slip; the Arizona measure is Proposition 102, the “Yes for Marriage” proposition. What phoney Bullsh*t.

    Could somebody please tell me how my relationship with my wife [currently my girlfreind, but she will someday be wife] is affected by YOUR relationship with YOUR wife? Does it make any difference if your Wife is a Husband and you’re a Husband too, or you’re a Wife and she’s a wife as well?

    The way I see it, If my relationship affects yours, you have much deeper trust, commitment and intimacy problems within your personal relationship with your partner. I would recommend Marriage Counseling. if that doesn;t work, you can join the other 50% of all failed marriages and find a divorce attorney. The back of the yellow pages usually has an attorney ad, they will happily direct you to the right people!!

    Sorry about that tangent. But I think it really makes the point about how Lowest Common Denominator [not necessarily the poorest, the frailest, or the meekest] People [in this case, Mormons] help pass laws that push an ideal [hetero Marriage Only] on the rest of society that discriminates against those who do not live that ideal [homos] as a way to boost the legitimacy their ideal and way of life.

    [the really funny part is the arizona constitution already outlaws same s*x marriages.] The Mormons still felt it necessary to amend the Arizona Constitution to add the “Marriage is between one man and one Woman” part. Really really classy…]

  53. Joe the Librarian says:

    “Can you compete with the fundraising potential of the Mormon Church???!!! All they have to do is Guilt their parishes into tithing just a another percent more and they can fund any initiave they wish!!” In certain Southern states the same could be said about certain other denominations and political power. You don’t need to live in Utah. In certain geographical locales you have an edge if you belong to this or that church. That goes for finding library work as well. Church of Christ connections open doors in Tennessee.

  54. one man and one woman says:

    Men weren’t meant to be “together.” It’s not natural. They don’t really care about being married, they just want legal justification for their freak show.

  55. Mr. Kat says:

    Does it really affect YOU if that man over there is with that man over there?

    They have their freakshow, you have your life. You live yours, they live theres. You see??

    The “marriage” rights these people are fighting for include spousal visitation rights, custodial rights in the even t of death, will rights in event of death, you know, all the standard things that happen for some couple but not other couples if those couples choose Not to live like the Greatest Common Factor.

    All these initiatives by the least common denominator are going to do is wind up with another convienient blanket policy similar to Roe v. Wade only this one will redefine marriage as strictly a religious institution and remove it completely from all governemental preceedings. You know, Separation of Church and State. HA!!!

  56. Forever Anon says:

    “that nonsense about your Vote being your Voice” It’s not nonsense. And I never said the Voice ends with the Vote. Voting is just one way to Voice your opinions. It’s not the only way and it’s not the end.

  57. one man and one woman says:

    Freaks can do whatever they want behind closed doors. Just keep it there.

  58. Mr. Kat says:

    The values that such freak couples exhibit in their daily lives are often indistinguishable from those of their straight neighbors. They’re loyal to their mates, are monogamous, devoted partners. They value and participate in family life, are committed to making their neighborhoods and communities safer and better places to live, and honor and abide by the law. Many make valuable contributions to their communities, serving on school boards, volunteering in community charities, and trying to be good citizens. In doing so, they take full advantage of their relationship to make not only their own lives better, but those of their neighbors as well.

    A benefit to heteros*xual society of g*y marriage is the fact that the commitment of a marriage means the participants are discouraged from promiscous s*x. This has the advantage of slowing the spread of s*xually transmitted diseases, which know no s*xual orientation and are equal opportunity destroyers.

    These benefits of g*y marriage have changed the attitudes of the majority of people in Denmark and other countries where various forms of g*y marriage have been legal for years. Polling results now show that most people there now recognize that the benefits far outweigh the trivial costs, and that far from threatening heteros*xual marriage, g*y marriage has actually strenghtened it.

    So, having established the value of g*y marriage, why are people so opposed to it?

    Many of the reasons offered for opposing g*y marriage are based on the assumption that g*ys have a choice in who they can feel attracted to, and the reality is quite different. Many people actually believe that g*ys could simply choose to be heteros*xual if they wished. But the reality is that very few do have a choice — any more than very few heteros*xuals could choose which s*x to find themselves attracted to.

    Additionally, many people continue to believe the propaganda from right-wing religious organizations that homos*xuality is about nothing but s*x, considering it to be merely a s*xual perversion. The reality is that homos*xuality is multidimensional, and is much more about love and affection than it is about s*x. And this is what g*y relationships are based on — mutual attraction, love and affection. S*x, in a committed g*y relationship, is merely a means of expressing that love, just the same as it is for heteros*xuals. Being g*y is much more profound than simply a s*xual relationship; being g*y is part of that person’s core indentity, and goes right the very center of his being. It’s like being black in a society of whites, or a blonde European in a nation of black-haired Asians. Yes, being g*y is just that profound to the person who is. This is something that few heteros*xuals can understand unless they are part of a minority themselves.

  59. soren faust says:

    Mr. Kat, there’s no point in trying to talk sense to Americans about the subject of s-ex. They’re completely schizo about it and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Now, violence? Well, that’s different. Violence is good!

  60. one man and one woman says:

    For the freaks, violence and s*x are the same thing.

  61. Mr. Kat says:

    OMOW…you generalize freaks. Your generalization is only accurate for a small group of people most typically [but not explusively] found on the goth/Industrial scene. This is another lowest common denominator group, naturally, of 2-3-5 calibre.

    Soren, You’re absolutely right. I’d go one step simpler and argue there is no pont arguing sense with Americans. Take the popular trend and run with it and you can pretty much win anything. Logical arguments rooted in analytical analysis where no subjects have holds barred merely frustrates the people – and it takes way too long to read it. The really amusing part is how many of these people who have really short attention spans and demand short cociseness like to hide their moral foundation behind a rather unconcise book.

    However, giving up would be a waste of humanity. We must keep these discussions on the front burner, for it is the only way we move the public stance to a more neutral position.

    Imposter, I do not know where you got that from and I further do not know why you hide behind my mask to say what you have posted. You imply you are ashamed of what you have to say – or too scared to say it under your own pseudonym.

    All the same, your post makes good solid points.

  62. Mr. Kat says:

    And one more thing imposter: those who are the most VOCAL in their opposition to gay marriage are usually the ones with the most to HIDE.

  63. one man and one woman says:

    Sorry Mr. Kat but I’ve got nothing to hide. I just hate to see normal marriages, like mine, impugned by sham marriages perpetrated soley for political purposes.

  64. soren faust says:

    one man and one woman, you’re world is fast becoming obsolete. Enjoy it while you can.

  65. soren faust says:

    “Your”, not “you’re”, pardon the unpardonable.

  66. Mr. Kat says:

    So maybe it would be more appropriate for you to redirect your energy towards those marriages in this country that are failing. The numbers are becoming quite staggering just how many people go into marriage withthe wrong people for the wrong reasons and end up failing altogether. What is normal to you is not normal to the rest of the world. this country further makes the maxim that we support the minority in their pursuits, even if that is not popular with the public at that time in history. If there are political purposes for marriage, then it is far time to unintertwine the religious implications from the state implications and keep the two entites entirely separate.

    Your marriage has been far more damaged by the adolescent antics of the star crowd then this particular crowd has ever done. It is being further damaged by a popular culture that idolizes swinger relationships, pursuing a high quantity of short term “experiences” over long term commitments and shuns responsibility in preference of Living Life and Having Fun.

    You are afraid of these other people chising to define marriage by the rules of their own spiritual philosophy because your own philosophy is a consensus philosophy. That is to say, if no one and certainly if the majority was not practicing in the way you practice, then you would not practice it. It is not enough for you to have the love and commitment of that other person; your bond is only legitimate because it is how everybody else who is Normal practices. Like I said before, if their relationship over there somehow affects YOUR relationship over here between you and your spouse, you need to consider marriage counseling to strengthen your realitonship or perhaps a little personal counseling to help develop what is a lack of personal self esteem. “Counseling” may be as simple as discussing these matters with your spouse, but the point of the matter is, you have deeper issues threatening your livelihood and they are NOT that “Weird” couple over there.

    [I know, I know, I used the wrong word back there. you still can read it and make sense of it, I'd hope!!]

  67. carptrash says:

    G*y men
    Just the thought of two, large, muscular, sweaty, naked men wrestling with each other is so disgusting that I just can’t seen to get it out of my mind. I keep imagining them doing it in the library basement, somehow being paid for by my tax dollars.
    I just HATE it.
    (Notice how I subtly brought the library back into the discussion)
    eeeeeek

  68. soren faust says:

    You hate it, you love it, you hate it you love it. Your imagination gives you away.

  69. Adam Smith says:

    “So maybe it would be more appropriate for you to redirect your energy towards those marriages in this country that are failing.”

    Divorce is a failure between two people. Gay marriage is a failure of society.

  70. one man and one woman says:

    “Like I said before, if their relationship over there somehow affects YOUR relationship over here between you and your spouse, you need to consider marriage counseling.”

    Try to think bigger picture. Think of marriage as a neighborhood. If a bad neighbor moves in down the street, my house might not be directly harmed, but the neighborhood will suffer, so therefore I will suffer because I’m a member of that neighborhood.

    Does that help you understand?

  71. Mr. Kat says:

    Save your metaphors. It sounds like you’re trying to get out of a bad marriage.

  72. Mr. Kat says:

    Haha, imposter. Come on now!!

    If you want to live in a country that controls how people are to think and be within society, then you need to move to a country like China, Korea, Russia, or most of South America. Cuba would suit you as well.

    By your own arguement, if a religion moves into your neighborhood that is not approved by your personal religion, then your neighborhood will suffer the same similar dehibilitating consequences.

    It is time that you learn your personal laws and ethics only apply as far as the fence around your personal chunk of property and no further. If one bad egg moves into the neighborhood and the whole neighborhood crumbles, just what was your neighborhood worth? Obviously you have a very weak neighborhood full of people who are not capable of standing up for themselves regardless of who was standing besides them.

    Marriage is a commitment between two entities similar to a treaty or an agreement or a trust.

    So in following your analogy, marriage may be your neighborhood but feelings are the people. Naturally, you control 50% of all of the feelings in your neighborhood – and if you appropriately chose your spouse, you chose a spouse who you know you could trust to be 100% honest and responsible with dealing with her own issues and feelings. This spouse would never let any other feelings in to your neighborhood due to her committment to you.

    Like I said, you control 50% and she [or he] controls the other 50%. If either of you are allow foreign feelings into your neighborhood, you breach your commitment to the other person. Your own personal feelings can be both good or bad, but for the sake of the neighborhood they had better be overwhelmingly good. If bad feelings move into your marriage, then you need to deal with them in a healthy positive manner. If you have not been doing this, these bad feelings will indeed result in a catastrophic failure of your neighborhood. The only solace I can offer you is that the failure is only 50% yours. No one has the right to control, force, or coerce your spouse into thinking and being exactly like you think they should be. I take away the solace in reminding you that your decision to be in THAT particular neighborhood with HER [or HIM] was 100% YOUR choice!

    There are many neighborhoods filled with all sorts of different people, but those neighborhoods over there should not have an effect on your neighborhood over here. If they do, then perhaps your neighborhood really wasn’t as good or as strong as you originally thought it was.

  73. penn girl says:

    “Marriage is a commitment between two entities similar to a treaty or an agreement or a trust.”

    So if a man wants to marry a horse, you’d be okay with that I guess.

    Marriage is a committment between a man and a woman, and that’s it. The freaks don’t really care about getting married, they’re just trying to make a point. If there was no media attention to the issue, would freaks even try to get married? No. It’s all about bringing attention to themselves and trying to convince people that they’re normal. When two dudes do that to themselves, that’s not normal. That’s disgusting.

  74. Mr. Kat says:

    I really don’t care what the freaks are doing. I don’t let that control my life.

    I used to think like you. Then I was educated on the matter. This is not about political attention. This is about equality and about priveleges that should be rights for all humans regardless of the freak.

    The freaks want to be able to visit their spouse in the event of hospitalization. The freaks want to be able have the automatic will rights and custody rights just as any other couple has. And in those cases where there are couples raising children, they want those tax breaks that are afforded to “normal” couples but not them. This is not about man-man s-x. This is about human-human rights. The fact of the matter is that Civil Unions are not given the same weight as marriage licenses.

    You marginalize this group based upon hysteria, fear, and bigotry. THAT is disgusting.

    If you wish to keep to your religious definition of a marriage, you will soon some day see “Marriage” removed from all legal stte documents and there will be no benefits for such a relationship within state matters.

  75. soren faust says:

    Penn girl, substitute the word “freaks” with “blacks” and your argument shows itself for what it is, a prejudiced view of a segment of the population that you feel are contemptable due to a characteristic of theirs. No one is asking you to like what g*ys do, but you aren’t satisfied with that. You want to impose your personal conception of marriage on a group of people that you hate. That is pretty sad.

  76. WebbyGrl says:

    AL – spot on. The only thing that would cement this fact is when library schools start requiring Spanish 1, 2, & 3 to graduate. If you are going to run a charity, you better be bilingual or at least be able to point someone in the direction of the bano. And don’t everyone get on me about being a bigot. It’s the truth and I’m saying it. In my southern city of almost 2 million, if you’re not bilingual or have at least a Hispanic last name, you won’t be at the top of the list for hiring in the PL. Yes there are non-hispanics in the library but most of them are on the elite north side. And in the spirit of diversity, why NOT require Spanish to graduate – at least if the library students are taking courses in the way of the PL vs. school or special libraries? Makes perfect sense and it sure would better prepare said students for life in the low paying charitable calling in which they are about to embark.

  77. WebbyGrl says:

    Oops. My bad. I didn’t realize that the Library as Charities had morphed into a gay marriage discussion. Mr. Kat, while I personnally don’t care what two guys do to each other behind closed doors, according to you it shouldn’t affect me but in reality it does. HGTV (one of my favorite channels) loves to spotlight two partners on a home improvement show. And while the house is being profiled, I notice two men and one bed. So there it is, smack in my living room where I really just wanted to see them update the curtains. Yuck. And in the minds of some, this validates their behavior. If it’s on TV, it must be OK. This subject is near and dear as my husband’s oldest is gay and she and her partner wanted a baby. So when the baby is 7 months in the oven, the partner decides she doesn’t want any more kids and splits. Now instead of two mommies, his grandaughter has a mommy and a turkey baster vs. somebody who mommy can go after for child support. Isn’t that nice? I’m not kidding. They researched it at the public library (of all places) and figured out how to DIY artificial insemination. (Now there’s a show for HGTV). I can’t wait until the new grandchild is old enough to be told this little nugget of Jerry Springer fodder. It is sad and unfortunate that the loose morals of our society have in some way tried to make this all seem OK. And by saying it shouldn’t affect me is extremely narrow minded and naive. Now, because of an unpopular agenda being pushed by a minority, gays feel validated to live like this and all is well. There have always been gays and always will be, but they should at least have the decency to keep it under wraps and not procreate with turkey basters. It’s not OK, it’s not normal, and it is nothing but sad.

  78. penn girl says:

    “Penn girl, substitute the word “freaks” with “blacks” and your argument shows itself for what it is, a prejudiced view of a segment of the population that you feel are contemptable due to a characteristic of theirs.”

    This is not a valid comparison. People don’t choose their skin color but they do choose to do disgusting things with their body parts.

  79. Chik Phil A says:

    Mr. Kat, just because you’ve bought into the freaks’ propaganda doesnt mean the rest of us have to. Their media campaign is only trying to force people to accept them as normal. When two guys do that to each other, that’s far from normal.

  80. Anonymousse says:

    Webbygrl, how does your husband feel about you badmouthing his child on the internet? Does he share your same, narrow-minded views or does he love his child unconditionally? I have a 2 year old daughter, and if one day she told me she was gay, I’d still love her and accept her. And last I checked, g*ys were humans too. They have are entitled to the same basic legal and fundamental rights as the rest of us, not because of political agendas or media coverage, but because they are HUMAN. Are you going to argue that what they do makes them less than human?

  81. Anonymousse says:

    What about g*y women? No one has mentioned they think it’s disgusting for two women to be together? Now, why is that?!

  82. soren faust says:

    penn girl, you are wrong. Most g*y people do not feel it is a choice. If you’d get to know a g*y person, (my guess is that you do not know any as a friend) you’d probably find out that many g*y people wish they weren’t g*y because of the very hard life they face. I’ve been told this by quite a few g*y men and women. Your understanding of hom-o-sxuality is pretty limited.

  83. Mr. Kat says:

    Webbygrl, I know a couple who has a child; one partner wanted children but did not want to carry it; the other was more then happy to have a child. They have their child now in a family that includes the biological mother and the surrogate mother – and they’re perfectly happy. The problems arise in the case such as the one where one partner splits: why SHOULDN’T the other partner have to pay Child support? It’s time these people had all the liabilities that come with it!!

    There is a further probelms: if either parent dies, then that child is automatically a ward of the state. I ask you if it is right to take not just one parent this child has known their entire life, but now BOTH parents all due to the stigma of a rather perverse group intent on forcing their own personal morals on everybody else?

    It is clear that the Right in this country is simply overwhelmed by the physical aspect of s-x with these freaks and that is all you see. I suppose if you think about it, we were once squeamish about even seeing heteros-xual couples in bed on TV, much less pregnant women or any reference to pregnancy.

    This is a country where you are free to perform any religious moral code as you see fit and so long as your practice does not impeded on the rest of us, the rest of us simply have to tolerate you and your ways. It is clear a small group still think the Freedom of Religion just covers that little sect of Christianity that originally came here in small numbers to escape religious persecution and only constituted one small colony out of the original 13! This set of people may think and act a little differently, but they are no where out of bounds. And it’s not like they are trying to convert you to be g-y too. When they start doing that, then I say we put them up on crosses and burn them like we humans used to do with witches, criminals and christians.

  84. penn girl says:

    Being gay is a choice. It’s sort of like a club for social misfits.

  85. librarydude says:

    “What about g*y women? No one has mentioned they think it’s disgusting for two women to be together? Now, why is that?!”

    As long as they’re hot, I think it’s perfectly acceptable.

  86. Mr. Kat says:

    If it weren’t for the conservative freaks out there, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. We liberals are the only clear voice on the subject.

  87. jmo, mls says:

    *I suppose if you think about it, we were once squeamish about even seeing heteros-xual couples in bed on TV, much less pregnant women or any reference to pregnancy. *

    And now we’ve moved so far in the other direction that one can give gift certificates to Planned Parenthood for Xmas, theoretically to be used for who knows what by who knows how old. All hail progress! Maybe the local library should be forced to sell those, as we were recycling stickers for curbside pickup of old refrigerators, etc.

  88. happily anonymous says:

    What? What the heck is going on here?
    For so long I’ve heard voices on this blog complain about how librarians are all liberals and deomocrats and … I guess I assumed that it was because they tend to be educated and logical thinkers. I am stunned by what I’m reading here.
    WebbyGirl, re-read what you wrote. I understand that you find the situation disgusting, but do you honestly not see that legal rights for homos*xual couples would have helped your partner’s daughter to get alimony in this case? She would have been protected. Would you feel so vehemently about it if the same situation had occurred where a husband or boyfriend walked out on the baby?
    How, how, how can we talk about freedoms and rights of the intellectual kind in libraries and not extend those rights and freedoms to all people? Is this really what attitudes are like in America? When you guys elected Obama, I felt a sense of renewed faith in humanity. After reading this discussion about g*y marriage, I am starting to lose that faith.
    Calling g*ys freaks? Believing that it’s a choice? Shouldn’t allowing everyone to get married actually strengthen the “institution” of marriage, not weaken it? At worst, homos*xuals should be allowed the same legal rights as everyone else, even in committed partnerships. At best, you should be allowing them to recognize those partnerships publicly, and within their faiths, as legitimate marriages. It is NOT a political issue – it is a social issue, one of human rights.
    I say “you” as in Americans. I’m Canadian. We do allow gay marriage here. And I’m proud of that fact.

  89. happily anonymous says:

    And how sad is it that we have to find work-arounds for the words homos*xual and gay on LJ’s comment form, which doesn’t allow “expletives” – as if they were dirty or bad words. For shame.

  90. disgusted says:

    Webbygirl, are you more disgusted by the gay lifestyle, or by the “procreation using turkey basters”? I hate to tell you, but lots of hetero couples – one man, one woman – procreate this way as well. Fertility issues are on the rise. At least people who go through that much trouble to conceive must really want that baby. I think that unplanned pregnancies are far worse in the long run. And if you think for one second that it doesn’t happen to hetero couples, where one partner wants a child more than the other and ends up walking away, then I can only assume you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades.
    Actually, that would explain a lot about your uncompassionate attitude.

  91. anonymous says:

    What’s really sad is that this is a comment section for a blog post on, um, well, I guess I’m not sure what it’s a blog post on. But I’m pretty sure it’s not a blog post on gay marriage.

  92. anonymous says:

    Penngirl, the “black” comparison IS accurate. This is a civil rights issue. Would you have blamed the media for perpetuating the black civil rights movement in the 60′s as well? Gays are just fighting for the rights.

  93. soren faust says:

    penn girl, by your criteria of choice then it can be said that you chose to be a hetero-sxual. Convenient choice for you, I suppose. Oh, but no! you didn’t choose to be a hetero-sxual? Hmm, that’s what g*y people say, as well, that they didn’t choose to be g*y. But, of course, you’re human and they’re not. Now, I realize that living in your own private moralsphere is safe because you’re a member of a majority, but you views are nonetheless insular and tragic.

  94. Mr.Kat Imposter says:

    one man one woman – your neighbourhood analogy doesn’t hold up because marriage is not something which can be devalued in the way you are talking about. Other people being married can not undermine the value of your marriage. The value lies in the commitment you have with your partner. Do you really think you’re something special because you have a marriage certificate? Marriage exists on two planes: the civil and the religious. Civil marriages include the legal rights to which gay people should be entitled, and those legal rights protect the people in the marriage, the property, and the children who result from the marriage. How does that protection in any way affect the “value” of your marriage?
    What I suspect you’re really distressed about is the undermining of the concept of marriage within a religious meaning. There, too, it should not matter how others define marriage – it really doesn’t affect your own. Religious marriage is about faith. It’s an idea, an ideal. Does the existence of religions other than your own, other non-Christian religions, undermine or devalue the beliefs you have within your own faith? I would hope not, but empirically speaking – no, they don’t. If the definition of marriage is a belief, then someone believing in a different definition has no bearing on your own.
    Don’t hide behind the “there goes the neighbourhood” argument. You are homophobic. You don’t like gays. You believe they are wrong. Okay. If you want to be a bigot, be a bigot. But call it what it is. Don’t hide behind things like “traditional definition of marriage” arguments. There doesn’t have to be a traditional definition of marriage. Definitions can be re-defined.

  95. penn girl says:

    Being hetero is natural so I didn’t have to make a choice. To be unnatural (homo) requires a choice.

  96. one man and one woman says:

    I’m not homophobic. You’re just using an easy label to make your point. I don’t care what people do behind their closed doors – just don’t try to dillute our institution of marriage by making a political statement. Find another way of promoting your agenda.

  97. Mr. Kat Imposter says:

    “find another way of promoting your agenda”
    Right back atcha, one man and one woman. My agenda is human rights. Yours is one of fear.
    Please, explain to me HOW the institution of marriage will become diluted if everyone has the same right to be married. Please. Because I don’t see how it does.

  98. soren faust says:

    penngirl, Provide the empirical evidence that heterosxuality is natural and homosxuality is not and then I will accept your argument. And remember, this is science, and you are making a scientific-like statement, so please leave your religion out of the evidence. Until then, you are merely stating a personal belief, which is great for you, useless for the rest of us.

  99. penn girl says:

    Who said anything about religion? I’m talking about common sense.

  100. soren faust says:

    How does common sense tell you that one is a choice and the other not? Where are you getting your information from?

  101. one man and one woman says:

    Mr. Kat, you need to learn to think bigger.

    It is a superficial kind of individualism that does not recognize the power of emerging social trends that often start with only a few individuals bucking conventional patterns of behavior. Negative social trends start with only a few aberrations. Gradually, however, social sanctions weaken and individual aberrations became a torrent.

    Think back to the 1960s, when illegitimacy and cohabitation were relatively rare. At that time many asked how one young woman having a baby out of wedlock or living with an unmarried man could hurt their neighbors. Now we know the negative social effects these two living arrangements have spawned: lower marriage rates, more instability in the marriages that are enacted, more fatherless children, increased rates of domestic violence and poverty, and a vast expansion of welfare state expenses.

    For thousands of years and in every Western society marriage has meant the life-long union of a man and a woman. Such a statement about marriage is what philosophers call an analytic proposition. The concept of marriage necessarily includes the idea of a man and woman committing themselves to each other. Any other arrangement contradicts the basic definition. Advocates of gay marriage recognize this contradiction by proposing “gay unions” instead, but this distinction is, we believe, a strategic one. The ultimate goal for them is the societal acceptance of gay marriage.

    Scrambling the definition of marriage will be a shock to our fundamental understanding of human social relations and institutions. One effect will be that s*xual fidelity will be detached from the commitment of marriage. The advocates of gay marriage themselves admit as much.

  102. Anonymousse says:

    “just don’t try to dillute our institution of marriage by making a political statement.” Oh yeah, because heteros*xuals all have perfect marriages-They all marry for love, not politics or money or fame. They never have affairs and never, ever divorce. Please, come up with a better argument, one that isn’t so laughable.

  103. Mr Kat Imposter says:

    Wow. Just … wow.
    Sometimes changing definitions is not a bad thing. Sometimes societal acceptance actually helps that society to progress, not degenerate.
    Taking your example of unwed mothers and cohabitation without marriage, those are trends which have been negative because the impact was to decrease the amount of commitment required within the relationship. Gay marriage, on the other hand, is meant to increase the level of commitment (and accountability, both personal and financial) within a relationship. This, I believe, helps society in the bigger picture, which you say I fail to see.
    Clinging to a traditional definition does not make it right, nor does it make it a “basic definition.” We have chosen to adopt that definition. For “thousands of years” it was also widely believed and accepted that women were inferior to men. It says so in the Bible. It was entrenched in legislation. Under the British North America Act, women were not considered persons under the law. We fought back. We challenged that definition. We won the right to vote and to hold seats in the Senate. We won the right to be legally recognized as equal. Similarly, black people were only considered 4/5 of a person. They could not own land, vote, or be recognized in any legal way. The American Constitution and its “inalienable rights” did not apply to them. They fought back. They changed the definition. Is society better or worse for that? I would argue that we are better for the social sanctions of equality.
    Again, I ask how gays being allowed to marry will undermine, devalue, or weaken the institution of marriage? Shouldn’t the fact that so many people want the right to marry be an indication that marriage IS valuable? You lament the decline in the number of marriages, as well as the quality, while at the same time you support the prohibition of allowing more people to marry. Gays who are fighting for the right to marry are fighting FOR the recognition of s*xual fidelity, not against it. And I would add that heteros have done just fine in undermining s*xual fidelity within marriage, without the help of homos*xuals.
    You are right about one thing. Scrambling the definition of marriage WILL be a shock to the fundamental understanding of human relations and institutions. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. (Ohh. Look at me – a librarian, advocating for change!)How are we to progress as a people if we don’t shock our systems? It was a shock when slaves were freed. It was a shock when women could vote. It will be a shock when (not if, but when) gays can marry. And we will all be the better for it.

  104. anonymous says:

    So, OMAOW, the crux of your argument is “gay marriage should not be allowed because then people will start to believe that gay marriage is acceptable”?
    Brilliant.

  105. one man and one woman says:

    No, gay marriage should not be allowed because it is wrong.

  106. happily anonymous says:

    dear Penn Girl:
    “Research suggests that the homos*xual orientation is in place very early in the life cycle, possibly even before birth. It is found in about ten percent of the population, a figure which is surprisingly constant across cultures, irrespective of the different moral values and standards of a particular culture.” Statement on Homos*xuality, American Psychological Association, 1994-JUL.
    What do you know that the APA doesn’t know?

  107. penn girl says:

    Notice the word “suggests”?

  108. writeous says:

    “How does common sense tell you that one is a choice and the other not? Where are you getting your information from?”

    Common sense, by definition, requires no source of information.

  109. giving up all hope says:

    *sigh*

    You’re just going in circles here:
    “Gay marriage is wrong!”
    “But why?”
    “Because I don’t like it and it freaks me out!”
    “But why?”
    “Because it’s wrong!”

    This argument is more tedious than the original blog post.

  110. yet another anonymous says:

    @ writeous:
    Well, my common sense tells me that people should be treated equally and there’s nothing wrong with being gay. So, I guess I must be right? Huzzah! Bring on the gay marriage.
    Or by “common sense” do you mean “commonly-held beliefs”? They’re not one and the same, you know.

  111. jmo, mls says:

    *Negative social trends start with only a few aberrations. Gradually, however, social sanctions weaken and individual aberrations became a torrent. *

    This society is already half way down the slide into the dumpster–might as well grease the skids with whatever idiotic ideas people have left and hit bottom.

  112. writeous says:

    “Well, my common sense tells me that people should be treated equally and there’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

    My common sense tells me the same thing. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, just don’t try to get married.

  113. Anon Canadian says:

    Reading these posts makes me sick to my stomach. I would have never thought that librarians (especially those who read AL) would stoop to gay bashing. Shame on you all. Come on AL, get this blog back on track!!

  114. librarybabe says:

    “My common sense tells me the same thing. There’s nothing wrong with being gay, just don’t try to get married.”

    My common sense tells me there is definitely something wrong with being gay. They’re putting body parts in places that weren’t meant to be receptacles (exit only, if you know what I mean). That’s gross.

  115. Anonymousse says:

    “My common sense tells me there is definitely something wrong with being gay. They’re putting body parts in places that weren’t meant to be receptacles (exit only, if you know what I mean). That’s gross.” I notice you didn’t mention oral. I assume you’re okay with that one? And I know many heteros*xuals that enjoy that. To me, if both partners, gay or straight, enjoy it, then so what? Quit focusing on the s*x acts, and focus on the people as HUMANS! Or better yet, what happened to the orginial discussion about libraries?

  116. Anonymousse says:

    penn girl, yes research “suggests”. But where is the research supporting your beliefs? Until I see research “suggesting” otherwise, I tend to lean toward believing gay is not a choice. I mean, seriously who would CHOOSE to put up with mean-spirited people like you?

  117. penn girl says:

    The people who choose to be gay are lashing out at society – sort of like the people who dye their hair purple, but taking it to another level.

    When I was in college, there was the whole LUG group (L*sbian Until Graduation). They were just doing it because they thought it made them look rebellious. And it worked – they got a lot of attention.

  118. Jim Rettig says:

    “Reading these posts makes me sick to my stomach. I would have never thought that librarians (especially those who read AL) would stoop to gay bashing.”

    Sometimes it’s healthy to hear opinions that are different than ours. I don’t agree with much of the anti-gay-marriage talk but I’m not going to stick my head in the sand and think that the “typical librarian” way of thinking is the only thing worth listening to.

  119. soren faust says:

    jmo, mls: you must be reading Revelations again. The End is Nigh!

  120. Anonymousse says:

    “The people who choose to be gay are lashing out at society – sort of like the people who dye their hair purple, but taking it to another level.” Your understanding of gays and mine differ completely. At my college, the GBLT group were not lashing out against society. They just wanted to live their own lives without ridicule. Several years after college, they are still gay. It is not a phase. It is not rebellion. It is “normal” (if one could actually define normal) for them. Have you actually talked with someone about their experiences with society? And really listened?

  121. Mr. Kat Imposter says:

    Librarianship as a profession presents peculiar problems to the gay situation because of gender dynamics within the field. Like nursing, social work, elementary school teaching and other “feminized” professions with which it is identified, in the United States, librarianship since 1890 has been 78 to 90 per cent female. Added to the pressures felt by heteros*xual male librarians to conform to a corporate, “masculine” stereotype, gay librarians and their employers often feel compelled to closet gay issues and gay identity in the workplace.

    Over 86 percent of a national sample of male ALA members identified the prevailing male librarian stereotype as gay, and other male librarians feel that large numbers of male librarians actually are gay. This study does not support the claim that most male librarians are gay, and in fact the sample approximated the proportion of gay men in the society at large, roughly 8 to 12 per cent. The corollary assumption that a large number of lesbians occupy the field has never been raised, much less tested, witness to the fact that women are discounted in librarianship, even as a suspect minority.

    While the ALA Code of Ethics would seem to require strict neutrality of professional conduct with respect to discrimination against clients and client information requests, evidence suggests that many public libraries fail to collect gay titles or pertinent information about AIDS. Librarians have backed down in recent years from defending controversial gay titles to public library and school boards in order to save their jobs.

    The profession’s general denial about the importance of gay issues surfaced in a rather ugly way in 1992 when some ALA members attacked the national journal American Libraries for publishing a cover photo of gays and lesbians marching on the Gay Day Parade in San Francisco-a practice that gay and lesbian libraries have exercised regularly since 1970, since annual conferences usually coincide with National Gay Pride Day in July. Only some of the arguments used to criticize the photograph during the following months were religious, but even those whose attacks that were professional in nature were couched in the misused myth of librarian “neutrality” borrowed from reference interview literature -a false argument in any case, since the existence of the ALA Social Responsibilities Round Table negates any claim to neutrality. Somewhat disingenuously, these writers ignored the postmodernist view that neutrality itself represents a definite point of view. Professional neutrality also had been used as an argument in the Civil Rights era to deny service to blacks in the Jim Crow South, until ALA prohibited segregated meetings in 1964.

    As for the place of lesbian and gay literature in the library, it goes without saying that the works of lesbian and gay writers occupy a central place in the canon of many cultures (hence in the library), although as late as 1984 extremists like supporters of North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms unsuccessfully tried to purge the works of Plato, Shakespeare, Walt Whitman, Andre Gide from the library at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and called for the dismissal of suspected lesbian and gay faculty members in the university system.

    The current edge of the gay/lesbian controversy centers on youth. The most challenged children/young adult titles in recent years have all concerned gay or lesbian themes: an adolescent lesbian crush (Annie on My Mind, 1982) and children of gay parents (Daddy’s Roommate, 1990; Heather Has Two Mommies, 1989) indicating not only the volatility of the subject of homos*xuality in environments where minors and their parents predominate, but the refusal of a vocal minority of U.S. citizens to allow promulgation of positive gay images. While the national association’s Office of Intellectual Freedom has regularly reported these cases in a timely manner to the membership, the association’s hands are tied except as an amicus curiae, since the organization will lose its tax-exempt status as a party to any case.

    It’s clear that the librarian profession has a long ways to go.

  122. Mr. Kat says:

    I’m shocked. I actually had to work today, so I haven’t been here for the last 8 hours. I am here now. My last post was addressed to webbygrl, and in that time something incredible occured. While one anonymous source has made short quick post what amounts to a p*ssing in the ocean, my more respectible imposter has chosen the high road. This person has politely differentiated itself from me and further spoken what is indeed intelligent. I am doubly taken, astounded; shocked. Double kudos to you, whoever you are!!

    Some thoughts occured to me at work as I thought this over. I have really mind numbing work, which means I can think as dep as I want about anything for eight whole hours and still get my work done and at 13 an hour too. It’s a temp job, but it’s really not so bad with this economy slump. I’ll share those thoughts now.

    It occured to me that webbygrl was watching a TV show about making curtains. Somewhere in that show, they showed the bed – and webbygrl instantly thought about the gay couple having s-x in the bed. There were not gay men in that bed having s-x, but webbygrl put htem ther doing it. The show, menawhile, continued on about how to make frilly little curtains. Now please tell me who the real perverts here are!!!

    It is a choice to think about things in terms of perversion. One part of growing up and becoming an adult is to leave adolescent perversion behind for a more mature, adult understanding. it is clear to me now that we are losing our values not by dilution or by redefinition but by a lack of maturity by our adults!

    I may not agree with you on how you choose to live, but I will be damned to surrender one inch of soil for anyone trying to stamp on your right to make that choice!

    I suggest everybody goes back and reviews the constitution, the bill of rights, and those words written by our founding fathers. I dare you to go one step further and compare it to the norm of that time. [The "normal" of any time period is the "conservative" position, as the conservative position fights to keep everything just as it is because everything is already perfect. If you do so, you will find that our goverment is based some of the most radically left philosophy ever advanced by a group of humans.

    We are not a "majority rules" country - otherwise we would be a straight democracy. Instead, our founding fathers had the insight to give every person the same "weight" - and thus, we have the electoral college, which theoretically gives the little people an equal footing. Thus, we are an Equality Rules" nation, where the rules are written to maximize personal freedom of EVERYBODY - Not Just The Majority!

    And as it was once said: "the one thing we have discovered about common sense is that it really is not as common as we thoguht it was."

    What makes YOU RIGHT? [and them wrong?]

    I only ask that you think about it.

  123. Mr. Kat says:

    And as I leave, another thoguht worth sharing just occured to me: This fight over Homos-xual issues has plagued the library science field in a crippling manner over the past couple of decades and that infighting has disjointed to the point that we are unable to fight together for meaningful things like job security, better pay, or anything that might actually make that “Job Shortage” the ALA hypes up meaningful.

    Our fights about collection development issues a few months back centered around nearly identical material. Perhaps it is time we as librarians picked up the ALA BoR and CoE and actually read them for what they are worth and stopped trying to interject our own moral ethic into our community libraries?

    Until then we’re just a pack of rabid wild raptors fighting over a dead Apatosaurus in the shadow if a huge falling rock.

  124. soren faust says:

    Mr. Kat, don’t be fooled by your Imposter’s “intelligence.” The f”k-faces are simply cutting and pasting someone else’s intellectual work as their own under the guise as yourself. In this case, the last “comment” was a plagerized one that came from the essay written by one of my library school professors, Jim Charmichael, entitled, Homosxuality and United States libraries: Land of the free, but not home to the g*y” published from the IFLA Conference, 1998, under the heading of “Professional and Gender Dimensions”. See for yourself… just look it up on Google, cause this poorarse excuse of a journal can’t even allow postings of links.

  125. Mr. Kat says:

    You know, soren…

    Keeping us honest, aye?

    But I’m not too shocked about that – seeing as how this face doesn’t have the creative ability to get their own name, it isn’t all too unsurprising they cannot get their own arguements – or at least post the citations for the aruguements with their long but properly HTML formatted posts.

    I am still quite happy with the Decision this person made to differentiate themselves from me. And they at elast posted meaningful posts on the subject – even if it was NOT the topic we were SUPPOSED to be discussin, no?

    I agree with you about this comment interface. For a journal in the IRLS field it is simply grittable. But I should not be surprised – in Library school we learned a lot about simple basic HTML, but the complicated stuff was only one or two classes and even then not near enough to help Information Professionals like us to properly engage the Twopointopian Culture!!!

  126. soren faust says:

    We share an aversion to the faceless flatterers but I can’t lay the technical shortcomings at the lap of LJ. It is AL who agreed to come on board, knowing in advance the problems with this venue. Let’s just hope for a course correction in the near future.

  127. Frogger says:

    So the mighty Mr. Kat has not figured out a way to work his mighty intellect into more than a 13-dollar-per-hour job. Funny how the biggest blowhards are usually the ones making the smallest contribution to society.

  128. Mr. Kat says:

    Frogger, I am in the mining inductry right now. I’m just lucky to have work. I looked for other work and in this area $13 an hour is higher then a good 85% of all the jobs currently being offered. But it was so much nicer a month ago when I was still with the Project. Basically everything was paid for. Very Very nice.

    But a repetivie job such as mine is perfect for intellectual thinking. it is all I can do all day, because my body is trapped doing a very simple task [but contents of each run are sooooo sweet to look at!! Metal al-naturale!!!!] so I am not concerned with financial gain at this point.

    I could be working in a Library right now. a menail PL job pool pays 7 an hour for part time “take what you can get” hours. Then the good library jobs here pay between 8 and 11, and that is if you have the MLS. I interviewed for such a job, and wow was there some competition! SOMEBODY really got taken there!! Because you see, in that job both my body AND my mind would be enslaved to their whip! I just make 3-5 dollars an hour more, and have full mental freedom!

    The real breadwinner is my GF. Holy Mother!

    As I see it, many of the great philosophers and other literary greats who have been remembered through the ges were to put it short, failures by Rat-race terms, and yet they have beaten out nearly all the rat racers in the long term. Descartes, Dickenson, Poe, So on and So forth. So I do not measure my contribution by how much society is paying me. Indeed, my greatest contribution to society may come to frutation only after three generations of death after my death!

    But in truth, You , I, and 99.9% of the rest of the people on this planet will be completely forgotten after only three generations have come to age. Take a stroll thorugh a grave yard sometime – and ask yourself just who all these people are, who knows them, and just what they mean now. Whatever they are, they are all absolutely nothing now.

  129. Mr. Kat says:

    Soren, the Goths will leave Rome just as soon as the Vermouth runs out. ;)

  130. Mr. Kat says:

    And the pilgrims will leave the holy land just as soon as I have something meaningful to say.

  131. soren faust says:

    Sorry Mr. Kat, but even I have to admit that comparing yourself to “Descartes, Dickenson, Poe, So on and So forth” is a bit much.

  132. Ex. Lib. says:

    This thread off a thread has started generating more heat than light, as has happened before AL moved to LJ. It’s like
    an unmoderated ‘McLaughlin Group’ episode, crossed with “WWF Smackdown” and “Jerry Springer”, only without Jerry onstage. After reading this may I suggest a pro-mud wrestling tournament sponsored by ALA-SRRT at a future ALA gathering. It would probably be about as
    intellectually stimulating as one of their regular sessions. :-/

  133. Detached Amusement says:

    “So I do not measure my contribution by how much society is paying me. Indeed, my greatest contribution to society may come to frutation only after three generations of death after my death!

    But in truth, You , I, and 99.9% of the rest of the people on this planet will be completely forgotten after only three generations have come to age. Take a stroll thorugh a grave yard sometime – and ask yourself just who all these people are, who knows them, and just what they mean now. Whatever they are, they are all absolutely nothing now.”
    Which is why I woke up one day and left the PL arena and became a writer, having nothing further to do with librarianship.

  134. formerly 'Mr Kat Imposter' says:

    This is getting out of control. There are clearly more than one Mr Kat’s, and even more than one Mr Kat Imposters. I apologize for the first few “imposter” posts on this thread. The last one – the plagiarized one – was not me. And I’ll admit, I had trouble thinking of a witty display name other than anonymous so I took the easy way out and jumped on the bandwagon of using the names of ubiquitous posters on this blog. Something I will never do again. I appreciate that you at least thought some of the comments were well-thought out. Soren Faust, I’ve always come close to agreeing with most of your opinions and your humour, and despite needing to remain anonymous right now, I don’t want you to think that I’m a f*ck face who plagiarized your friend. You may have noticed that the most recent Mr Kat Imposter post was dramatically different from the previous ones. I assure you – those were all my own thoughts and words. For whatever that’s worth.

  135. WebbyGrl says:

    Wow…
    Hey Mr. Kat, until you have a grandaughter that is a product of a turkey baster, why don’t you STFU.

    And for those heteros who are committed and want a child and need the assistance of artificial incimination, God bless you and you are in my prayers for a healthy conception.

  136. soren faust says:

    Apology accepted. When will this blog be updated to prevent imposters? My name means everything to me.

  137. soren faust says:

    OK thanks for trying.

  138. Webbygrl says:

    Foolishness! When is it going to stop?!?

  139. rump daddy says:

    Foolishness! When is it going to stop?!?

    Are you talking about the bailout? Or the global warming nonsense?

  140. anonymous says:

    No blog should allow posts that permit feigning identities. Posts should either be flagged anonymous or tied to a validated identity or pseudonym that is exclusively associated with a particular account. To do otherwise presents a risk to the blog host. LJ should find the current state of affairs unacceptable. Perhaps if someone at LJ were to bring the matter to the attenion of their GC, they might be persuaded to do something. Of course, they also might decide that it is AL that is not worth the risk.

  141. soren faust says:

    anonymous, I completely agree with you. This is an unacceptable situation and AL/LJ needs to do something about it. I’ve been as well as others have been the target of Imposters and if it continues this blog will die real quick, which, I suppose, is the reason why these trolls are doing this.

  142. publib says:

    Blogger does all that. Why did this blog ever move from Blogger?

  143. Library Cynic says:

    When this blog moved from Blogger to LJ, it sacrificed quality for cash. Typical corporate compromise.

  144. Jess Bruckner says:

    I have to admit I only read this blog from time to time (sorry, I’m a big fan of sarcasm), but I when I logged in today I found this post utterly amazing.

    The post was “libraries should be run by charities.” Boy, did you folks get off track in a hurry. Are we in high school again?

    AL, you should just throw everyone for a loop and write one awe-inspiring, positive post that bewilders people who always expect you to be “annoyed”, and boosts morale during these difficult financial times for most of us. A post like this has to be in you…so write it already.

  145. getreal says:

    Why not write it yourself? Why wait for someone else to provide the inspiration?

  146. Jess Bruckner says:

    Getreal:

    Mr. Dude or Madaam Dude,

    I do write inspiration articles. I am a public librarian (by choice and profession), and my most recent inspirational article will be published in the upcoming WAPL (Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries) newsletter. You can read once it’s published here:

    www(dot)wla.lib.wi.us/wapl/

    I’m not digging on the AL. But I will digg on how sour these comments have turned. By chance did you post your real name? Sorry, but I’m not afraid of Google hits.

    With that being said, I believe there is a remarkably positive, profession-inspiring post within the AL, and I believe the time is now for her/him to write it. If you have a voice, and people listen, why waste it?

  147. getreal says:

    I realize it’s hard to get a bigger audience than the Wisconsin Association of Public Libraries newsletter, but maybe you can share some of your inspirational writing with us, here in a public forum read by dozens of readers. If you have a voice, we’re ready to listen. Why limit it to Wisconsin public librarians? We could all certainly use some inspiration right about now.

  148. Auntie Nanuuq says:

    When is this personalized crap going to stop? When will you so called “Professional Librarians” begin to act in a professional manner? When are you going to keep your comments pertinent to the topic AL has written? Sheesh…how embarrassing!

  149. Personal LIbrarian says:

    Auntie Nanuuq, ah…you’re right. We should just discount the personal and live an entirely professional life just like AL wants it. Thanks for the advise.

  150. Jim Ryan from Atlanta says:

    When is this personalized crap going to stop?

    Obama is working on that as we speak.

  151. Library Cynic says:

    The last post attributed to me was by an impostor. If anything, this thread has shown how far behind the curve this web site is. AL doesn’t necessarily write to “inspire”, but rather to make one THINK about a subject. Inspirational pep talks have gotten the field to where it is [not meant as a compliment]. The dry rot has taken some time to develope. It’s time some people woke up.

  152. Detached Amusement says:

    AL must be sleeping off a night of martinis and wild abandon. This has gotten WAY off target. Not only that but we have alleged “professionals” posting it. Maybe they’ve been hitting the spiked egg nog early.

  153. AL says:

    It’s called a four-day weekend.

  154. Library Cynic says:

    The previous post using my name was committed by an imposter. I’m a cynic but I would never use a term like dry rot to describe my profession.

  155. Mr. Kat says:

    The opposition to gay marriage is usually just a smokescreen. Most of the homophobia revolves around the feared consequences of increased gay rights.

    One is the issue of recruitment. The fear of recruitment is baseless because it is based on a false premise – that gay people recruit straight people to become gay. We don’t. We don’t recruit because we know from our own experience that s*xual orientation is inborn, and can’t be changed. Indeed, the attempts by psychologists, counselors and religious therapy and support groups to change s*xual orientation have all uniformly met with failure – the studies that have been done of these attempts at “therapeutic” intervention have never been shown to have any statistically significant results in the manner intended, and most have been shown to have emotionally damaging consequences.

    So the notion that someone can be changed from straight to gay is just as unlikely. Yet there remains that deep, dark fear that somehow, someone might get “recruited.” And that baseless fear is often used by bigots to scare people into opposing gay rights in general, as well as gay marriage.

    The core cause of this fear is the result of the fact that many homophobes, including most virulent, violent homophobes are themselves repressed s*xually, often with same s*x attractions. One of the recent studies done at the University of Georgia among convicted killers of gay men has shown that the overwhelmingly large percentage of them (more than 70%) exhibit s*xual arousal when shown scenes of gay s*x. The core fear, then, for the homophobe is that he himself might be gay, and might be forced to face that fact. The homophobia can be as internalized as it is externalized – bash the qu**r and you don’t have to worry about being aroused by him.

  156. All Hail Lucifer says:

    The previous comment from “Mr. Kat” is plagerized from this Web site: www(dot)bidstrup(dot)com/marriage(dot)htm Under, G^y Marriage: The Arguments and Motives, subheading “They Recruit”

  157. Mr. Kat says:

    It appears as though my imposter is incapable of original thoughts. He/she sounds like a good candidate for a public library director position.

  158. Mr. Kat says:

    Both the Plagarized post AND the rebunking posts were mad eby imposters.

    Cynic, I agree with you. There’s no less then three Mr. Kat imposters at this moment, combined with a number of imposters who are no doubt puppetmastered by the same individuals. They have added great length to this blog by simply having us argue agains tourselves. It’s amusing and then bemusing at times.

  159. Mr. Kat says:

    This is getting ridiculous. The previous post was also not made by me. If this situation isn’t resolved soon, I’ll take my thoughts elsewhere.

  160. Mr. Kat says:

    Whoooo hoo!!! I’ll be one Imposter less!!!

    hardy har har har Merry Christmass!!!

  161. Mr. Kat says:

    I need some kind of birth control for imposters. They’re multiplying like rabbits.

  162. Library Cynic says:

    The last post attributed to me was by an impostor. I wonder when LJ is going to see if they can get beer ads for this blog? A first, admitted, but the way things are headed here……

  163. glamazon says:

    This is totally ridiculous. A)Hatred is hatred. You’re homophobic if you think people shouldn’t be allowed to be themselves in front of closed doors. B) We shouldn’t even be talking about this, as this is supposed to be a discussion about library models C) AL clearly had nothing of note to say other than to be defensive about where she/he’s been for four days D) Anyone on this board that is against freedoms of any kind has no right to be a librarian.

  164. librarydude says:

    So anybody who’s against freedom to kill children has no right to be a librarian?

  165. bejeezuz says:

    I haven’t even finished your article, but was compelled to write that this is the most sensible thing I have read about libraries in the longest time. There IS NO profit model. There IS NO incentive/disincentive re: profit model. Libraries close because of economic crises. You’re right, and everyone else is wrong. I feel validated that my job is somewhat ridiculous. Thank you, and I mean that sincerely because I have often felt that way and was made to feel like I was doing something wrong. I am right, you are right… and everyone else has their collective head up the ass.

  166. amh says:

    What really annoys me are the articles I read comparing the public library (negatively) to Barnes & Noble. Hello? We could buy comfy chairs too if we SOLD our books!