Annoyed Librarian
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ALA Responsible for Every Society on Earth!

I’m sure glad I’m not on the ALA Council, if in fact I’m not on the ALA Council. (I just checked the roster and am pretty sure I didn’t see "Annoyed Librarian" on it, so I think I’m safe.) It’s not that there aren’t many fine people on Council. I can’t think of any at the moment, but there must be. It’s that the Council is constantly subjected to the political harangues of people in the Regressive Librarians Guild. The RLG librarians just love to harass people who don’t agree with them. If you, for example, think that the American Library Association shouldn’t take stands on political issues that have nothing to do with American libraries, the regressive librarians start attacking you as a "conservative" or "fascist" or whatever other nonsense pops into their heads. These people are so wacky they think anyone who isn’t a Marxist is a fascist, and they really hate it when people point out how ridiculous they look, marching around in their drab grey clothes singing the Internationale.

For a while they quieted down. I’m not sure if I had anything to do with it, but there was a correlation between a year or so of my publicly mocking them and picking apart their pitiful arguments and the radical wing of the ALA Council retreating into the shadows for a while. But, fortunately for me, they’re back.

If you read the ALA Inside Scoop blog (and it’s so riveting I don’t know how you can resist), you’ll have seen this report on the last session of Council. Here’s the relevant passage on the latest irrelevant resolution:

"During the International Relations Committee report delivered by chair Beverly Lynch, Councilor Al Kagan urged that we cannot achieve peace and stop the destruction of libraries and cultural institutions in Gaza without changing the policies of the U.S. government. A resolution on the connection between the recent Gaza conflict and libraries was introduced and the perpetual debate ensued: Is it the Association’s role to insinuate itself into international affairs? Councilor Elaine Harger argued that peace is a library issue, just as civil rights was in the 1960s, and Executive Board member Larry Romans cited ALA policy related to the Association’s social responsibilities.

With limited opposition, the resolution then passed, calling for ‘the protection of libraries and archives in Gaza and Israel’ and urging the U.S. government ‘to support the United States Committee of the Blue Shield in upholding the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.’ It also ‘calls on the U.S. government to continue working for a permanent peace in the region.’"

I have to hand it to the regressive librarians. They’re at least trying to make their irrelevant resolutions sound like they have something to do with libraries. Their previous arguments such as the one claiming that it was crucial for American libraries that Samuel Alito shouldn’t be confirmed for the Supreme Court were just plain stupid. There’s no other way to describe them. Councilors who voted for these things were either as willing to have the ALA look like a ridiculous mouthpiece for blowhards as the regressive librarians or they were so beaten down by the constant badgering of the regressives that they caved in just to shut them up. Either way, the ALA looks silly.

This time they are at least talking about libraries, just not American libraries. But then again, the regressives aren’t interested in American libraries. They’re interested in US policy and international politics – which I grant are much more interesting topics than American libraries. From the report, we can see the real interest: "changing the policies of the US government." That’s what we need to do to "achieve peace." How is this relevant? Oh yeah, to prevent the destruction of all those libraries in Gaza. Are there any American libraries in Gaza? Somehow I don’t think so, but then again no one really cares about that. What really matters is opposing Israel, and all this talk of libraries is just a red herring.

And look at the supposedly supporting argument. "Peace is a library issue, just as civil rights was in the 1960s." Huh? This is relevant how, exactly? Even if the civil rights argument was relevant, aren’t we talking about civil rights in America? Of course we are. And what’s the connection between American civil rights disputes forty years ago and peace in Gaza now? What am I missing? Obviously I’m missing nothing because there is no connection. It’s just a foolish argumentative ploy so that if anyone voted against the irrelevant resolution about Gaza the regressives could talk about how they also oppose civil rights.Oooh, scary!

Don’t forget to note the citation of ALA policy "related to the Association’s social responsibilities," policy that was added years ago after heated harangues by the regressive librarians and used to justify the ALA Council passing resolutions on any irrelevant political topic that comes along. It’s good to know that the ALA not only has "social responsibilities" for American society, but for every society in the world, except Cuba of course. The ALA is such an amazing, powerful, and all-knowing body that I just can’t understand why the rest of the world ignores their resolutions. I’m just assuming everyone ignores them. Perhaps after this resolution, libraries in Gaza are safe, and the Palestinians will say, "Thank you, ALA Council! You’ve saved our libraries!"

Now before you get your radical panties in a twist, I’ll state for the record that I don’t think libraries in Gaza should be destroyed, if that’s what you’re thinking. You’d have to be pretty doltish to think anyone opposed to this resolution thinks that, but I don’t put anything past the regressives. However, it’s eminently clear this has absolutely nothing to do with American libraries or the ALA’s alleged "social responsibilities" and everything to do with the regressive librarians getting the ALA Council to be a mouthpiece for their politics. If they tried to pass a resolution against Hamas firing rockets into Israel (which might destroy libraries, after all) or refusing to recognize Israel’s right to exist (which also exacerbates conflict), I’d be shocked speechless, but would still be opposed. But we all know that won’t happen.

Since the resolution passed "with limited opposition," once again the ALA Council is a regressive librarian tool. All hail the revolution.



  1. Henry Kissinger says:

    So, nu?

  2. rumpkilla says:

    I would only care about the ALA if they could cover the Cardinal wide receivers on Sunday. GO STEELERS!

  3. Irked librarian-to-be says:

    If you do a quick Google search for “Gaza libraries,” you’ll find an ALA story from February 2008 that says:

    The Hamas government of the Palestinian Authority has arrested several suspects in the recent bombing of the YMCA library in Gaza City. According to the February 22 Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam, the suspects were members of the militant Army of Islam, which has claimed responsibility for the 2007 kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston and the 2006 capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who remains a hostage.

    Evidently the Army of Islam was in the library-destruction business before Israel.

  4. Straight Arrow says:

    ALA passing resolutions on peace in the middle east!! What a demonstration of the relevance of libraries and librarians to the common man. What I want to know is why ALA isn’t protecting camels in Gaza, too.

  5. unilingual librarian says:


    Pro tip: don’t base a professional argument on an article with a made up word in the title…

  6. Libraryland resident says:

    I always thought the libraryland was a place – perhaps just a place in my heart (aww).
    I love your commentary on ALA.

  7. It does harm having a plethora of weak pronouncements. It hurts the ALA’s credibility and relevance. But I can see how it helps ALA member’s morale having these non-library related resolutions. If passing social responsibility statements makes ALA members feel good, maybe it is OK passing these silly things. It can distract them from the stuff ALA does not do for us.

  8. AlwaysWanter2B says:

    AL, I was worried about you and your relevance, but you are back. You go Girl!

  9. Auntie Nanuuq says:

    What I want to know is….

    How were the bookcart drill teams? Who won the event, anything new & exciting there?

  10. That’s what I like about librarians — writing a letter to get AL censored by LJ because AL says nasty things about librarians. If AL would just pick on those poor hick Christians, there would be no outcry, but start in on the Left Side of Nowhere and you better watch out!

  11. ConsfusedByItAll says:

    I thought libraries wanted all voices heard? At least that’s what they pretend in their begging “please vote for the levy” letters…

    a lie, I know…some librarians are the most intolerant people I’ve ever met. Working there — I know I better keep my mouth shut and my political opinions to myself (even when there’s an open discussion going on) if I want to keep my job.

  12. librarydude says:

    I thought libraries wanted all voices heard?

    No, just those with something interesting to say. Based on this blog, there aren’t very many of those.

  13. one gin and one vodka says:

    Now, come on, librarydude, you know as well as I do, that one example does not represent the whole. Have you ever considered a course in Logic?

  14. librarydude says:

    Suggesting that someone take a course in logic shows a lack of the basic principles that would be taught in the course.

  15. AZ in the house says:

    You might be surprised to find that Ben Rothlessburger is gay. Go CARDINALS!!!!

  16. Pole Dancers Rock says:

    I once “knew” an escort by the name of Gaza Strip. She really knew how to arrange a peace accord, if you know what I mean.

  17. Blago, The Ex Gov. says:

    Let’s focus, PEOPLE!

    For heaven’s sakes, please return to the most important things we do as a profession: Bookcart Races and ”

  18. one truth and one fallacy says:

    librarydude is wrong once again. You need a course in inductive logic because your reasoning is fallacious.

  19. librarydude says:

    If you find anyone offering a course in common sense, go ahead and sign up.

  20. one two and one three says:

    I majored in common sense and that’s why I am trying to help you. Please heed my advise and register for a logic course, particularly in inductive reasoning. I think you’ll be glad you did.

  21. one more and one less says:

    Dear Mr. Librarydude,

    I find it most pleasurable writing to you during this specific, nanosecondary moment of the day, I am Miss Sonia Oba, the Personal Assistance To The Director of Logic, to the Vice Director of Illogical Abominations, to the Co-Chairman and Librarian-in-Charge of Illogical Eradication and “Illicit Drugs Kept In Company Secret Vault where we deposit such items”, among other novel elements of disjecta membra.

    I understand you’re interested in our Great Courses in Logic. I would personally like to extend a warm greeting to you on your new endeavor. The first logical step for you to take is to send a check for a great, but undisclosed amount to us at 419 Nigerian Lane, Nigeria.

    We wait with much anticipation to get you started on your new life with Logic® It’s Magic!

  22. librarydude says:

    Thank you for the offer but I already possess more logic than any course, or series of courses, could teach. My logic is complemented nicely by an enourmous amount of intelligence, humility, and discretion. Perhaps some of the knuckleheads on this blog will take advantage of your offer.

  23. Heinz Warde says:

    I just heard that Ben Rothlisburger has a broken rib and won’t be at full speed on Sunday. The Cardinals are going to pull the greatest upset in Super Bowl history!

  24. Steel Curtain says:

    Don’t believe the hype! Big Ben will be ready and the Steelers will win their sixth title, more than any other pro franchise.

  25. “It’s good to know that the ALA not only has “social responsibilities” for American society, but for every society in the world, except Cuba of course.”

    Thank you AL for the Cuba mention.

  26. Inigo Montoya says:

    My logic is complemented nicely by an enourmous amount of intelligence, humility, and discretion.

    You use that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

  27. The comments for the blogs have become irrelevant. Are librarians this immature? I don’t want to read comments about sports, which has nothing to do with AL’s blog. It’s not even funny anymore. Give it up–the posters, not AL.

  28. Vegans For Meat says:

    In a world gone mad where inane commenting has become that status quo, a voice of reason pierces the darkness and brings forth a light hitherto unknown to the blogging world of AL. That voice is “grow up!”

  29. librarydude says:

    You use that word, but I do not think it means what you think it means.

    Something tells me this isn’t the first time that you’ve been wrong.

  30. one homo-sapien and one quadruped says:

    I’m glad to know that librarydude keeps a 24/7 watch on this blog. Nothing gets past him for long.

  31. Bjorn Borg says:

    Nadal and Federer are about to play for the first time ever in an Australian Open. I’m going to pull an all-nighter to watch this one. I hope it’s worth it.

  32. Dan Kleinman of says:

    AlwaysWanter2B commented: “AL, I was worried about you and your relevance, but you are back. You go Girl!”

    The AL is always relevant, but this particular blog post is exceptional.

    The AL exposes yet another reason why the ALA should lose its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, and I quote, “regressive librarians getting the ALA Council to be a mouthpiece for their politics.”

  33. going to hollywood says:

    Does anyone know if there are more preliminary rounds on American Idol or do they start the Hollywood rounds this week? Thanks.

  34. one touchdown and one field goal says:

    Interesting or not, it’s still an offensive tactic to denigrate the legitimacy of a blog until it completely loses favor. I personally think sports talk is boring, but I don’t think it’s wrong, per se. It’s just irrelevant to this blog, which is about librarians. Just admit it, and you’ll be fine.

    Carry on. I don’t even think the AL really gives a shyte, honestly. She’s getting paid.

  35. LiterateLibraryDude says:

    I agree with the ALAs call for Middle East peace and for all sides to respect libraries and their cultural holdings. I also agree with AL that the ALA should not be involved in this issue…its members can be involved but the organization should be urging the government to change its policy toward Israel.

    With all that said, I was curious as to what forms of retaliation the RLG librarians engage in when you disagree with them on issues such as this?

  36. LiterateLibraryDude says:

    In my comment above it should be “but the organization should NOT be urging the government…” Due to a typing error, I missed the “not”.

  37. scary monsters says:

    The RLG likes to think it ignores the AL, but in fact is appalled by this blog and continues to attack it, as evidenced by John Buschman’s letter to the editor of LJ condemning it for hosting the AL. Apparently, the AL continues to strike a nerve.

  38. Now the PFD sets in. That stands for Post Football Depression. It’s a clinical illness that reoccurs at the beginning of every February and doesn’t go away until September. I need something to fill that void in my life. Maybe the whining librarians on this blog will do it – naaaaaah.

  39. National Fungus League says:

    I heard the best cure for PFD is coma. Have you considered this option? Oh, wait, scatch that: it’s a coma that you’re supposed to be in during football season. Hmm. Sorry, it seems you’re out of options.

  40. You must be referring to the study that says the best cure for listening to whining librarians is a coma. The football sensation that seems like a coma is actually peaceful bliss.

  41. Walt Lessun says:

    Please spell Roethlisberger correctly. You are librarians and the Steelers won.

  42. Gotta love this–from the “Libraryland” letter to the editor:

    “First and foremost, among the points to address is the notion of intellectual freedom as a right, coupled with anonymous speech holding a similar status. Without repeating the long history here, intellectual freedom is our field’s version of academic freedom – not a “right” but rather a hard fought space or zone of freewheeling inquiry and exchange in the academy (and thus in libraries) that tenure is meant to protect (see Buschman and Rosenzweig, 1999 and Buschman, 2006). In other words, intellectual freedom is a variant also meant to protect open, public exchange in the interests of an open society and democracy. Intellectual freedom as a pillar of support for anonymous speech – particularly the attack-mode variety – is thus a shaky foundation.”

    Intellectual freedom isn’t a right? Oh, excuse me–a “right”?

  43. contrarian says:

    The libraries are fair military targets by Israel if Hamas rocket launchers were near them.

  44. Hamas shoots its rockets and mortars randomly, hoping any Israeli, no matter what his or her age is, gets zapped! At least one such rocket landed steps away from the entrance to Israel’s Sderot Public Library, resulting in a library patron’s injury and hospitalization.

  45. Correction: two library patrons were injured and hospitalized.

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