Sunday, July 04, 2004

ALA Non-Partisanship in Action

As if hosting a showing of Fahrenheit 9/11 at last week's American Library Association annual conference wasn't enough, ALA's keynote speaker was none other than embittered anti-Bush former bureaucrat Richard Clarke. If you want proof, you can read ALA's conference newsletter. Be forewarned, the files themselves are slow-loading PDFs. The Monday, June 28 issue has the details on Clarke's talk. Apparently, John Kerry and Ted Kennedy must have had previous engagements.

I was toying with the idea of perhaps rejoining ALA next year, but so much for that. It's not that I want ALA to reflect my political views, I don't want it to reflect any political perspective. It is a professional, allegedly non-partisan organization, in fact the major association in my profession. It should be able to address issues of importance to libraries and librarians from a principled position of authority. Instead, the aging 60's radicals and raving Chomskyites who play the major role in ALA have succeeded in turning the association into a vehicle for their personal politics. By the time I let my membership expire a year ago, American Libraries read like the Nation with an occasional article about cataloging thrown in.

I'm done with it. Not being involved in ALA may hurt me professionally, but I don't care. If I have to, I'll join the Special Libraries Association, where I can keep up professionally without having someone else's politics shoved down my throat, or offered up on my behalf whether I like it or not.


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