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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

West Bend not the only ones UNinvited to ALA Convention

Well, well, well. Deju vu.

"Perhaps it is time for all the librarians to get their heads out of their books to digest, and then practice, some of the solid information therein.

Many librarians are now at the American Library Association (ALA) convention where a panel informing librarians on aspects of ethnic diversity has been canceled because a speaker's views were. . .too diverse for the other panelists!



According to this / report in the Washington Times , three of the four speakers scheduled to speak as part of a panel, "Perspectives on Islam: Beyond Stereotyping" canceled because they disapproved of the fourth speaker, Robert Spencer.

"While I heartily endorse the principles of free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are part of the ALA mission, the way in which this information session about Islam and Muslims ... was modified and politicized at the last moment raises serious concerns about the integrity of the session," she (panelist Marcia Hermanson) said.

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It appears the free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are a part of the ALA mission are only those that agree with the ALA. Free indeed.

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"While I heartily endorse the principles of free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are part of the ALA mission, the way in which this information session about Islam and Muslims ... was modified and politicized at the last moment raises serious concerns about the integrity of the session," she said.

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"He starts from the point of view that Islam is evil. I don't see the need to debate that."

Mr. Spencer challenged that interpretation of his views in an e-mail to The Times.

"Terrorists use the texts and teachings of Islam to make recruits among peaceful Muslims, and to justify their war against the United States and the West. I explore how they do it," he said.

And that just might be too much for the ALA. After all this is the same organization which campaigned against the Patriot Act allowing the FBI, after jumping through a few hoops, to trace who searched for terrorist instructions on library computers. And at an earlier convention, they hosted a Hugo Chavez apologist and refused to help their beleaguered counterparts in Cuba from Fidel Castro but opposed US sanctions against Cuba."

15 comments:

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

First, no one from West Bend was "UNinvited" to the ALA. You asked to be allowed to participate in a panel, and they refused. That's something entirely different.

Second, your statement that "the free expression and diversity of viewpoints that are a part of the ALA mission are only those that agree with the ALA" is completely mispaced here. This has nothing to do the ALA not agreeing with the speaker's views, but rather the other panelists objecting to the addition of a new speaker. Your criticism should be targeted at those speakers, not the ALA.

Third, what does this post have to do with Michael Tyree, Barbara Deters, or Mayor Kristine Deiss, whose names you have used to tag the entry?

Anonymous said...

This blog is increasingly becoming a larger and larger waste of time.

Ginny really needs to learn how to better communicate. Her message is there, but she keeps screwing herself over with her presentation.

And everyone else is more than happy to hop in and point big neon signs at semantics like using the word "UNinvited" instead of simply saying "I wasnt allowed to attend a panel I probably shouldnt have asked to be a part of anyway."

This is absolute silliness.

Ginny, to a large extent, support your views. But you are severely hurting "the cause" with every single blog post you make.

If you care at all about this topic, you should seriously either shut up or re-educate yourself on better communication skills.

Anonymous said...

Yay for proof reading... I was trying to say that to a large extend -I- support your views.

Tom H. said...

Like other professional conferences, ALA's is attended primarily by professionals and most presenters are from within the profession. It is open to the public, though,and anyone can attend if they register (and pay). The newspaper story was poorly written and misleading. You could have attended and asked questions or made comments at the end of the panel session if you had wished. You could even propose a session if you choose to, although most deadlines for the 2010 conference (in DC) have already passed. The panel session was extremely informative and demonstrated how very important it is to have policies in place, as the WB Library does, and additionally how important it is to educate people about the nature of public libraries and their role in a free society. And part of the message underscored the importance of families: parents have the ultimate responsibility for the reading/viewing habits of their own kids.

Tom H. said...

And about your opening line about the "ALA censorship": The ALA did not censor; they were providing a platform to all 4 speakers. The 3 other speakers cancelled, which were personal decisions out of the control of ALA. ALA cancelled the event because there were no speakers for it, not because they opposed any veiwpoint. The article you link to misunderstands how conferences like this work. That is a big difference. Using logical fallacies in an attempt to smear others may be the result of you not knowing how things work, not looking for complete information, or if intentional, dishonest and frankly un-Christian. I hope readers of this blog realize that it's author does not represent the viewpoints of other Christians here in West Bend or elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

ALA needs to keep out of West Bend's business.

Anonymous said...

Technically the purpose of the ALA, at least in their eyes, is to have a finger in every city that has a library... thats kind of why it exists.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the ALA is power hungry. The ALA exsists because the libraries don't want their own communities involved in the decision making process.

Give the power back to the community.

Anonymous said...

I suppose the decision that needs to be made is if the purpose of a library is to actually serve, support, and reflect their individual communities, or if they are supposed to be a large network of connected "chain stores"

I love the fact that many libraries can share "stock" so to speak, meaning I can have a book shipped from one close library to my local one if the book I want isnt carried there, but does that mean that agencies such as the ALA truly need to exist to support this type of a "perk?"

I'm sure the ALA started with the best of intentions, but it's become a hydra that needs to be put down.

**

Anonymous said...

The ALA are like unions. Started with good intentions, but are now a power hungry machine.

Local MLIS student said...

You all really don't have any clue as to what the ALA is, its purpose, and its insignificant role in actually running local libraries. Please do some research.

Anonymous said...

Research? I don't have to research when I know that the ALA is sticking its nose into a community which can handle it's own. We do not need the ALA to interfere. Unless you need a nanny.

SafeLibraries said...

Local MLIS Student said, likely evidencing the misinformation taught in library schools:

"You all really don't have any clue as to what the ALA is, its purpose, and its insignificant role in actually running local libraries. Please do some research."

I did the research. It not only does not have an "insignificant role," it says the exact opposite. It proclaims its attempt to completely control local libraries:

"Members of the American Library Association are change-agents within their communities."

Now what was Local MLIS Student saying about an "insignificant role" and asking us to "do some research"?

See, "ALA Change-Agents Seek Local Control of Public Libraries," which includes specific examples of ALA dominance over local communities, including in West Bend, WI.

Anonymous said...

Change should come from within the community where each library is located. Not from organization that has no clue what our community needs or wants.

Anonymous said...

"We do not need the ALA to interfere. Unless you need a nanny."

Why don't you just set up your own library in your basement?