Politics, Money, and ALA

Karen G. Schneider is one of my favorite bloggers and one of my favorite people. I love to hear her talk and to discuss all those things that make being a librarian fun, interesting, and frustrating. Today, she has written a very good post on ALA, the Iraq Resolution, and politics.

We are lucky to be in a profession where what we do forces us to think about fundamental issues such as what a government should do with its resources and what rights and services people are entitled to as people. As librarians, it is also doubly meaningful when we raise the B.S. flag on a national policy.

I have to admit that I have been conflicted about ALA releasing these kinds of resolutions. ALA represents many different kinds of librarians and there are some of us that support the Patriot Act and our current administrations policies. I will say up front that I am not one of those, but I do respect that we all have a right to our opinions.

Karen is right when she says that librarians are the the people who stand up for those who are unable to make their voice rise above the crowd, but I wonder how hard it would be for me to support the resolution if it was against something I beleived in. I still have some mixed feelings, that are hard to put into tangible sentences.

What drives it home for me is a point that Karen makes, drawing the link between all our resources being in Iraq and having nothing at home when Katrina hit. Or when Rita came ashore. Or when libraries started closing and reducing hours because they could not longer pay their staff or afford their buildings. What does it really say about us as a culture that our libraries are closing, schools can not pay their electric bills, and we send troops into battle without all the proper gear?

–Jane, what indeed

One thought on “Politics, Money, and ALA

  • October 29, 2005 at 7:49 pm

    I read Karen’s post as well, and I pretty much will admit that I had to agree. I am one to usually steer clear of politics and such. Like you, I believe people have a right to their opinions. I don’t agree with the current administration or its policies, but I tend to keep it to myself. The lack of civility I often encounter from the supporters is often not worth it. But the fact is librarians are indeed one of the first to be able to call the B.S. when they see it. We are also supposed to be the ones that stand up for many who cannot do so. It is a sad commentary indeed when the country would rather let its libraries close for lack of funds, allow its schools to become dilapidated places of neglect, in favor of fighting a war it decided to start on its own. I have mixed feelings, but I am starting to get the feeling if people like me don’t start speaking up, no one will be left to stand up for those who can’t. Just a thought.

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