Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ALA Trifecta: Socialized Medicine, Gay Marriage, and Animal Cruelty Depictions

What do socialized medicine, gay marriage, and animal cruelty depictions have to do with public libraries? Nothing. But that does not stop the American Library Association [ALA] from officially supporting all three in an ALA trifecta.

As reported in "Librarians for Terror," by Lee Kaplan, FrontPage Magazine, 17 August 2004:

Dr. Stephen Karetzky, a noted librarian, wrote more than 20 years ago about the ALA's embracing, Soviet-style totalitarianism in the American library system in his book, Not Seeing Red: American Librarianship and the Soviet Union, 1917-1960. He contends that the ALA has always advanced radical socialist doctrine as being positive.... Library Science is closely tied in with today's university atmosphere where Marxism now thrives....

Is he right? Consider the following. It is not proof positive, but it may help to inform:

None of that has anything to do with public libraries, despite what the American Library Users Association says.

What say you?



  1. It is important to recognize that public libraries are only one of many foci of the ALA. Besides the fact that there are many types of libraries besides public ones, the ALA also represents all library professionals, thus their concern over health care costs (both from a labor and and a management standpoint). They also are heavily invested in diversity and equity, thus their interest in providing equal rights to all citizens, including same-sex couples. Finally, they are heavily invested in intellectual freedom and freedom of speech, thus their concern over proposed regulation of media content.

  2. Thanks for commenting, Local MLIS Student.

  3. Like MLIS said, the ALA is much more than just public libraries.

    And where, exactly, does the ALA connect these issues to public libraries in the first place to draw your ire? Seems you are building a straw man....

  4. Thanks for commenting, Concerned West Bend Citizen.

  5. Dan, do you have anything to say in response to these remarks? I really am curious as to why you think the ALA claims a connection between these issues and "public libraries".

    Or, perhaps you were mistaken in your original comments?

  6. CWBC, I've said all I'll say on this issue, except to say I only selected these issues because they were all announced at the same time. Now I encourage others to say what they think. That's why I said at the end "What say you?"

    Thanks for writing.

  7. Wow! Way to site a totally biased article (Librarians for Terror). I work in a library, and readily give out information that many right wing nuts might view as anti-american (gasp) or anti-capitalist (oh no). I will do all I can to provide information that aids to the dismantling of the state. And I am definitely not a minority.

  8. I am shocked, shocked I say, to find out there is a group of Americans that disagree with Dan Kleinman.


  9. So, Mr, Kleinman, what do you think of my comment and Concerned's? Do you acknowledge that the ALA is much more than just focused on "public" libraries? That having a professional organization take a stance on these kinds of issues is reasonable? And that, like Concerned said, the ALA never actually connected these issues to public libraries like you assert?

    In short, are you willing to engage in any dialogue here?

  10. Just as Pravda had no letters to the editor section, Dan does not respond to comments. That's not what he's here for.


  11. Chuck, you have to give me a chance. I was going to respond. And I respond on quite a lot of blog posts--one has about a hundred comments back and forth between me and one other person. This one, however, is just food for thought. I have so many other fish to fry, that, on this blog post, for a change, I'll just thank people for responding to my "what say you" request. And I do thank you all no matter what you may have to say.

  12. Apparently, at least one brave member of the ALA Council agrees with me, but she gets slapped down in minutes by the guy who excused ALA censorship:


    from Susan Pieper [email elided]
    to ALA Council alacoun@ala.org
    date Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM
    subject [alacoun] Health Care, etc.
    mailing list alacoun.ala.org
    mailed-by ala.org

    Hello All:
    I have ALA members who have expressed their concern regarding ALA focusing passing resolutions on the Universal Health Care and Same Sex Marriage issues and not focusing more on library issues such as stable funding, equalization of service for patrons, etc. They have told me they are seriously considering dropping their membership. Maybe I am the only one who has been contacted? Just an FYI.
    Your Library: A Great Value!
    Susan Hill Pieper, Director/Editor
    Paulding County Carnegie Library
    Rural Library Services Newsletter
    205 S Main St, Paulding, Ohio 45879
    [phone numbers elided]
    ALA Councilor-at-Large
    PLA Executive Board
    ARSL Ex-Officio Board Member
    Follow me on Twitter: cowgirlie


    To put out the fire fast, along comes fifteen minutes later the same guy who excuses the ALA's censorship as bureaucratic, to excuse the ALA's focus on political matters not related to libraries, unless one argues any matter that affects any library patron anywhere affects libraries--the same goes for dentists, and teachers, and truckers, etc.:


    from Michael Golrick [email elided]
    to Susan Pieper [email elided]
    cc ALA Council alacoun@ala.org
    date Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    subject [alacoun] Re: Health Care, etc.
    mailing list alacoun.ala.org
    mailed-by ala.org


    I have not, although I have had a couple of people mention economic hardship.

    While I think we agree about foreign policy issues, I see these two as hitting very close to home for libraries. One of the problems that libraries are facing is the incredibly rapidly rising cost of health insurance. I am not at the office, but I bet if we went back and looked at health insurance costs as a percent of the total budget, we would see the percent of budget spent on health care rising -- and probably rapidly. If you spend money on health insurance, you are not spending it on other things like salaries and books, etc.

    As to the marriage issue, I now live in a part of the country which (outside of the city I live in) is much more conservative than other places I have lived. There has been conversation about legislation in the state to not recognize marriages which were performed in other states (it reminds me of the "mixed race marriage laws" which formerly existed. There are library staff who are directly affected by this, and I can think of several of my professional colleagues/friends who are affected. That is why I supported this resolution.

    Maybe some of what I have said can help you explain why the issues are important.


    Michael Golrick
    [email elided]


    "Maybe some of what I have said can help you explain why the issues are important."



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