|Flag, The Castro, San Francisco, CA|
See also "Endless Shame of the Spineless American Library Association," by Nat Hentoff, The Register-Mail, 13 January 2011.
Ironically, the nation's first gay museum has just opened in "The Castro." See: "Gay History Museum Finds Home, Identity," by Jessica Kwong, San Francisco Chronicle, 12 January 2011.
The library community is already discussing this: "SF Gay History Museum Finds Home, Identity," by Steven M. Cohen, Library Stuff, 12 January 2011. (Hat tip Mr. Cohen.)
That's nice. I want the gay civil rights community to demand the ALA act to protect the rights of gay Cuban librarians. We already know the ALA will not defend Afro-Cuban civil rights. What's going on? And the ALA is supposed to be considered authoritative in local public libraries? The concern is best expressed by Nat Hentoff:
I still cannot understand why the leading Officers of American Library Association have abandoned these other librarians. Nor do I understand why there has not been a rank-and-file rebellion against this by the ALA membership around our country. Don't they all believe in the freedom to read?
Lastly, here is the entire contents of Robert Kent's communication, emphasis in original.
"[ifforum] Presentation by Camila Alire at UCLA, 1/13"
by Robert Kent
The Friends Of Cuban Libraries
13 January 2011
Jan. 13, 2011
In a message dated 1/12/2011 12:52:42 PM Eastern Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
The UCLA ALA Student Chapter invites you to join Dr. Camila Alire, Past-President of the American Library... for a Lecture on
UCLA Students and the California library community should welcome this event by the past president of the ALA on the theme of "service, leadership, advocacy and diversity."
But it is to be hoped that those attending her presentation will ask Ms. Alire questions about her adherence to these principles. Why, during her presidency of the ALA, did Ms. Alire fail to defend library workers in a neighboring country who are being persecuted? What good does it do to advocate high principles in theory while failing to implement them in practice?
Among the most recent outrages ignored by the ALA, the association at its just concluded San Diego failed to take action against recent raids on gay libraries in Cuba. (For details, see the Recent News section of our website.)
Yesterday civil liberties journalist Nat Hentoff, in his latest column on this subject ("The Endless Shame of the Spineless ALA," see link below) asks some of these questions regarding Ms. Alire's failure to respond to appeals, which Ms. Alire has declined to answer for many months. The library community has a right to ask Ms. Alire why she refuses to defend in practice the rights she defends in theory.
We in the Friends of Cuban Libraries urge the people attending Ms. Alire's UCLA presentation to politely insist that she provide answers to these important questions.
NOTE: Nat Hentoff's column on Camila Alire's lamentable silence as ALA president can be read at: