Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupied ALA Ignored Cuban Librarians; OWSLibrary is Not a Real Library and People Knew It Would Be Removed

@OWSLibrary is not
"a REAL library"
The American Library Association [ALA] now officially supports the "occupy" movements (including #OWS) intended by its instigators to wreak economic terrorism on the United States of America and bring an end to the United States Constitution.  The ALA proclaimed, "The People's Library, a library constructed by the New York Occupy Wall Street movement, was seized in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, by the New York Police Department during a planned raid to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park."  Source:  "ALA Alarmed at Seizure of Occupy Wall Street Library, Loss of Irreplaceable Material," by Macey Morales, American Library Association, 17 November 2011.  The ALA, in making that statement, is promoting the propaganda of the "occupiers," and, as shown in the above graphic tweet by "@bitchylibrarian," not everyone is falling for the lies.

The #OWS "Library" was Abandoned, Not "Seized"

The "library" is not "a REAL library," as the above tweet notes.  Using the word "library" for convenience, I point out the "library" was not "seized."  Rather, it was abandoned.  When time came to clear out, proper notice was given: "the New York City Police Department and the owners of Zuccotti Park notified protestors in the park that they had to immediately remove tents, sleeping bags and other belongings...."  Many people did take their belongings and clear out.  No one took the "library" or its contents.  It was abandoned instead.  That the New York City Police Department did not dispose of the "library" completely goes to the credit of the NYPD.  The ALA has maligned the NYPD by falsely asserting it "seized" the "library."

@OWSLibrary on Twitter

And it was not a "planned raid."  Instead, "Protestors were asked to temporarily leave the park while this occurred, and have been told that they will be free to return to the park once Brookfield finishes cleaning it later morning."  The ALA has adopted the language of #OWS.  It has joined the movement.

What a coincidence that I had previously written about the ALA and the "occupy" movement:  "Will the ALA Oppose Economic Terrorism?  Stephen Lerner of the SEIU Spells Out Battle Plans Against America, a Perfect Non-Library Issue for the ALA to Sink Its Teeth Into," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 22 March 2011.  Now we have our answer.  No, it will not oppose it.  Rather, it will join it.

The ALA Joins Terrorists and Anarchists

And what exactly has the ALA joined?  Let's look at some articles from the same day as the ALA statement.  How about unrepentant terrorist William Ayers right in the ALA's home town:  "Controversial Professor Bill Ayers Speaks With Occupy Chicago Protesters; Former Weather Underground Group Member Teaches Non-Violence to Protesters," by Jessica Guido, NBC Chicago, 17 November 2011.  Ayers is a guy who Canada wouldn't even let into the country.  Repeatedly.  How about people who purposefully frighten little children:  "OWS Protesters Chant 'Follow Those Kids!' As Small Children Try to Go to School on Wall Street; Tiny Tots, Some as Young as 4, Overwhelmed by Hostility, Crush of Humanity," by Emily Smith, CBS New York, 17 November 2011.  Watch the video; see for yourself.  Oh yes, the ALA supports #OWS, that includes its terrorists and anarchists.

Speaking of children, don't forget this:  "Library Propagandizes Children for Occupy Oakland," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 2 November 2011.

The #OWSLibrary "Librarians" Knew It Would Eventually Be Cleared!

Here is further evidence of the ALA's propagandizing on behalf of #OWS:  "The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan," by Christian ZabriskieAmerican Libraries, 16 November 2011, updated 17 November 2011.  "He was also quick to point out that, while he had helped to build and maintain the collection knowing full well that the park would probably be cleared eventually, the manner in which it was done hit him hard."

Well look at that. He knew the "library" would be cleared.  So not only is the "library" not "a REAL library," but the people "kn[e]w[] full well that the park would probably be cleared eventually."

That's an admission against interest.  That statement means no harm was done as they knew the "library" would be cleared.  And when they were given notice to clear the "library," they did not.  Yet the ALA is seeking blood from the NYPD and the City of New York for the "seizure" of the "library" via a"planned raid."

When the SLAPP suit eventually hits the NYPD, etc., I know the above statement will be used to evidence the frivolous nature of such a suit, and I hope punitive damages will be awarded to the City of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a result.

The Contradiction of the ALA Not Supporting Cuban Librarians But Supporting #OWS

You know what is also really bad?  Here is the ALA standing up for a "library" with false claims that it was "seized" in a "planned raid," yet when that actually happened, in Cuba, the ALA did very little to help.  Oh yes, the ALA would help anywhere around the world.  As ALA Councilor Karen Downing said on 17 November 2011 in an email to the ALA Council, "[W]e are only addressing the destruction of library/archival materials.  This is something ALA has always been very committed to fighting whenever and wherever it occurs."  Except Cuba.  Cuban librarians jailed and books literally burned?  No problem, to the ALA, depending on the political position of the victims.

Friends of Cuban Librarians Describes the ALA

When it comes to Cuban libraries and librarians, the ALA is:
guilty of complicity in repressing intellectual freedom in Cuba. The ALA has systematically denied, ignored and covered up book burning, censorship, mob attacks, raids on libraries, physical assaults against librarians, 20-year prison terms for library workers, and the court-ordered burning of thousands of confiscated library books on the island.

The ALA leadership's silent complicity prolonged the detention of library workers sentenced to 20 year in prison following unfair one-day trials.  And the ALA contributed to the torment endured by the prisoners due to its refusal to respond to appeals for humane treatment of the jailed library workers.

Source:  Robert Kent, Friends of Cuban Libraries, personal communication, 31 March 2011, reprinted with permission.

Silence from the ALA on Cuban
librarians finally being freed.

The Jailed Cuban Librarians Were Finally Freed to Silence From the ALA

The jailed Cuban librarians were finally freed.  See: "Cuba Releases Another 'Group of 75' Dissident," by Efe, FoxNews Latino, 18 March 2011.  No thanks, of course, to the ALA that did very little to speak up for them and next to nothing to protest book burning.

Just look at how the ALA cared about the librarians finally being free.  Any news on the ALA site?  Zero.  Anything published in American Libraries, the ALA's monthly magazine?  Nothing.  The ALA's Intellectual Freedom Round Table [IFRT]?  Silence.  Anything from the Social Responsibilities Round Table [SRRT], supposedly so concerned about "human and economic rights"?  Crickets.  How about the International Federation of Library Associations [IFLA].  Anything?  No.  Could the silence be indicative of anything?

Was ALA Past President Camila Alire being truthful when she said, "the whole concept of intellectual freedom should not just be a white concept"?  Instead the news was the ALA and the IFLA met north of Cuba at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort in North Miami Beach, FL, on the August 10-12, 2011, for "Intellectual Freedom in a Changing World," a conference on "international issues related to free access to information in libraries."  Does anything think the freeing of the Cuban librarians was discussed?  More crickets.

I have been writing about the jailed Cuban librarians for quite some time.  Consider these posts:

ALA's Pro-Castro Actions Prolonged the Suffering of the Librarians

Now that the ordeal is finally over, I had to ask myself if the ALA's actions in any way prolonged the suffering of the librarians.  Yes, as the above email from Bob Kent of The Friends of Cuban Libraries shows.  As one ALA member put it, "Some of us who have written against Kent’s campaign are lifelong socialists and friendly toward the Cuban revolution."  Similarly, Nat Hentoff said, "The governing council of the American Library Association ... disgraced itself in January when it overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to a final report at its mid-winter meeting telling Castro to let the librarians out.  Apparently there are members of the council who romanticize Fidel, as do some Hollywood celebrities."  I think that about sums up the ALA leadership. 

One would think the ALA, being the largest library association in the world, would stand up for the rights of jailed librarians.  Indeed, as Bob Kent put it, "the ALA explicitly serves as a defender of freedom of expression everywhere in the world...."  But the ALA did not take a leadership position on this issue.  As a result, almost all library associations worldwide just yawned.

But the ALA is now taking up the cause of the #OWS "library" and promoting the anti-government propaganda of the economic terrorists.

The Problem is the ALA Leadership, Not Rank and File Librarians

And let me be clear the problem is the ALA leadership, not rank and file librarians.  As Bob Kent wrote me, "in contrast to the ALA Council, 76% of respondents to the only membership poll on Cuba in ALA Direct called on the ALA to condemn the Cuban government for its repression of the independent library movement."  Go reread what Bob Kent said.  You will see he clearly addresses ALA leadership.

And here are some juicy statements from ALA Councilors made 17 November 2011 in emails to the ALA Council distribution list:
  • Aaron Dobbs:  "And, yes, this is something ALA should be speaking out about....  A spontaneous community resorce [sic] should not be forcibly destroyed/removed by law enforcement officials at the order of a government."
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "Also, I’m going to be sending some of the money I've raised at the libraryadvocacy store to support this library.  I emailed them as asked what they would like.  I was thinking of supporting their web activity as they don't have a domain name yet and that kind of thing."
  • Diedre Conkling:  "This is a great start and I am very happy that people are working on this resolution.  I know I am not providing anything substantive here but I just wanted to let you know that I think this is a good thing.  Watching the rise of the libraries as a vital part of the Occupy movement has been really interesting.  (Though maybe not surprising to those of us in the library world.)"
  • Karen Downing:  "Definately [sic] count me in on the resolution Patrick!  Thanks for taking the first stab at it."

To be fair, here are some statements that were actually or mostly measured, also made 17 November 2011:
  • Sean Reinhart:  "The Occupy movement is a complex and fast-evolving issue with deep implications both nationally and at the local level where most of us operate.  Any statement or resolution from ALA relating to Occupy should be well-considered and all of the implications of that message thought through.  Our association has members on every side of this issue so we should be careful not to rush to any statement that might run counter to our association's mission and especially the needs of our membership.  In that spirit, I agree 99% that it is appropriate for ALA to make a statement in this matter at this time, however I respectfully submit that we utilize the process and resources we have in place already to craft that message.  I'm new to this Council, so you all haven't yet heard my voice yet."
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "I agree,  that was why I also think it should be aligned with the message already sent from the ALA President.  I don’t really care one way or another about the movement really (as far as the resolution is concerned).  It's about the destruction of a library that had valuable archival material from a significant moment in American History.  It would/should be written to show the support for guerilla libraries in general and used to support in the same way any Tea Party libraries, Green Party libraries, Democratic, Communist or Nazi libraries for example.  It's about the preservation of archival materials generated by the group and against the actions by any government entity to censor or destroy those materials whether or not we agree or disagree with those materials.  It is not about the movement that it is attached to."

This Latest ALA Double Standard Deserves an #OccupyALA Tag

This latest double standard from the ALA (pro-#OWS while Cuban librarians are shrugged off and worse) is yet another reason local communities should ignore ALA diktat.  The sooner the ALA loses influence, the better it will be for communities and those librarians and library workers who live in fear of the ALA.

I suggest we all start using the #OccupyALA tag on Twitter when reporting on the ALA's latest pro-"Occupy Wall Street" propaganda.

Hat tip:


Having sent a courtesy copy of this email to as many of the named individuals as possible, one ALA Council recipient has seen fit to attack the messenger, namely me.  He overlooks the factual issues raised.  He overlooks the total political message of the ALA ignoring Cuban librarians lack of  intellectual and physical freedom while supporting fake "librarians" with #OWS propaganda.  It's a sure sign I hit the nail on the head and no substantive counter arguments exist, at least from him:
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "Not everyone received the email I did.  But already some are trying to define their lives through the misinterpretation of this resolution. Through false statements about it, outright lies, and purposefully antagonistic one-liners designed to just get media play and further their grandious [sic] desire for selfish validation and 15 Minutes of fame. I'm happy we can provide meaning to their lives.  I'm glad we provide that service for people. That is, after all, one of the great things about libraries! We serve everyone, even those who disagree with our services. I'm happy that even ALA provides these same services to people. It proves we are doing the right  thing."
Mr. Sweeney, I'm calling you out.  Please point out the "false statements," "outright lies," "purposefully antagonistic one-liners designed to just get media play," and the "grandio[se] desire for selfish validation and 15 Minutes of fame."  Then explain why you feel my statements are false or are lies.  I backed them up with hyperlinks to the source documents or statements.  I'll admit the observation that admitting the "library" would eventually be removed, sinking the "seizure" claim and potentially opening any future legal matter to punitive damages, comes from my own legal sense.  Then show me where the ALA cared one iota that the Cuban librarians the ALA hardly helped were eventually released from jail.  If you can show me that, I'll be a monkey's uncle.

OWS Librarian Mandy Henk

Look who's censoring now!  Why it's the OWS Library itself!  Telling, no?

Look what it did not publish as a comment (it never got past "awaiting moderation") to "Common Cause Calls on Bloomberg to 'Open Your Wallet' to Replace Books," by Mandy Henk, Occupy Wall Street Library, 17 November 2011, and what a coincidence that Mandy Henk is "one of the volunteers at the Occupy Wall Street People's Library":
Comment the OWS Library selectively censored out of its blog.

The comment that was published instead of mine said, "Awesome.  Totally with you.  Love it.  Was there yesterday for the morning shutdown then rally & walk.  So inspired.  We are winning!"  Right, winning by censoring out voices they do not want others to hear while claiming they have been censored out.  You can't make this stuff up.


And now a legitimate librarian acting in a legitimate venue has joined the censorship fray and removed my comment from her blog as well, only this time the comment was removed after it was published and after people had read it, judging by the click throughs to my own blog.  I'm telling you, all this comment removal starts to look suspicious, particularly from the free speech people, particularly where they are decrying a supposed lack of free speech.

Unfortunately, I do not recall what I wrote that was removed, neither did I get a screen shot.  My comment was rather detailed and aimed at an audience of legitimate librarians.  I was likely censored out for being truthful, else it would not have drawn the attention of the censor.

So, the People's Library Intellectual Freedom Award for hiding legitimate opposition to the false claims of "seizure" and "planned raids" by pointing out that the "library" was abandoned as originally intended is hereby granted to:


The Library Journal now features a blog post by the Annoyed Librarian that specifically names me and agrees with me on what I said here and even goes further.  She disagrees with my comments about the ALA having an interest in Cuba, but the ALA has interests in many libraries outside the USA, and Cuba should be no different.  Be sure to see all the comments as well:

  • "What is an American Library?," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 21 November 2011.
    Whatever its purpose or usefulness, the OWS library wasn't a public library and it wasn't a cornerstone of democracy and it wasn't necessary to ensure that everyone has access to free information.
    Everyone knew it would eventually be cleared.  It wasn't a library in any public sense of the word.  It was a collection of books in a park to entertain or inform a group of transient protesters.  There was never a plan for preservation or permanence.  Even the circulation policy encouraged the dissolution of the library.

Also, Mandy Henk did eventually publish my blog comment.  And Patrick Sweeney and I had a lengthy conversation and he's a decent guy, from what I can tell.  Meantime, the ALA Council is still pursuing its blind support of the OWS Library, even trying to expedite it.


This just in:

Romans, Larry
6:31 PM (30 minutes ago)

to ACRLEADS, alacoun, ALA
To which groups we send our messages has not been consistent. Please forgive any duplication.

Some ALA members and councilors see the Occupy Wall Street folks as "good guys" and the Cuban "librarians" as "bad guys." However, I don't see how ALA can support a resolution decrying what happened to the Occupy "library" if we want to continue to oppose recognizing the Cuban "libraries."

When is a library a library? If our definition of a library includes the Occupy "library," how does it not include the Cuban "libraries"? Unless we want to change our views on the Cuban "libraries," I don't think we can support the Occupy "library" resolution.


Larry Romans,
Vanderbilt University Libraries,
Nashville, TN 37203-2427


This just in:

Romans, Larry
12:27 AM (9 minutes ago)

to srrtac-l, ACRL, ALA, ALA

From Rory Litwin:

Larry should really address the important distinction that has been drawn by more than one person, that the OWS Library is grass-roots but the Cuban "independent libraries" are not.  Michael Dowling in ALA's International Relations Office has confirmed that the Cuban "independent libraries" are not grass roots but are a product of State Department strategy.  This is a fact and it should be a part of the discussion.

My response:

I remembered Michael Dowling's report but was glad to reread it. Here is the link Rory gave us:

I am not advocating that ALA sponsor the Cuban independent libraries.  I'm saying that it's not consistent to support one and not support the other.  I've never heard that ALA has defined libraries by whether they are "grass roots."  I think using Michael Dowling's report as an argument is still a variation on the "good guys" vs. "bad guys" argument.


Now back to me, SafeLibraries, let me also add that OWSLibrary is now supporting the end of capitalism, and the ALA is supposed to be supporting the OWSLibrary?  Thank goodness for people with brains like Larry Romans.  The latest OWSLibrary posting says, hyperlinks in original and containing key evidence OWSLibrary seeks the end of capitalism, "But they are people who are caught up in a system that has run its course, a system that has generated tremendous wealth for the few through the wonton destruction of the natural environment and human society."

The ALA supports that?


See also:


See also:

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Library Propagandizes Children for Occupy Oakland

Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA, appears to have enabled a "children's brigade" of "Occupy Oakland" protestors:

In front of the Oakland Public Library, about three dozen parents brought toddlers and school-age children for a stroller march in a "children's brigade."  Demonstrators handed out signs written as if in a children's crayon that read "Generation 99% Occupying Our Future."  People attached the signs to their baby backpacks and their strollers.

And before the "children's brigade," the library was directly involved in organizing (on its Oakland Public Library Facebook wall on 2 November) an event that attracted the members of the "children's brigade":

We will be holding a teach-in for youth and students wanting to learn more about the 99%/Occupy movement at the Main Library auditorium from 3 to 4:30.  If you are a community member or teacher looking for a safe space to to [sic] send youth today to engage and discuss the general strike, send them to us.

OPL "teach-in for youth" announcement for "engaging" the "general strike."

SooperMexican calls that protest "the degenerate cop-car-crapping rapist anti-semite anti-American #OWS protest."  And BigGovernment keeps an updated list of the "Occupy" protests crimes, and they are many and serious:

Further, it appears some librarians support the "Occupy" effort to overthrow the American government through violent means.  Example, in text and comments:

"Occupy Oakland Death to Capitalism Banner"

The business "Men's Wearhouse" is losing business for supporting "Occupy Oakland."  See:

Is this anything any public library should support in any way, let alone by using children, as the Oakland Public Library appears to have done?  Has the library not propagandized the children to become useful idiots for "Occupy Oakland"?  Isn't it a matter of time before people stop supporting public libraries for, like Men's Wearhouse, supporting "Occupy" activity?

Feel free to comment below.


The last thing 32-year-old Mandy Henk expected from volunteering at the Occupy Wall Street library was an invitation to speak at the American Library Association's 2012 Midwinter Conference in Dallas, Texas. That speaking engagement will help raise her profile among the 10,000 other librarians there to network and share new ideas, she said.

Henk, a certified librarian who handles circulation, reserves and interlibrary loans at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., joined the movement in late September and rediscovered the role she cares most about -- connecting people with information. Since then, she has commuted back and forth between Greencastle and Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan with a focus on developing new models for libraries at a time when many are facing budget shortfalls.

"I'm a faculty librarian, so being professionally active is something that my peers at my home institution judge me on," she said. "Having the opportunity to refine my skills working with such a diverse population is really valuable in that regard."

What's really galling is that while the ALA invites the "occupy" librarian, it blocks people it opposes, like Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.  The ALA censors Robert Spencer, but the "occupy" librarian is invited to speak.  And this is the American Library Association that gets 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and is viewed as authoritative?


The library participated in propagandizing children to join a "children's brigade" as part of "Occupy Oakland."  What is the result?  THE LIBRARY WILL LOSE FUNDING AND LOSE OPEN HOURS!  Has the library committed suicide?  H/T Verum Serum: