Saturday, June 30, 2012

Obama and the ALA Plagiarist

The Obama administration may select an American Library Association [ALA] plagiarist, former ALA president Camila A. Alire, for its National Council on the Humanities [NEH].  "Because democracy demands wisdom, NEH serves and strengthens our republic by promoting excellence in the humanities and conveying the lessons of history to all Americans."  

In addition, Alire lent little support during her time as ALA president or past president while Cuban librarians languished in jail and the civil rights of gay librarians were ignored.  I am not sure how plagiarism, which is intellectual theft, nor how turning a blind eye when she could have made a difference to the Castro regime's book burnings, librarian jailing/torture, and gay librarian abuses meets the stated goal of the NEH to which Alire may be appointed.  

Camila A. Alire is not up to the standards of the Obama administration and should not be selected for the NEH post. 

Here is relevant information:
  • "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts," by Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, 28 June 2012:
    Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts: Camila A. Alire – Member, National Council on the Humanities....
  • "ALA Screws Gay Librarians; Gay Civil Rights Community Should Demand ALA Action; Rank and File Rebellion Against the ALA Leadership Needed," by Dan KleinmanSafeLibraries, 15 January 2011, quoting Robert Kent (hyperlinks added):
    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.
  • "ALA Double Standard on Accuracy in Texas State Board of Education Proposal on School Book Content; ALA President Plagiarizes to Promote Matter Outside ALA Purview," by Dan KleinmanSafeLibraries, 18 May 2010 (hyperlink omitted, and my prediction came true):
    Let alone the ALA has no standing in the educational arena, let alone the ALA has a double standard in requiring accuracy, the ALA, President Camila A. Alire herself, has signed a letter to the Texas Education Agency that is nearly 100% plagiarized.   That's theft.

    Shocking as this statement of the ALA's wholesale copying may be, I am just the messenger, not the plagiarizer.  The ALA president's letter is over her signature and is dated 13 May 2010.  It is a near complete copy of a letter dated 11 May 2010 by Martin Garnar, Chair of the ALA's Intellectual Freedom Committee:

    On Tue, May 11, 2010 at 3:45 PM, Garnar, Martin wrote:
    Camila A. Alire is not on the Intellectual Freedom Committee.  She has clearly plagiarized.  Both Alire's letter and Garnar's letter are reprinted below.  Go ahead, compare them.  See for yourself.  It's truly disgraceful and I predict there will be no consequences whatsoever.
  • "Will ALA Silence Lead to Death?," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 13 March 2010.
  • "[ifforum] Hunger Strike Appeal: Librarian in Danger," by Robert Kent, The Friends of Cuban Librarians, 11 March 2010.
President Obama, please do not appoint Camila A. Alire for the reasons stated above.  For full disclosure, I made a similar request in the past:

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