Florida State Bird
ALA's ruling "ALA Council" (one that, for example, bullies its conservative Christian members) has recently decided to take on yet another non-library issue, like fried librarian giblets, but in this case, it's Florida's Stand Your Ground law. This started after ALA's "Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Inc." [BCALA] published the following:
- "Black Caucus of ALA Denounces ALA's Decision to Hold 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla," by BCALA, American Library Association, 17 March 2014:
The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), condemns the American Library Association's (ALA) decision to continue with plans to hold the ALA 2016 annual conference in Orlando, Fla. in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict and that state's refusal to revise or repeal "Stand Your Ground" laws, which were included in jury instructions in Zimmerman's trial for second degree murder for fatally shooting unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. in 2012.
ALA is frequently mocked for allowing a few people to drive the entire organization to support progressive causes having nothing to do with librarianship. The latest example is the Annoyed Librarian writing for the Library Journal in "An Idea For a Resolution":
I have a suggestion for the Socially Responsible Round Table. The next time you want to push a meaningless resolution about something unrelated to the libraries, why not instead push a meaningless resolution in support of the third of Americans that have no library access at all. That actually has something to do with libraries and it's a worthy cause. It's just not very sexy.Well ALA decided to pressure FLA to provide input on whether to move the conference out of Florida or to suggest how FLA proposes going about using the conference to pressure Floridians and conference visitors on their own gun laws.
FLA was having none of that. It responded ever so politely by telling ALA that FLA addresses issues facing Florida libraries and librarians. See the FLA letter to the ALA or read it below. And FLA's Alan Kornblau wrote, "As a member of the FLA Executive Board and Florida Chapter Councilor, I support FLA's position and encourage lovers of libraries to attend our state conference at the beautiful Buena Vista Palace in Lake Buena Vista, Florida from May 7 – 9, 2014, as well as the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida."
Given ALA was subtly pressuring FLA to take a position on a non-librarian and progressive political issue of gun control and tossing aside the Second Amendment, FLA's response that clearly defines its mission as one of libraries and librarians is basically mocking ALA for taking on those progressive, non-library political issues.
And since the Florida state bird is the Northern Mockingbird, it appears FLA is flipping ALA the bird and mocking its northern ALA.
Well, ALA is not used to people telling ALA off. So ALA Councilor Gladys Smiley Bell responded to Alan Kornblau—you see, library workers and users "fear" living in Florida so that makes opposing gun laws and the "struggle for equality and fairness" into "library advocacy" and "an opportunity to promote change":
This is about library advocacy which I support. This is an opportunity to promote change in states that includes library workers, libraries, library users in light of BCALA and others fight for safety, a safe environment, and other discriminating acts regarding the struggle for equality and fairness. I don't like living with fear for myself or my teenage grandsons.And ALA Councilor Al Kagan steamed, "Alan, Thanks for forwarding the Florida Library Association letter. Unfortunately, it does not address the issue at hand."
So you know ALA received the message loud and clear that FLA was not going to be ALA's political hatchet man and was not going to take on non-library issues.
The night is young and the typical Chicago Way pressure from Chicago's ALA is only just beginning to build. The conference is in 2016. We'll have to wait to see if it the conference is moved or not. I doubt it, but it won't be for a lack of trying.
Read FLA's letter to ALA for yourself to see FLA is sticking to library issues only:
March 18, 2014
Dear Colleagues and Friends at ALA,
On behalf of the Florida Library Association, our Executive Board thanks you for your recent inquiry about our Association's focus.
Our mission statement notes that our association: "develops programs and undertakes activities to earn it a leadership position for all areas of librarianship. To do this, the Association works with other professional organizations and professions that are relevant to librarianship; provides increasing opportunities for librarians and support staff in Florida to advance their skills so that they can maintain their effectiveness in the new information age; works closely with the information industry, facilitating productive links with the library community; and continues its role as legislative advocate for excellence in all types of library service within the State of Florida and beyond."
Since we are an organization with finite funds and limited staff we focus all our resources on issues directly supporting libraries and librarians in the state of Florida. Keeping libraries open and librarians employed so that our libraries can provide the best library services possible to their users is our primary focus. Our legislative platform focuses on funding libraries of all types.
The Florida Library Association supports the position that libraries are forums for information and ideas and that their resources should be available to all. We encourage people to exercise their rights as individuals and support free speech. We have a very active Intellectual Freedom Committee that was so effective it spawned a new member group last year, "Readers Rights and Privacy." We have adopted supporting positions on "Public Library Funding," "Freedom to Read," ALA's "Library Bill of Rights," "Code of Ethics," and "Ethics Statements for Public Trustees," and have statements on "Privatization" and "Professional Education."
The Florida Library Association is looking forward to the 2016 ALA Conference in Orlando and the opportunity for Florida librarians, friends, and staff to attend.
We also encourage you to attend our FLA Conference this spring, May 7-9 at the Buena Vista Palace in Orlando.
Gladys Roberts, President
The FLA letter may be downloaded here: http://tinyurl.com/FLAflipsALAtheBird
By the way, since FLA appropriately sticks to library issues, I hope it addresses these:
- "Teacher Upset Over Porn Viewing at Palm Beach County Libraries," by Michael Buczyner, WPEC CBS 12, 8 August 2013.
- "Political Deception Enables Illegality in Libraries; Palm Beach County Attorney Denise Nieman of Bush v Gore 2004 Fame"
- "ObamaCare Pushing Librarians Out of Work; What Goes Around Comes Around"
- "Islamic Bias in Brevard Textbook? Lawmaker, Others Raise Questions"
- "Leesburg, FL, Misled by NCAC and ABFFE; Both Write Letter Filled with False and Misleading Statements; Kids' Right to Read Project Misleads"
- "Cert Denied: Vamos a Cuba; Cuban-Americans Lead Way for Districts to Back Parents Rights Against ALA/ACLU False Claims of Banning and Censorship"
- "Humberto Fontova, the Media's 'Book Banning' Claims, and the ALA's Opposition to the 'Right to Apply Accuracy' in Public Schools"
- Why does FLA provide training that presumes no challenge could ever possibly be legitimate: "The best defense against the censor is careful and thorough planning prior to an attack." Everyone is labeled "the censor." Every challenge is considered "an attack." Even a self-described progressive librarian opposes such a tactic.
NOTE ADDED 25 MARCH 2014:
As presaged, and this didn't take long, ALA has struck back at FLA. Only days ago I wrote, "The night is young and the typical Chicago Way pressure from Chicago's ALA is only just beginning to build." Sure enough, ALA President Barbara Stripling (a very nice lady from what I can see, by the way) is striking back and hard. In big, Chicago Way style. She is organizing the full power of ALA to community organize all librarians to punish FLA for insolence and promote progressive causes in libraries nationwide, starting with opposing guns laws. What does this have to do with librarianship? Nothing, but the ends justifies the means, no?
She is charging directly at any state library association that would dare do what FLA did, using FLA as the whipping boy. "ALA's Executive Committee and BCALA's Executive Board decided that the best way to respond to the Florida situation is by turning it into an opportunity to educate, build awareness, and advocate for equitable treatment, inclusion, and respect for diversity. We have agreed on the following actions: ... Support for conversations and actions at the state level facilitated by state library associations or other organizations within the states."
So, FLA, the full weight of ALA will "support conversation and actions at the state level facilitated by state library associations...." That means you, FLA. You will support "conversation" and "action" on the very progressive political cause you politely avoided. If you do not acquiesce, there will be more and more "conversation" and "action" until you come to heel.
"Most troubling is the growing prevalence of Stand Your Ground laws," writes Barbara Stripling et alia. So even though you, FLA, said you will not engage in that political activity because you wanted to spend limited resources instead on libraries and librarians, you will soon learn the most cost effective move will be to give in to the ALA instead of constantly fending off the "conversation" and "action" that ALA is gathering to bring to bear in Orlando as a direct result of your giving ALA the bird. ALA's flipping you back a bigger bird. No other state library association will dare defy ALA further.
This is how ALA pushes porn in libraries nationwide, like this: http://tinyurl.com/DirtyDozenALA
This is how ALA pushes state library associations to come to heel. Even to the point of teaching them the opposite of the law so they will promote porn in libraries.
And, it's already working!
As the Councilor from Louisiana and one of the councilors who originally suggested state-level action, I will be bringing this statement with me tomorrow to the Executive Board Meeting at the Annual Conference of the Louisiana Library Association, where I will recommend that we have our own chapter-based Task Force devoted to issues of diversity within our profession—well in advance of any upcoming ALA conferences in New Orleans.
I would also like to put my name forward as being interested in working with the your Special Presidential Task Force, Barbara—in whatever way you deem appropriate.
Stephanie Ganic Braunstein, MA MLIS
Head Government Documents/Microforms Librarian
& Liaison to Political Science
Louisiana State University
Regional Depository #222
Louisiana State University. A public university. What a coincidence.
Does anyone know if this political activity violates ALA's 501(c)(3) tax exempt status? Are taxpayers supporting an organization that calls itself the American Library Association but that instead works to promote progressive political causes, much like Media Matters for America and the like? Is there something wrong with libraries and librarians that ALA needs to come out openly as promoting progressive causes, like opposing Stand Your Ground laws, having nothing to do with librarianship?
ALA membership is shrinking. I have to wonder if this non-library, non-librarian political activism is part of the reason why. "The goal is to use the Orlando conference platform to provoke a national dialogue." Oh really? State library associations like FLA far better serve the needs of librarians, I have heard. And seeing FLA's willingness to keep its focus on library and librarian issues, I can see why.
Here is the ALA statement of 25 March 2014 that represents ALA reacting strongly to a state library association, in this case FLA, daring to express an interest in sticking to issues affecting libraries and librarians:
CHICAGO —The values of diversity, equity, and inclusion form the foundation of the library profession and our professional associations. Those values have been challenged by the discriminatory enforcement of the "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida and the fact that ALA's 2016 Annual Conference is scheduled for Orlando. The Executive Committee members of ALA and the BCALA Executive Board have actively engaged in conversation to determine the best solution to this challenging dilemma. That conversation has been extended to the Executive Boards of AILA, APALA, CALA, and REFORMA with a decision to issue a joint statement of commitment and action.
In response to BCALA's concern regarding holding the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, in 2016, the ALA Executive Board thoroughly explored the options for moving the conference. ALA started by clarifying the facts underlying conference site selection, the implications of trying to move the Orlando conference, and the prevalence of Stand Your Ground laws across the United States. The contracts for Orlando were negotiated originally in 2000; the Stand Your Ground law in Florida became effective on October 1, 2005. Cancelling the hotel and convention center contracts would result in a minimum fine of $814,000. Conferences as large as ALA must be scheduled for specific sites and contracts signed at least 7–10 years in advance. At this late date, it would be highly unlikely that ALA would be able to find another site with availability during our window of late June/early July 2016.
Most troubling is the growing prevalence of Stand Your Ground laws. Twenty-two states have laws that allow for that self-defense provision to be asserted (as of August 2013). An additional 21 states have enacted laws that allow for self-defense within one's home (called Castle Doctrines). However, each state has implemented and applied the Stand Your Ground laws differently, and it is the interpretation and application of the Stand Your Ground Law in the Zimmerman and Dunn cases, as well as the Marissa Alexander case, that has heightened the urgency for discussion and action.
With that information in hand, our ALA's Executive Committee and BCALA's Executive Board decided that the best way to respond to the Florida situation is by turning it into an opportunity to educate, build awareness, and advocate for equitable treatment, inclusion, and respect for diversity. We have agreed on the following actions:
- Town Hall discussions of racial diversity and inclusion in our profession, association, and communities.
- Major topic of Membership Meeting at 2014 ALA Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
- Topic of discussion during Virtual Membership Meeting on June 5, 2014.
- Support for conversations and actions at the state level facilitated by state library associations or other organizations within the states.
- Formation of a Special Presidential Task Force involving members of the ethnic affiliates and ALA to (1) develop programs and other opportunities for members to learn about and engage in the issue, (2) build strong advocacy and awareness while at the Orlando conference, and (3) develop communications directed toward the public. The Task Force will be formed immediately. The goal is to use the Orlando conference platform to provoke a national dialogue.
- Collaboration with local Black and Hispanic/Latino community members and organizations in Orlando to determine the best ways for ALA members to be supportive of them. This will include compilation of a list of African-American and Hispanic/Latino businesses in Orlando for ALA members to patronize.
Most important to all the ethnic caucuses and ALA is the public and honest conversation that will be generated by our actions. We are committed to building more diversity and inclusion among our members, the field of librarianship, and our communities. We invite all members of AILA, APALA, BCALA, CALA, REFORMA, and ALA to engage with us in moving toward a more just society.
- Outreach to national organizations with vested interest in the Stand Your Ground laws to build alliances and collaborative efforts in advocacy and public awareness (e.g., NAACP, La Raza, Urban League).
(American Library Association)
Jerome Offord, Jr.
(Black Caucus of the American Library Association)
(American Indian Library Association)
(Asian Pacific American Librarians Association)
(Chinese American Librarians Association)
Isabel EspinalSee that call for "diversity"? "We are committed to building more diversity"? What, ALA does not already have diversity? For example, it doesn't already promote Islam in hundreds or thousands of libraries nationwide? Of course it does.
(The National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking)
By "diversity" ALA means uniformity. They do not mean diversity. If they did, they would not work with the racist or supremacist organization "La Raza" (The Race, like there's only one). If they did, ALA would stop making it a regular practice to support basically all libraries blocking collections from containing materials on exgays, or ALA would stop libraries from discriminating against Christians and written materials having a Christian slant. If they were really interested in diversity or "inclusion" ALA would not exclude librarians who speak out about sexual harassment that results from unfiltered computers. Etc.
No it's not diversity ALA wants, it's uniformity. It's progressive political activity, using the name "American Library Association" as cover.
NOTE ADDED 27 MARCH 2014:
NBA basketball star Kobe Bryant catches hell for saying its wrong to make knee jerk reactions to jump to one politically correct view on Trayvon Martin:
I won't react to something just because I'm supposed to, because I'm an African-American," he said. "That argument doesn't make any sense to me. So we want to advance as a society and a culture, but, say, if something happens to an African-American we immediately come to his defense? Yet you want to talk about how far we've progressed as a society? Well, we've progressed as a society, then don't jump to somebody's defense just because they're African-American. You sit and you listen to the facts just like you would in any other situation, right? So I won't assert myself."The American Library Association, now tossing aside pretense of being a library association, is doing just that and making it the centerpiece of ALA' efforts. Not porn in libraries harming children, not sexually harassed librarians, not the massive fraud in the CIPA E-rate program, but Trayvon Martin, stand your ground laws, "diversity," and other progressive causes having nothing to do with librarianship.
I'll list a few stories here, and I hope the few remaining librarians interested in librarianship and willing to speak up can wrest control from the many progressives driving the ALA:
- "Kobe Bryant on Racial Solidarity and Trayvon Martin in the New Yorker. Is He Right?," by Jason McIntyre, USA Today, 27 March 2014.
- "Kobe Bryant Changes Tune: Trayvon Martin 'Was Wronged,'" by Breitbart Sports, Breitbart, 27 March 2014.
- "Kobe Bryant Admits He Wasn't Comfortable with Miami Heat's Trayvon Protest," by Josh Feldman, Mediaite, 27 March 2014.
- "Kobe Bryant Incurs Wrath of the Left Over His Comments on Trayvon Martin Case," by Jason Howerton, The Blaze, 27 March 2014.
- "Kobe Bryant Wasn't Impressed by Miami's Trayvon Martin Protest," by Jamilah King, Colorlines Press, 26 March 2014.
NOTE ADDED 14 OCTOBER 2014:
Today ALA made public an announcement of how it is continuing to community organize its political activity having nothing to do with librarianship. In the case below, it's mainly opposition to Stand Your Ground laws.
The issues of sexual harassment are roiling the librarian community now, thanks to #TeamHarpy, yet political goals trump that as the more serious, coordinated effort is put into non-library issues like Stand Your Ground instead of sexual harassment of librarians:
|[alacoun] update from the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion|
URL of this page: safelibraries.blogspot.com/2014/03/FLAflipsALAtheBird.html
On Twitter: @ALALibrary @BCALA_Inc @FLGovScott @LibraryJournal @TweetFLAlibrary #libchat #2A #syg #StandYourGround