Progressive and radical librariansaren't very different from any progressive and radical fill-in-the-blank folk. They are political first, second and third, and librarianship, if it exists in their thought process, ranks somewhere below. I don't know how many of the PARL are out there on the fringes of the profession, but their noise level is high because so many in the profession are liberals and Democrats, sort of the first cousins of the Progressives. However, like those food/drug reform groups (Center for the something of the something) or church committees (Council of the whatever for the thingamajig) they make a lot of noise and put out tons of announcements and pack their party faithful on the faculties of our tax supported institutions.
They are joining us with the United States Social Forum. They are against "value-neutral" libraries, whatever that is, because they sure want to see their values well represented on the shelves, like the 16 copies of a popular anti-Bush title, or 25+ titles of everything Michael Moore ever produced on film or in print at my public library, or fighting community groups trying to keep pornography out of the hands of children using libraries.
PARL never asks what can be done for the working librarians, the profession or the library user, only how can they mold the library culture into meeting their social reform goals. Annoyed Librarian has renamed them the Regressive Librarians, and it does beg reflection on just what the word "PROGRESSIVE" means when used by any American political group. Progressive does not mean better benefits or unionization of retail employees of very large companies, because they really want the company destroyed; progressive doesn't mean a safer and healthier environment if that means the US economy could survive; nor raising the income of the bottom quintile but bringing everyone else down to their level, and if that isn't successful, import more poor people (illegal immigration); a progressive value is not saving wild animals or habitat, but valuing animals above humans. It's not about cooperation among religious groups, but destroying any faiths and putting Marxist principles first. Their plans, methods and goals have brought misery in every country that tried them, but they are so progressive they are desperate for it to work here in the U.S. Now, what's so progressive about these folks' tired, failed ideas? Nothing that I can see?