Saturday, January 11, 2014

Not much has changed in 40 years at the American Library Association

Here’s a title from a 1972 article in Library Journal.  I can’t post a link, because although librarians are all about freedom to read, this journal doesn’t post its archives on the internet. Just add topics like gay marriage (which in 1972 couldn’t have been imagined), or Planned Parenthood or the Iraq War and Bush’s fault and you’d have the same concerns  today as libraries close because librarians try to fight the various liberal causes.

Berninghausen, D. 1972. “Social responsibility vs. The Library Bill of Rights.” Library Journal 97 (November 15): 3675-82.

Basic points of this article from comments by “Contrarian”  at Annoyed Librarian blog:

David Berninghausen, former Director of the Library School at the University of Minnesota, wrote an interesting essay in 1972 (or 1973) called “Social Responsibility vs. The Library Bill of Rights”. It provides some historical context and perspective. Not all his predictions have come true, but much of what he said resonates to this day. Here is an excerpt:

"The raison d’etre of the ALA is NOT any of the following:

1. To eradicate racial injustice & inequities & to promote human brotherhood.

2. To stop the pollution of air, earth, & sea.

3. To build a UN capable of preventing all wars.

4. To promote the homosexual life-style.

5. To advocate the lowering of the voting age to 18.

6. To preserve the separation of church & state.

7. To destroy-or to establish-universities.

8. To judge the guilt or innocence, based on news reports, of Charles Manson, Angela Davis, or the Berrigan brothers on the charges brought against them in the courts.

9. To resolve hundreds of other social, scientific, or political issues, regardless of how vital they may be for the future of humanity.

Attempts to make this library organization into a political organization for the promotion of specific causes unrelated to librarianship could destroy the viability of the ALA. They have already weakened it…unless the attention, time, energy, and resources of the ALA can be refocused upon library problems, the organization cannot and will not survive…"

This article became part of his book, "The Flight from Reason: Essays on Intellectual Freedom in the Academy, the Press, & the Library."

1 comment:

mdoneil said...

I belonged to the ALA for one year, that was one year too many.