Monday, November 13, 2006

RLG Resolution: Against Bad Stuff

The Regressive Librarians Guild (RLG) of the Annoyed Librarian Association (ALA) is really tired of bad things happening in the world, so we've decided to take the ultimate step in highly effective political action--we're passing a resolution! Even though a lot of the bad stuff happening has nothing to do with libraries, we like to show how good we are and how bad everyone who disagrees with us is. Actually, almost all of the bad stuff happening in the world has nothing to do with libraries, but if we confined our actions to libraries and librarians then we would be really boring and probably lose that self-righteous indignation that keeps us going in our dreary lives. We also know that if the ALA passes a resolution against something, then that thing darn well stops, because everybody listens to the librarians! So here goes:

WHEREAS, the Regressive Librarians Guild is on the side of the angels; and...

WHEREAS, the Regressive Librarians Guild knows that everyone else is just cold-hearted and evil; and...

WHEREAS, lots of bad things happen in the world every day; and...

WHEREAS, lots of bad people do many bad things in the world; and...

WHEREAS, the RLG disapproves of bad things happening; and...

WHEREAS, the RLG disapproves of bad people doing bad things; and...

WHEREAS, the RLG knows that if the ALA passes a resolution against something, that thing ends;

RESOLVED, the ALA says bad things should stop happening; and be it further

RESOLVED, the ALA thinks bad people should stop doing bad things and instead do good things.

There, that solved that problem!


contrarian librarian said...

This is a wonderful tribute to the RLG on their 17th birthday (the "Progressive" Librarians Guild was born 17 years ago today). They have done so much for the field of librarianship, especially their stupid resolutions. The resolution calling for the impeachment of President Bush is one of their best. This resolution represents librarians and will shape the course of history for many years to come. And if you disagree with it, you are a right-wing racist. Here it is:


PLG calls for Bush’s impeachment
Resolution Condemning the Actions of President George W. Bush and Calling for Impeachment Proceedings

WHEREAS, democracy is a core value that defines, informs, and guides our professional practice;

WHEREAS, the American Library Association affirms the responsibility of the political leaders of the United States to protect and preserve the freedoms that are the foundation of our democracy (ALA Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures that Infringe on the Rights of Public Library Users); and

WHEREAS, the actions of the current President, George W. Bush, have violated that responsibility in unprecedented ways and threaten the very foundations of a democratic government; those actions, arguably involving the commission of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” are as follows:

Entering into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, based upon fabricated and erroneous information;

Crafting of policies adopted since September 11, 2001, including provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act (Public Law 107-56) and PATRIOT ACT II and related executive orders, regulations and actions, which threaten fundamental rights and liberties by:

a) expanding the authority of federal agents to conduct so-called “sneak and peek” or “black bag” searches, in which the subject of the search warrant is unaware that his property has been searched, thereby increasing the likelihood that the activities of library users, including their use of computers to browse the Web or access e-mail, may be under government surveillance without their knowledge or consent;
b) granting law enforcement and intelligence agencies broad access to personal medical, financial, library and education records with little if any judicial oversight;
c) permitting the FBI to conduct surveillance of religious services, internet chat rooms, political demonstrations, and other public meetings of any kind without having any evidence that a crime has been or may be committed;
d) diminishing personal privacy by removing important checks on government surveillance authority;
e) reducing the accountability of government to the public by increasing government secrecy;
f) granting expansive new immigration powers to the Attorney General which are subject to abuse, particularly with regard to immigrants from Arab, Muslim and South Asian countries; and
g) expanding the definition of “terrorism” in a manner that threatens the constitutionally protected rights of Americans.

Approval of the use of torture (including practices such as hooding, shackling, drugging, sleep deprivation, etc.) in the interrogation of suspected terrorists or their suspected accomplices in his “war on terror.”

Illegal detainment of so called “enemy combatants” and others who are jailed on the merest suspicion, refusing them legal counsel and either holding them indefinitely or secretly deporting them.

Authorization of warrantless electronic surveillance of people within the United States, including U.S. citizens, by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Promoting policies that erode the division of Church and State.

Openly asserting executive power in attempts to override the U.S. Constitution, U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Judicial system, thus ignoring the system of checks and balances fundamental to democratic government.

WHEREAS, librarians are among the preeminent defenders of intellectual freedom and government openness in the US; and

WHEREAS, intellectual freedom, our primary value as librarians, is seriously violated by the current political climate which allows for suppression, attack and even criminalization of dissent; and

WHEREAS, the Library Bill of Rights states that libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas; and

WHEREAS, the broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are, in part, defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society, and the willingness of the ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement (ALA Policy Manual, 1.1); therefore it is

RESOLVED, that the Progressive Librarians Guild join with others demanding that President George W. Bush, as the head of the administration that is leading the U.S. in its current political direction, be presented with articles of impeachment as stipulated by the Constitution with a view to removing him from office; and, be it further

RESOLVED, that PLG calls on its members and all others in the library community to urge their elected representatives to support HR635 of the 109th Congress calling for an investigation into possible impeachment proceedings; and be it finally

RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, to the Attorney General of the United States, to Members of both Houses of Congress, to the library community, and to others as appropriate.

Approved by the Coordinating Committee of the Progressive Librarians Guild
March 15, 2006

Progressive Librarians Guild
c/o Rider University Library
2083 Lawrenceville Road
Lawrenceville NJ 08648

Sharon said...

I suppose you could say that the Declaration of Independence was only a resolution, too. It has to start somewhere.

Are you saying that the USA PATRIOT Act/intellectual freedom/democracy/etc are no concern of the ALA or of librarians?

contrarian librarian said...


Are you saying that poverty, racism, global warming, supreme court justices, torture, genocide, Katrina, and the war in Iraq are concerns of ALA and librarians?

Anonymous said...

Your symbol should be that of King Canute.

Stand firm in your conviction taht evil stuff is, like, bad and ye too shall move the seas.


Anonymous said...

None to worry PLG, I assure you that the stomach of the Bush roasts in Hell and he is nowhere near the vicinity of the White House now, even as we are speaking. This of which I am certain.

All Bush base are belong to us!

Anonymous said...

If there's a pulse in this beast, it's right here:

" WHEREAS, the broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are, in part, defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society, and the willingness of the ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement (ALA Policy Manual, 1.1)... "

apply tourniquet as needed.

Anonymous said...

No one cares what the ALA thinks other than ALA members. I would rather the organization commit its limited resources to issues that deal with librarianship as a profession. I think AL has said it before, it's a no-brainer that most people are against things like torture and abuse of power, so why is it necessary to iterate the obvious. Concerning the issues that are not so cut and dry, such as my political party is better than your political party, the ALA has no business taking sides and claiming to be the meta-representative of the body of librarians in this country.

Anonymous said...

When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Anonymous said...

If that's your idea of a clever argument, no wonder no one spoke out for you.

Anonymous said...

Trying to be clever, although I haven't seen any concentration camps spring up in the last six years, have you?

Personally, I wish the ALA would put their limited resources towards the betterment of the profession that they claim to represent, rather than try to solve all the world's problems.

AL said...

When the Nazis came for the communists. Oh my goodness, we are certainly self-righteous, aren't we. When it comes to body counts, the communists are even worse than the Nazis, so I'm not going to speak up for either one of them. However, I really can't see how this odd comment is at all relevant to the discussion. It's not like the ALA is ever a lone voice in the wilderness. Lots of people don't like the war in Iraq and think genocide is a bad idea. But when is the ALA going to start speaking up for librarians?