These long warm days aren't energizing me for blogging. I'm 1458 entries behind in my feed reader, and it's only by keeping up with the bibliotekblogosphere that I'm able to find library nonsense to write about.
Apparently those Radical Reference folks feel enervated as well, because ALA Annual in DC is only a couple of weeks away, and they haven't organized any radically referential protests. Of course this time last year I got excited over the prospect of the radical referrers protesting. "Stay tuned for info on possibly protests of Madeleine Albright and Laura Bush," they said. I stayed tuned, but nothing happened! And this year they don't even have a link for Annual 2007. We're going to Washington DC, and they're not even going to protest anything? I find this sad. Perhaps the radical referrers are all in Germany preparing to protest the G-8 meeting, handing out flyers with information on how to block roads and break windows and such. After all, protesters always need something to protest about, otherwise they don't get their emotional thrills. I assume most of them protest for the emotional thrill, because it's certainly not like they change anything.
I thought I'd read somewhere that the Regressive Librarians were going to back an ALA Council resolution to defund the Iraq War, but I couldn't find the reference again, not that I looked very hard. That will certainly be exciting, and if the resolution succeeds we can all relax in the knowledge that the boys will be coming home again soon, because after all, when the ALA speaks, people listen. After successfully blocking the confirmation of Justice Alito and directly causing the impeachment of President Bush and ending the genocide in Darfur, the ALA Council's record of affecting non-library issues is proven.
But maybe saner heads will prevail. Speaking of, I was surprised to see a sane head in the latest SRRT Newsletter (page 11). A socially concerned member of SRRT, Todd Grooten, wrote an opinion piece protesting SRRT's overwhelming concern with non-library issues and their lack of concern with the problems of actual librarians, including the problem of librarian unemployment. Here's an excerpt:
"I have dealt with chronic unemployment since graduating with my MLS in May 2003. I know I am not the only new(ish) librarian suffering from this problem. It has been discussed in many of the discussion lists geared towards people new to the profession (Nexgenlib, Newlib). When I posted a message about this topic to the SRRT discussion list last year, no one responded to my message, on or off the list. I found this disheartening, since I considered it an issue that would be pertinent to the group."
Yes, one might think trying to address a shortage of library jobs might be pertinent, if one didn't know that SRRT has no interest in librarianship. I've been told that in its early days SRRT folks were indeed concerned about jobs for librarians. But as we all know, in the great scheme of things librarians are a relatively advantaged lot. They are obviously well educated, since they all have that rigorous MLS, and many of them make decent semi-middle class salaries. Librarians are the "Man," and it's no fun trying to help the "Man."
"I would feel more comfortable with the SRRT," Mr. Grooten says, "if they engaged in social activism as it relates directly to libraries and library workers. This is why I joined the American Library Association and many of the various divisions and interest groups. Many of the causes advanced by SRRT members have organizations or activist groups specifically targeted towards advocating those issues. I would seek these out first when and if I wanted to engage in this kind of activism."
Since that is almost exactly what I've been saying for the past year, I heartily approve. I also wonder if Cranky Marxist Dude, Snipey Fellow Traveling Dude, Nasty Bronc, and the Humorless Unionator will start attacking Grooten. SFTD can blog how stupid he is to think there's such a thing as a non-library issue and NB can post vile comments about him. The HU can point out how selfish he is, and also encourage him to join a union if he ever gets a job. CMD can write nasty things about him to the ALA Council listserv. Folks like that enjoy eating their own. Remember what happened to the Mensheviks!
I suspect, though, that the typical regressive irrational hypocrisy will prevail, and they'll focus on personalities, not issues. Since none of the regressive librarians has come up with any better refutation of Grooten's argument except SFTD's claim that if enough people believe something it must be true, they certainly can't address the issue. Since Grooten is obviously a SRRT member in good standing, they'll probably forgive him, and save their energy for attacking other people for saying exactly the same thing. Is it any wonder that I don't have any respect for these people?