Rory Litwin critical of LISNews

Topic: 

The most recent issue of Library Juice includes an essay by editor Roy Litwin. He reflects on Blake Carver's decision in February to encourage more conservative contributors to LISNews.

When Blake made his original announcement, I linked to it in Library Juice and called it "Batty." It seemed batty to me for Blake to describe his own site as a "liberal echo chamber" when to me it had for years seemed like one of the more politically conservative sources of information relating to librarianship available, in terms of the stories that were posted, but especially the comments that people were leaving. The belligerant, "AM Talk Radio" style of much if not most of the discussion on LISNews had led me to stop posting stories there roughly a year earlier and to stop reading the site almost completely. A year ago it already seemed, to me, that LISNews had, far from being a "liberal echo chamber," been taken over by a right wing librarian's militia group.

So, basically I am still disturbed by Blake's sentiments about his site and about politics in the library community. It comes as a surprise and a disappointment. If you are a reader of LISNews, I hope you will read it with a critical eye and an awareness of this development.

I would like to add that I have nearly stopped reading the comments in recent weeks. Mainly because my work load has increased and my free time has decreased, but also because it seems to be the same folks, beating each other up over the same issues. Sometimes I get the feeling that my moderate, left-leaning opinion isn't wanted here.

Comments

I have it from a very, very good source that you indeed took credit for getting Mitch Freedman elected. Ann Sparansese called Sandy and myself "footsoldiers for Bush" - that was the first attack, and I am the person who responded. This is exactly what you Castronistas have been doing to anyone who question you - you attack them ruthlessly, and then when they respond, you get them kicked off the ALA SRRT listserv. You and your friends have established a record of the grossest intolerance I have ever seen in the profession. I despise you and everything that you have done for the last four years. Mark Rosensweig is the most unpleasant attack dog in the profession - and one day the history of ALA will record his attacks, Ann's, and YOURS as part of the blackest era in American library history.

Thanks Dickens for the calm voice of reason. They try to bully us, but if we tell the truth their bluster will be seen for what it is.

Dr. McCook, you mean "bullying" like throwing people into prison for the crime of calling for improved health care?

I've come onto a site that I never use and basically hold my own against a whole team of people who apparently hate me, with very little support from the people you mention whose politics you say overlap mine.

Now calm down there. It is not like you single-handedly saved the village from a rogue elephant.

It seems to me that you are attempting to clarify your initial essay. Your original essay, which I have read, essentially disagrees with Blake's attempt to get more people from a right-of-center point of view. In addition, your essay is peppered with several swipes at conservatives.

It sounds like you just don't care for something library related that includes diverse viewpoints. Fine.

Rory: no good deed goes unpunished. Thank you for your always thoughtful, always wide-ranging, and indispensable Library Juice newsletter, which unlike this blog I find always rich in library heritage and above all, intelligent. Though I have never seen you in action at an ALA Council meeting, the mild-mannered and unassuming person I met at ALA Toronto does not seem to match the diabolical descriptions of you that I have read here. I am frankly stumpted at what in the world a "conservative librarian" could be when the end game of the right wing according to Grover Norquist is to "shrink government (read public libraries and public schools and public universities) till it is small enough to fit in a bathtub and then drown it." I guarantee that the resulting private, gated communities resulting from this plan will provide little or no employment for said librarians.

Carol Gulyas
Reference and Instruction Librarian
Columbia College Chicago

Tomeboy, how can you say I lack fortitude?

It may help my response if I knew who I was addressing here. ID yourself, then ask your question.

This is an important site, and in terms of the postings, does probably represent the (not-very intellectual) mainstream of younger librarians, though the comments are leaning well to the right of the mainstream.

Yes, I caught your subtle flick of condescension here. I'm not taking the bait.

The person who said "how can you say I lack fortitute" is obviously the person whom you said lacks fortitude.Because I was responding in the first person to something you said about me, I thought it was obvious enough who was speaking.It is ridiculous that you make it necessary to say this.Rory Litwin

John, I stand by my statement.

The issue here is character, not politics. My original post mentions nothing of Rory's politics as the source of his having no guts. (Please, no more hackneyed RW conspiracy drivel)

The issue with my post is Rory's decision to blame Blake for encouraging conservative voices here at LISNews. I would have expected this to be something progressives would encourage. Your remarks have dispelled any thoughts of this lofty notion.

I invite you to revisit my original post. You may also take note of my mention of other liberal posters here at LISNews that I recognize as having the fortitude, better the guts to leave the door open here for right leaning librarians, rather than whine to Blake for upsetting the liberal apple cart. (FWIW I have also "called out" at least one conservative here who made reference to "whining" to Blake about another poster)

Final thought. John, I suggest you get used to the idea of Ditto heads librarians.

I'm a librarian Rory, not a mind reader. Perhaps signing all of your posts, rather than just a few, would be a good idea??

That said. Like I just told your friend John, I stand by my comment.

How the hell self-professed, open-minded library types can yap incessantly about diversity, but "whine" to a guy with no editorial control the minute anyone with a different opinion be invited to participate is not only hypocritical Rory, it's shameful.

Blake isn't to blame here. The genie decided to leave the bottle long before Blake's comments. I welcome left leaning posters here. In fact I love them. Why? Because unlike you, I see opportunity to engage whereas you see a threat.

You chose to scapegoat rather than enter the fray Rory hence my original post.

I am frankly stumpted at what in the world a "conservative librarian" could be when the end game of the right wing according to Grover Norquist is to "shrink government (read public libraries and public schools and public universities) till it is small enough to fit in a bathtub and then drown it." I guarantee that the resulting private, gated communities resulting from this plan will provide little or no employment for said librarians.

Yeah, that's it Carol. Why didn't you add that conservatives want to kill all the puppies and crap on everyone's birthday cake.

If you think that is how all conservatives think, then you probably don't know any and perhaps you could expand your intellectual horizons a little. You also sound a bit arrogant thinking that your way is the one true way.

I find a lot in Library Juice I don't find in my normal reading. This, for example, was very good to have.
===========

From Papyrus to Print-out: African library conference

From Papyrus to Print-out: the Book in Africa Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

8th Bibliophilia Africana Conference, Centre of the Book, Cape Town

11th - 14th May 2005

I was wrong. LISNEWS is clearly a fair and balanced website. I think I was just envious because LISNEWS is so cool and my site is not so cool. Good job Blake, keep up the good work.

--Rory Litwin

I think I might even get an account at LISNEWS. That way people cannot spoof my comments.

I was wondering when somebody was going to try that.- The real Rory, who has already stated his reason for not logging in, and who, while he is well aware that the "debate" here is hardly honest, would still be surprised if anyone attempted a fraudulent post in a serious sense. Things aren't quite as bad as that.

Whoa, boldface "fortitude" and "guts" talk! I'm impressed... 3 things here:1. You've repeated it several times with the "guts" talk: you're personally attacking Rory. That is, in the purest sense, gutless, and its avoiding his ideas. Its also typical right tactics.2. I didn't speak of right wing "conspiracy", only imitation of well-worn tactics. You've done it again with the name calling. (I'm now waiting for you to accuse me of starting the name-calling on the "gutless" thing after this has been thrown around for days.)3. Rory's intitial point stands: it is a rightward lurch to seek out/request/sponsor/want/encourage conservative commentary in response to the "liberal echo chamber". Naming it such, and placing the blame for "suppressing" "alternative" viewpoints is a sub rosa argument which blames the left for the tenor & tone of the postings and opinions. If diversity is what is wished for, why slap at the left, and why not simply see if there are other voices out there who might well be heard?There is no "liberal apple cart." As I said, if one takes our professional ethics seriously and carries them through, you're more or less pursuing a left idea - yes, even when making sure that the Bushes & Cheneys (and their detractors among the poor, the green, the peaceful) of the world have their full hearing on our shelves & computers.John BuschmanCo-editor Progressive LibrarianCoordinating Committee, P

It was tried a couple days ago, and I deleted the post. I would think that posting under someone else's name would be the one thing to get someone banned from the site. It was the same person who did it this time. Despite the attempt at humor, I find such shenanigans unethical, unprofessional, stupidly juvenile and just plain inexplicable. BF, what is your point for such posts?

Progressives tend to care about people and the future of the planet and conservatives about themselves.

Hogwash. And you have a job teaching at a university?

This whole business strikes me as merely a knockoff of the long established right wing attack: moderation is called "liberal", "liberal" is called "left wing", and "left wing" is called "crazy/insane/irresponsible." Screaming at Rory for pointing out the inconsistencies in Blake's roving positions of convenience so that he can claim "fairness" by representing more right wing folks on LISnews is also a familiar tactic. Now of course, we're down to personalities and "fortitude" B.S. - which is where this was headed all along.Being involved with librarianship is naturally going to whack the sensibilities of the right - after all, it's not really Rush Limbaugh who's in danger on the library shelves and URLs, it's those who have always been underrepresented. The push to get them represented has caused a backlash - and that's what we're in the middle of.John Buschman, Co-editor Progressive LibrarianCoordinating Committee, P

Tomeboy, how can you say I lack fortitude? I've come onto a site that I never use and basically hold my own against a whole team of people who apparently hate me, with very little support from the people you mention whose politics you say overlap mine. What is the basis of your claim that I lack fortitude? If you were familiar with my publication, you would know that I am willing to express views that are truly unpopular, including views that are unpopular with people in my own community. I do it because I often find it more important to say what I think is the truth than to rest comfortably in what I know that people will accept. I do it because I have an independent mind and the courage to risk losing false friends in exchange for more commitment from my real friends, whose numbers may be fewer. Do you do that?So where does this talk about fortitude come from? Just who do you think you are talking to? If anything, my editorial and my participating on this website of yours show fortitude, and I think it's actually your recognition of that that put the word :fortitude" in your head in this posting of yours, because it gave you something to deny.

I do think you're somewhat exaggerating the importance and the audience size of LISNews. Those 3700 hits tallied include every repeat visit of every core user of the site. The 3700 hits probably represents far 500 to 1000 people, and most of them are probably people who don't care very much about this discussion. The remainder are probably evenly divided between people who agree with you and people who agree with me. Compare that to a biweekly circulation for Library Journal of 100,000, and the approximately 4,000 daily hits to Libr.org and 3000 biweekly readers of Library Juice. This is an important site, and in terms of the postings, does probably represent the (not-very intellectual) mainstream of younger librarians, though the comments are leaning well to the right of the mainstream. In the end, it's just a blog, and opinions expressed in the blog aren't taken with the same degree of seriousness as opinions expressed in formats which require more time and reflection in their production. That's as it should be. In an online forum like this, people tend to be at their worst and least thoughtful. It shows.

You and your friends have established a record of the grossest intolerance I have ever seen in the profession.

I couldn't agree more. Rory Litwin runs SRRT like some petty caudillo, making insults and abuse against dissenters an explicit policy.

It really is a wonder that ALA tolerates such behavior from the leadership of one of its Round Tables. As with Castro's Cuba, changing SRRT from within is out of the question, so that protest from outside is the only alternative.

I am reading Guthrie's biography tonight and about the fundraiser he did with Steinbeck for farmworkers in NYC. I think about Litwin near Kern County and Rosenweig in New York and all these people fighting for the great good of equality, against war. Separated by 70 years but so close in sympathy. And yet even today amdist an unjust war there is an abiding set of personal attacks missing the point by a country mile. How could a topic of ideology open the way for this bleak and foundationless puling by whales and conservators?

Just one thought.

For the left leaning librarians here at LISNews, thank you for not whining.

When I began posting here last fall, I don’t recall any appeals to Blake. And contrary to Rory, I considered this site a milieu for liberal library types. This has changed to a degree. There was little of Pchuck, nbruce, Eli, mdoneil in those days. In fact, I really don’t think this is debatable as Blake, a self-confessed left leaner admitted so much with his now infamous “liberal echo chamber� reference.

To the point. Rory, you will never be confused with Rochelle, Great Western Dragon, Fang Face, madcow, Brian, Blake, Walt, Daniel, slashgirl, and most other liberals/libertarians/anarchists here at LISNews and perhaps in our profession. You may share their politics to some degree but you have nothing in common with their fortitude.

Something to consider. Blake’s “popsicle stand� of a library blog has grown. Immeasurably. As I look at this story now, I see it has well over 3700 hits. (How many online votes were recently tallied in the last ALA election?) In fact, LISNews may be the most popular site of its kind and present a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and your own Library Juice echo chamber.

If peace and democracy do take hold in Iraq, will you celebrate with the rest of us?

Rory, you are attributing LISNews' move to the center solely to Blake. Poppycock.

Following this logic can he, Blake, appeal to the left to "storm this blog" and take LISNews back? (no pun intended) If so, I suggest he do this to discern any latent influence.

I'm serious.

I recall a conversation with an intimate friend who is also an acquaintance of yours, in which we agreed that Mitch Freedman probably underestimated the help that Library Juice gave him in that election. That may be what you are thinking of and exaggerating into something quite different. I never claimed to anyone that Library Juice was "the key" to Mitch's election or instrumental in it.This is an example of how something very run of the mill and unobjectionable can be distorted by hate into something damning. There is a lot of that going on in this thread at my and also my friends' expense.Rory Litwin

Okay, I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the explanation.

In fact, LISNews may be the most popular site of its kind and present a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and your own Library Juice echo chamber.Well, I agree that LISNews probably is the most popular site of its kind, a probably presents a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and Library Juice. SRRT has always been in the minority in librarianship, loses many more battles than it wins, and as far as I'm concerned should stay the course.I'm not sure why you call Library Juice an echo chamber. It's a newsletter that I edit from a particular perspective. I'm not sure what you say it is echoing. When I write an editorial, I'm usually saying something that hasn't been said in print before and needs to be said. The same goes for most of the articles I publish.Rory Litwin

Jack,

We both attended the same SRRT meeting in San Diego and I am surprised at your version. It's like we were in two different rooms. Rory did no such thing when taking votes. At least tell the truth when you try to argue a point. You don't have to try and embellish a story to win supporters, do you? Or is your point of view lacking in substance so you have to create your own "reality"?

>>It's a newsletter that I edit from a particular perspective

Then why the hoopla re Blake's "perspective" of LISNews and conservative voices. Have we stumbled across a double standard here?

Fine, but I disagree with you as well.And I like to think of myself as a reasonable person.If you're not giving *everyone* access, you have no idea what the world is thinking. You only have a partial subset. We're already limited to a partial subset: those people who can get on the internet, and most likely your subset is limited to those who post in the English language (and if you're like me, those who can post coherently).If you keep reducing it down - you're eventually in an echo chamber. And that's something that seems to inherently happen on the internet (and now with authors/books). That type of filtering is bad for your intellectual health.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Actually, there has been surprising little traffic coming from here to the original article. I generally check on any new reference to a page on my site, because I want to know what people are saying out there.Thanks for your comments, but while I can see that it has some value for a lot of people, I don't really like the way this format works me. I think one of the problems with the medium is the way it seems to create hotheadeness. I think a lot of the comments in this thread don't show their authors at their best, to put it mildly. I am also vulnerable to this aspect of the medium and have certainly said things I regret in elecronic discussions. I've gotten in the habit of writing emails a little more slowly than I used to, but this board tends to speed up the time factor. I have other problems with the medium, as well as with this community, especially as it's changed over time, that make me not want to participate.Maybe in a few years things will have changed in such a way that I'm more comfortable with LISNews and feel like participating.Rory Litwin

Rory did no such thing when taking votes.

As a matter of fact, he did. I watched him. After every vote, he said "UNANIMOUSLY" with a blissful look on his face, letting everyone know that he expected them to toe the line.

So Dickens, at least tell the truth when you try to argue a point....

If this message appears twice pardon my repetitiveness - I posted a response and might not have finished it. Anyway, I was expecting it to appear and it hasn't.The problem isn't the frame of reference of LISNews. (I say it has a frame of reference rather than a single perspective because there is a real diversity of views represented here, but all within a particular cultural and political frame that sheds a certain light on all of those views.) I think every publication (or whatever you want to call this) has a frame of reference or a perspective.The problem that I have noted is that Blake doesn't acknowledge that his site has a frame of reference and that frame of reference has a political aspect to it. This was always the case, in my opinion, but when Blake explicitly called for more conservatives to participate in the site - during the time that the conservative presence in the comments had grown considerably and was continuing to grow - I thought that his lack of acknowledgment that LISNews isn't really neutral became an actual issue that I should bring up - not to drive readers away from the site, but to affect the way they read it.Rory

The biggest problem with Rory and his SRRT/PLG friends is that they have wasted all of their energy and time keeping dissenters down - and not fighting for the poor people of this country, and the imprisoned fellow librarians who are in Cuba. At one time PLG and SRRT members would have been fighting for them - instead of ignoring them like the right-wingers they hate. The history of their ideological battle with everyone else who is a librarian will record this waste of time and effort.
For an example - look at Library Juice. During the last two years how many articles has Rory posted on the programs or lack thereof from ALA to help the poor people of this country.

I'm sorry Jack, that DID NOT HAPPEN at the meeting. It's time you told the truth about what did happen. You continously interrupted the meeting to make the same comment over and over re: you must follow the bylaws. You continued on this thread even though according to the bylaws you wanted Rory to supposedly follow in detail you would have not been allowed to speak. It continues to amaze me that you continue to criticize Rory for supposedly trying to hamper free speech when he let you continue to speak even though you were out of order. Funny, rules only apply when you want them to. Grow up. I have read your posts for months, read your conservator blog and see only distortions. I have heard you speak in person but I have yet to find that you have any substantive to say. I also have noticed how you attempt to hamper any viewpoint opposite of yours. Obviously, free speech is dependent on your ok.

LISNews, nobody cared until the message became conservative.

John – you’re rambling here. Out of control comes to mind as well.

Just a few points. (you may consider your medicine before reading)

First a request. Please, save your self-righteous indignation for someone who cares. As for the boldface talk, get use to it.
LISNews is the “real world� John, not the incestuous ideological love fest you folks have historically enjoyed over at Juice. Though I do welcome your participation here.

Lastly. Your reference to professional ethics and liberalism says more about your passion for diverse thought than your ability to withhold nonsensical generalizations.

I was referring to LISNews pseudonyms (which are not unique to LISNews conservatives)

Which of the following are you speaking of;
tomeboy, bibliophile, pchuck, Eli, conservator, commonsense, mdoneil, nbruce, wuggle, Greg?

The crux of your argument is based upon these suspects and their plea for Blake's assistance. Now, you confess that you can't recall who or what or when. Precious.

What seperates this type of baseless accusation from Mr Ashcroft's supposed abuses of PA215?

No names, no more discussion Rory.

This site is neutral in that Rory Litwin can post one of his "agressively leftist" articles and all his "aggressive" as well as non-aggressive leftist fellow-travelers can post comments and agree or disagree with his post. Just as I can post one of my "aggressively conservative" articles and have all my right-wing comrades post comments and agree or disagree with my post.

In addition, people who don't belong to any camp can post articles and comments concerning just anything that is library related.

I have to say that most of the articles that are posted are pretty neutral in the sense they are not left-wing or right-wing. On the other hand, the comments tend to be more political. Some go right and some go left and some are in the middle.

Then again, you might view things that are liberal (left-of-center) as right-wing. I don't know. If so, that is your problem.

It's only because I think diversity of opinion should be expressed, debated and thought about in an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect rather than unruly contest where dishonest argumentation (taking things out of context, misrepresenting views, baseless personal attacks) tends to ruin the discussion.

This is the coming from the guy who started this whole thing by using terms like "right wing librarian's militia group." Is this based on peace and mutual respect? Yes or No?

P-upchuck, His High Tomeliness, et. al.:Y'all just can't help yourselves can you? Rory gives & repeats a basic analysis and question, and you folks take the tone & tenor right into the gutter. Rory took exception to the "liberal echo chamber" comment, posted his analysis on LJ (& used similarly motivated language in it) and it was picked up by LISNews.You're all whining that "he started it", you've not (& I assume, can't) answer the basic question he raised (do I need to repeat it?), and you attack, attack attack. Meanwhile, you're getting into these really, really small distictions as to whether the person connected to the handle "pooh-pooh bear" was the poster, or "big daddy". Wow, its really grown up to hide behind anonymous names, meanwhile those of us on the other side are actually using our own - what a concept.If you want a real debate over the relative merits of a self-proclaimed left outlet (LJ) vs. a self-proclaimed neutral one that was somehow "biased" then knock off the Stalin, fellow-travelers, and puppet bullshit and address the ideas. His Tomeliness has already folded his tent in a pout over punning his "handle," so move on, or engage the ideas Rory is putting out.Hoping for many children not to be left behind,John Buschman (AGAIN, my real name...)

The idea that LISNews was - or still is - a "liberal echo chamber" is patently untrue; there has been increasingly conservative content and a strong conservative presence in February when Blake made his announcement. That's part of my point.But what if LISNews were mostly a liberal hangout? Would that make it a liberal echo chamber? The idea of a liberal echo chamber implies that there are 1) no new ideas and that there is 2) no disagreement. An aspect of liberalism - in the classical and the modern sense - has always been the overturning of tradition in favor of new ideas, so to say that liberals can't think of new ideas is an insult that simply doesn't have any traction. And even conservatives to whom liberalism seems like a morass of nonsense are well aware that there are major differences within the left, between more libertarian types and more socialist types, as well as labor folks and environmentalists, economists, street activists, radicals and moderates.I'm just pointing out that painting LISNews as a "liberal echo chamber" is more than a claim that it was liberal, but also says it was an "echo chamber."Rory Litwin

Point taken. But when I came here to defend my position, I dropped the aggressive language and proceeded to try to discuss things logically (especially after the first day). Over the past week, I have elaborated my points, altered my position slightly, made it more complex, and explained a rational argument about the nature of LISNews. Rather than engaging me in a discussion at this level, I have been met with hostiliy (mainly from a few people, admittedly) from anonymous "nicknames." There's been very little interest here in a real intellectual discussion, and no one has really addressed the major aspects of my argument. All the while I have been rational and peaceful. The record supports my original point.Rory Litwin

The underlying technology has a certain neutrality, but LISNews is more than that. It also has a culture and a frame of reference which contextualizes anything that I might post here, and sheds a certain light on it.The problem of determining what is the political "center" is one that effects everyone, not just people to the left of you.Also, it is a fallacy to mistake middle-of-the-road ideas for neutrality. What's middle-of-the-road has a definite political nature - that of not wanting to change things and being okay with how things are going and with the majority of what has been established already. It is often mistaken for neutrality, but it's not. What's middle-of-the-road works for certain ends and certain interests. What's neutral (in the limited areas where it can actually exist) does not.Rory Litwin

Just to be accurate, I think I have been the calm one in this thread. Quite a few times in this thread, liberals have been told to "calm down" and accused of being "out of control," when if you actually read the thread they are simply responding reasonably to hostility. I consider this an underhanded tactic.Rory Litwinp.s. Please note for the record my calmness and equanimity.

Point taken. My original editorial used slightly provacative language (but, I think, not to the level used against me here).When I came onto this board to defend my position, however, I altered my approach and focused on clarifying my ideas and laying them out more fully. The LISNews community didn't respond in kind by matching my attempt at a more rational discussion (despite my early acknowldgement that it would have been helpful of me to tone down my rhetoric in the original article). So, rather than an intellectual debate where I would have been confronted with a substantive criticism of my ideas about neutrality and frames of reference, I mostly have had to contend with bullying from a few very aggressive representatives of the conservative side, posting using anonymous nicknames, including self-professed attacks on my character by "tomeboy" (whoever he is). Now, I'm not particularly worried that this talk could harm my real reputation, but I'd like to point out that it's conceiveable, and that despite this danger I am using my real name while my "debate partners" are not.Rory Litwin

What I am bothered by, "tomeboy," whoever you are, is, as I have said to you repeatedly, not the righward-shifting political character of the culture and frame of reference of LISNews, but the continued claim by Blake and other users of the site, especially conservatives, that the site is a neutral open forum - despite the obviousness of this rightward shift and Blake's open role in fostering it in February (at a point when it was well in progress), and despite the sheer oddness of Blake's claim at that point that the site was a "left wing echo chamber."My aim in pointing this out was not to object to LISNews having become a predominantly conservative site or even Blake's role in that change, but just to make people aware of it and to dispel the myth that the technology behind LISNews makes it neutral.Rory

"InfoWhale" is, for those who don't know, Steve Fesenmaier of West Virginia. I understand his personal reasons for complaining that I and my SRRT/PLG friends waste our time "keeping dissenters down," but I can't allow the claim to stand and create the illusion that his experience is remotely typical. In general, we've encouraged broad participation in SRRT and PLG. I myself have worked to attract new members and new ideas to both groups with success.SRRT has grown substantially in the last couple of years, contrary to Steve's view of SRRT's reputation among librarians. We have had more than the usual support from members during the critical times of the last couple of years.Steve is making baseless accusations.Rory Litwin

The problem with this idea is that requiring a login doesn't require people to take ownership of their comments. Only requiring people to use their real names does that.Look at this discussion. Who is identifiable by their postings and who is not? The people logging in are using nicknames. I can't tell who they are, so they aren't personally accountable to anyone. Only their meaningless nicknames (which can be thrown away in exchange for a new one) are accountable.On the other hand, most of the messages in this thread that are labelled "anonymous poster" are signed with real names, which actually make us accountable.As you would expect then, because the people who post without logging in are mostly using their real names, the tone of their comments is more civil. This is the reverse of what you are suggesting. The people who are logging in are being LESS civil, because they are actually anonymous.I know this flies in the face of cyber-truisms, but it's the truth. Using a nickname is a form of anonymity if you don't sign your real name.Rory Litwin

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