I have a special article up dealing with ALA and 9/11. I doubt you'll enjoy it but hopefully you'll at least have found it worth reading. Check it out.


Thanks Greg. I've blogged about your story at my blog.

You're splitting hairs. I wasn't writing about official statements, I was writing about American Libraries' attitude and point of view which is unquestionably representative of ALA.

"How in the world can you use the term "flagship journal" and then *not* assume it speaks for an organization?"Because the editorial staff is not the same as the executive committee of an organization. Now if ALA Council had issued some statement regarding 9/11 (perhaps it has), then that would speak for the organization.

Its one thing to feel shocked and to grieve but this wasn't an act of God. When the second plane hit I think a lot of people understood that we were at war.

Regardless of ones personal beliefs on war in general this seemed to me a missed oppurtunity by ALA to show love of country.

I think the factor of shock, disbelief probably played into what was written by ALA in the months after 9/11. Who was it who wanted to commemorate the towers in a "right now" kind of way? Souvenir manufacturers. The whole horrible episode in our history needs time--months, years and maybe more to sink in.

"One issue from one journal of one profession = one anecdote."

1. We are talking about *the* response to 9/11, a response involving multiple writers and editors contained in a single issue. I'm a librarian, I honestly could care less about other professions and what they did or didn't do. We have our own house to clean up.

2. I've spent since January pointing out ALA activites and the slant involved including the now infamous Orlando convention. If you really want to get particular about anecdotes then are plenty to pick from but the point is that it started with this issue.

"Assuming that one believes that the editoral staff of an association's flagship journal speaks for an entire profession or even organization."

How in the world can you use the term "flagship journal" and then *not* assume it speaks for an organization?

"a few anecdotes? I went through the whole issue!"One issue from one journal of one profession = one anecdote.I hope to see others willing to do as we did and go through other journals of other professions of that period. Then a picture of "trade association responses to 9/11" can be built up and we can more intelligently debate whether librarians as a group were particulary unsympathetic. Assuming that one believes that the editoral staff of an association's flagship journal speaks for an entire profession or even organization.

I'm interested in looking at what works are banned where. I'm pretty sure its illegal to have a King James Bible in Saudia Arabia but I have to check it out.

Cool, thanks Norma!

a few anecdotes? I went through the whole issue!

But yes I will gladly say on the article about terrorism overshadowing AIDs that the writer of that article is a self-indulgent moron.

Thanks for the ideas about my banned books week display. I'll add Satanic Voices. Remember lots of places ban books. I'm using Mein Kampf, the bible, Candide (which we have 1 copy out of 7, the 6 others stolen) Lady Chatterly's Lover. I'm going to peruse old lists of books forbidden by Catholics many years ago.

I'm sure I'll find a bunch more but we are going to have a hurricane and I've been to the World of Beer so there are more pressing issues right now.

I thought it would be interesting to see how other professional journals handled 9/11. I checked out doctors and lawyers. I hope some others can check out other professional journals.I think a valid question to ask is "Is American Libraries lack of outrage a sign of disdain for the country or a preoccupation with our own profession?"Looking at the first mention of 9/11 in JAMA, the journal of the American Medical Association, we find this ONE article addressing 9/11:Will Focus on Terrorism Overshadow the Fight Against Aids?Authors: Voelker, RebeccaSource: JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association; 11/7/2001, Vol. 286 Issue 17, p2081, 3pThe article discusses worries that money will be spent on military activities instead of urgent public health issues, such as AIDS, women's rights, and the welfare of immigrants. [That's their words, not mine.]Does this mean doctors hate America?Turning to the ABA Journal, we find a very stirring article in the OCTOBER 2001 issue:Title: Terrorism Will Not Win.Authors: Hirshon, Robert E.Source: ABA Journal; Oct2001, Vol. 87 Issue 10, p12, 1pThat includes this quote:"But freedom has its price and we have just paid that price in blood and tears. The shattered lives and pointless deaths created by the maniacal acts of a few extremists will live in the collective consciousness of this nation for all of time. The loss of so many of our extended ABA family, colleagues and friends is devastating.But we must not let mindless brutality deter us in our mission to maintain a great and vibrant nation. The future of our democracy depends on us, for as lawyers we are the guardians of the system of justice and the advocates for the rule of law.We play the critical role in upholding our country's ideals and ensuring that the rule of law remains supreme. We do this for ourselves, our children and for all future generations. We join with the president and the congressional leadership to support every effort to protect our fellow citizens and our way of life. By doing so, we defend the rule of law."Do Lawyers love America? If so, are we justified in heaping such scorn on them?Unlike Greg, I can't firm conclusions from a few anecdotes. It'd be interesting to see what other professions say for themselves.

According to the State Dept's 2003 report on religious freedom Bibles are appear to be forbidden:"Customs officials routinely open mail and shipments to search for contraband, including Sunni printed material that is deemed incompatible with the Salafi tradition of Islam, Shi'a religious materials, and non-Muslim materials, such as Bibles and religious videotapes. Such materials are subject to confiscation, although rules appear to be applied arbitrarily."Remarks on religion in general in Saudi Arabia from the same report:"The country is ruled by a monarchy with a legal system based on Islamic law (Shari'a). The Government does not provide legal protection for freedom of religion, and such protection does not exist in practice. Islam is the official religion, and the law requires that all citizens be Muslims. The Government prohibits the public practice of non-Muslim religions. The Government recognizes the right of non-Muslims to worship in private; however, it does not always respect this right in practice, and does not define this right in law."Ironically, this is less freedom of religion than existed in Saddam Hussein's Iraq or in present day Syria. But Riyadh is our friend, or so the gov't continues to insist."Today, the Saudi government is taking the fight to al Qaeda. They're an ally in the war on terror."- President George W. Bush, Panama City, FL, 8/10/2004

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