Gorman Supports Intellectual Freedom
Speaking for myself, and not in my capacity as co-chair of FREADOM, I would like to respond to the accusations that Bob Kent has made about M. Gorman.
I would like to point out, for the record, these positive statements that Gorman has made in the past, some of them with direct reference to Cuba.
1.During the Codrescu Q&A, Presidential Keynote event at the ALA Midwinter Conference in San Antonio, TX, 22 Jan. 2006, re: Cuba:
"... the people in prison, these people should not be in prison. They should be freed immediately. They should never have been sentenced, sent to prison for the activities connected with any kind of dissemination of information or literature."
2. From "The value and values of libraries: a Talk given at the Celebration of Libraries," Oxford, England, September 20, 2002.
"It seems to me that libraries stand, above all, for the enlightened and rational notion that human beings are improved by the acquisition of knowledge and information and that no bar should be placed in their way. We stand for the individual human being pursuing whatever avenues of enquiry she or he wishes."
3. In answer to a specific question about Cuba when he was a candidate for ALA President, Thursday, December 18, 2003:
Question: As a librarian and as a visitor to Cuba back in 2000, I am wondering what you, as candidate for ALA President, believe ALA should say or do regarding the crackdown on the persons who set up independent libraries in Cuba.
Gormans answer, later that same day: I am utterly and unalterably opposed to restrictions on freedom of speech and experession [sic] by any government or government agency in any country. I believe in intellectual freedom and the right of free expression and wish those were available to all people in all countries.
All librarians who feel the same way are respectfully invited to join the FREADOM Train in our effort to get high school and college students actually reading and discussing the books which tyrants have burned.
Secondly, I would like to point out that there is no proof whatsoever that Mr. Gorman saw Mr. Kents follow up question at the Chronicle of Higher Education live chat. A question that I sent to the editor, asking if Mr. Gorman will join a growing number of librarians in endorsing the Read A Burned Book campaign, was also not in the list of questions asked. Saying that the guest â€œremained silentâ€? about something he probably never even saw is not justified.