What Librarians DO Think About Laura Bush

Collected here are what over 70 librarians think about Laura Bush. Opinions range from love to hate, and everywhere in between. The First Lady, it seems, is a rather divisive figure on the LIS World these days.
Thanks to everyone who offered an opinion. When I first posted the request for comments I mentioned it was the result of a request from a reporter, the article was in the Houston Chronicle on Sunday, \"First lady flexes her muscle for president\", by Julie Mason, I was quoted as follows:


Librarians tend to be divided, with some calling Bush a credit to the profession and others faulting her for not protecting libraries from funding cuts.
\"Our budgets are being destroyed, laws are being written against us, and our pay rates are terrible,\" said Blake Carver, a librarian and operator of the online librarian Web site, LISNews.com.
\"With so much doom and gloom floating about, people need someone to blame,\" he said. \"She was looked upon with great hope when she started, and many feel let down that she didn\'t do more.\"

So read on to learn what some people think of our First Lady...

I don\'t know what you librarians think about either, but I think she\'s an
(expletive deleted) sellout. But, then, I\'m hard to get along with.
I think that she gives lip service and finds minor money for
libraries/recruitment and stands by while her husband guts programs and funding.
And how long has it been since she worked in a library, anyway?

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I\'m a librarian somewhere in Alaska. Other than a cover story that Library
Journal did a few months back, I\'m unaware of any "how do we feel" articles
about the First Librarian.

My personal feeling is that she doesn\'t do anything for the field. She supports
reading, she supports literacy, but I don\'t hear her talking about libraries. As
far as I can tell, she\'s been missing in action on most of the major pieces of
library related legislation considered during her husband\'s term. Her
cancellation of the White House poetry event seems to indicate that she\'s afraid
of dissenting voices -- what would have been wrong with letting them speak?
When\'s the last time poets sparked a riot? Were there no prowar poets she could
have invited for balance?

In her defense, she is the First Spouse, a role, like that of the
vice-president, has traditionally required slavish loyalty to the party line of
the administration. Maybe we don\'t have a right to demand much from her. I can\'t
get away from the feelings that she\'d be ok with all public libraries closing,
as long as retailers offered discounts on children\'s books so they could pick up
reading. That\'s the impression I get from her silence.

If she hasn\'t been silent, please share! I\'d love to have more hope in the
world!

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she\'s a babe!!!

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I like her. She\'s supportive of the Profession and seems like a nice person

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I really like her. She gets my vote for the greatest First Lady in my
lifetime... and I\'m really old...

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She\'s a sell-out, I agree -- sure, she\'s supportive of literacy, as another
reader indicates, but then again, who isn\'t? Being "supportive of literacy" is
one of those lovely political, glittering generalities. I\'ve yet to hear a solid
statement from her in response what this administration is doing to patron
rights and freedom of information (pro or con, really)...it\'s inexcusable
regardless to whom you\'re married.

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Have to go with the sell-out opinion. Literacy is not a topic specific to
librarians. Privacy, information access... those are topics that librarians
concern themselves over. She\'s been notably silent on those issues.

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She is the librarian version of her husband - a complete puppet of the large
corporations that control our control and world. She has no more sense of
intellectual freedom than her husband. Both of them are guilty of the worst form
of intellectual treason in our country\'s history - up there with Joe McCarthy.
She did almost nothing to help the libraries in Texas, and even less for
American libraries. Does she have a MLS? It doesn\'t matter - she is a world
class biblio-nazis

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Quite honestly, I try not to think about her.
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Seems like they should be talking to the family of the man she killed or are we
not supposed to bring that up?
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You mean that car accident from when she was 17 years old? Gee, she must be a
real bad person.
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I believe that she does not have an MLS. This alone makes her a discredit to the
profession, because she (like that political candidate in New Jersey a while
back) propogates the idea that, as someone said to me just today, "You mean you
need a DEGREE for that? I thought all you needed was to apply for a job in a
library!"

Her money for recruitment efforts does not do nearly as much good as money for
actual scholarships, or for libraries themselves, would.

I understand that she has to follow official party lines on issues of free
speech and information access, but her silence on these issues reinforces the
image of the middle aged housewife (alternately spinster) who became a
"librarian" because she likes to read.

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Following that link, we see that she worked for about a year in a public
library, then three years as an elementary school librarian. This was not a long
career.

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When I think about Laura Bush, the first words which come to my mind are the
lyrics to the song "stand by your man".

I don\'t know about you, but since the Bushes have been in office, my local
school and public library have had to cut services. Nothing has improved.

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I doubt the federal government has much to do with your local library. Look to
your local legislators, or better yet, your state officials.
It seems everyone forgets that shortly after GWB entered office, the terrorists
struck. How quickly librarians have forgotten. I\'m sure GWB would much rather be
dealing with plain old domestic issues, jogging through the park, and other
little things.

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I think sellout is as good a description as any. She could\'ve chosen to speak
out for libraries and she has not. I\'ll also admit to some resentment that she\'s
even referred to as a librarian when she hasn\'t met the educational criteria

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It\'s just too bad that she decided to use it as an MRS instead. She went through
a reputable program, got the credentials, and then gave it up to be her
husband\'s little sycophant.

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She\'s not as much of a menace to human life as her husband.

Is that a compliment?

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I don\'t consider her to be a librarian, just because she worked in a school
library many years ago, and I resent her identifying as a librarian. She is
obviously out of touch with the profession, particularly since she thinks it\'s a
field full of job opportunity right now. Hrmph!

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Irrelevant

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I think she is labeled a "librarian" when it is politically expediant to do so,
and she is a "teacher" when that is the best sound bite.

She\'s a politician\'s wife. Whatever she started out doing, she became his wife,
his children\'s mother, and now a spokesperson for him and his job.

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As a Librarian for close to forty years, I believe Mrs. Bush has done as much or
more for public and school libraries and reading than any first lady I can
remember. I applaud her efforts.

The annual celebration of the book at LC, her reception for children\'s
librarians, her support of reading to children programs all add up to big
plusses for all of us.

Now if the economy and her spouse\'s policies translated into at least preserved,
if not improved support, all would be well.

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The seamstress in me wants to recut 3/4 of the bodices I see in her photos - but
that\'s another issue.

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Please be aware that Laura Bush has provided huge support for the availability
of $20 million for scholarships in library and information science through IMLS.
There is no format for speaking to the question about what (all) librarians
think. The opinions of some who may not be aware of her contributions should not
be represented as "what librarians think." Please be careful on this matter and
do not undo all the careful work that has been done to put this program in
place! She also hosted the award ceremony for the IMLS museums and libraries of
the year last September, and came and stayed for all the papers read and
presentations! To criticize her in any way for decisions made by the President
would show we are deeply unskillful in the ways of the world!

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I find it ironic that she chose literacy and libraries as her \'first lady
issues\' while she has a husband who can barely read (or talk). This must be an
off-shoot from having to read the daily presidential briefs aloud for her
husband each morning. She should concentrate on the learning problems in her own
house to have the greatest positive effect for the country as a whole.

I can\'t wait to vote for someone who can read next election (like most of the
country did last election)

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Laura Bush has an MLS from the University of Texas at Austin.

She has also established a private foundation entitled the "Laura Bush
Foundation of America\'s Libraries" which supports school libraries and their
purchases of reading material.

132 schools across the country received grant money in 2003. A quote from her on
the purpose of the foundation...."Grants from the Foundation will help school
libraries extend their collections so that children across the country can
access books about science, history, drama or classic literature, or any other
topic."

Instead of questioning Laura Bush\'s library skills -- it seems to me we should
be worried as a profession that the wrong information presented in this thread
comes from the library community itself.

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I\'m a librarian at a medium-sized public library and I don\'t think badly about
Laura Bush, but I don\'t think highly of her either. I rarely think of her at
all. She seems pleasant and nice and always appropriate, but there\'s something
about her that has never seemed real to me, as if she is not fully present or
something. I\'m a bigger fan of Hillary Clinton, who is involved, holds strong
opinions and is willing to work hard and get her hands dirty to accomplish some
good.

She is so quiet as a first lady. I find it hard to really have an opinion of her
as a first lady let alone as a job she had in the past. Someone asked whether I
was happy that a librarian was in the White House, and I simply explained that I
would rather see what she will do as a first lady and former librarian to know
whether it was a good or bad thing for the field or the world. Although I am
sure she is doing something beyond standing in the shadow of her husband, I
really have had much evidence of her influence on the field or any other aspect
of the world. I haven\'t read any articles recently that discuss her and I
vaguely remember some print given to that fact, but I couldn\'t tell you when and
where. Hope I gave you something to work with.

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I think that she should communicate with her family more. She needs to talk to
her brother in law about the importance of libraries in his home state of
Florida and also to her husband about pulling away funding from initiatives that
would benefit children - whether or not they may have a library to go to.

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Cancelling the White House poetry conference because some of the poets were
antiwar and outspoken about it was indefensible. I would put in contrast this
action with that of the librarian who forced Mike Moore\'s "Stupid White Men"
publisher to release the book.

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Because she\'s married to a Republican President, of course 95% of librarians
will detest her. She seems like a decent person, a great improvement over
Hilary. Some of the catty comments about her sound like an episode of
"elimidate."

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I think she\'s an embarrassment to the profession. Get the degree, work a year,
and then rarely set foot into a library, marry an essentially illiterate man,
and allow him to decimate libraries and their mission? She\'s a joke.

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I applaud Laura Bush\'s efforts to bring the field of librarianship into public
notice. However, I can\'t help but wonder if she is aware of the problems and
issues that 21st century librarians encounter. How would Laura Bush react if she
accidentally suggested that a library patron check on the president\'s
preformance by viewing the contents of the website whitehouse.com? Oops I meant
whitehouse.gov. I believe the library environment that Laura Bush worked in is
very different from the Internet-dominated library of today. Libraries are far
more than reading centers. They are daytime shelters for the mentally
challenged, homeless and unemploymented. Libraries have become game rooms,
entertainment centers and communications networks for those Americans who choose
not to pay or can not afford Internet access in their resident. Libraries are
warehouses of information and should be available to all Americans. Yet state
governments are decreasing funding for services that help all people living with
the boundaries of the United States. But, libraries are still expected to be
open so many hours per week. Library collections should have a variety of books,
periodicals, filmed materials and as will as access to the Internet. Is Laura
Bush using her position to help libraries maintain an adequate level of
government sponsored financial assistance? She has improved the physical image
of the librarian in American minds. But, I\'m not so sure that she has provided
the average American a better understanding of all the services that are
available at the local public library. I have been a librarian for almost twenty
years. I don\'t read stories to anyone. Instead, I help people write books and
format resumes, correct spelling errors, find legal statutes and medical
information, local old friends and deceased relatives. I assist people with
their education studies and computers skills so they became a wage-earner and
economic supporters of their government. Has Laura Bush shown the American
public that side of library work?

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think that Laura Bush is both an outstanding exemplar of librarianship and, not
being a doormat for a serial philanderer, for young women generally.

It is a good thing that most librarians, indeed none that I\'ve met over the past
decade, would describe themselves as "troublemakers and loudmouths." It is a
good thing for the profession, and for those we serve in any library setting.

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Aside from a proposal to include $10 million for
scholarships and recruitment of public
librarians, I haven\'t heard a peep out of her. I
think this is less about how librarians are
perceived than the role of women in a Republican
White House: seen not heard, spoke when spoken
to, a nice non-threatening wife. I don\'t think of
her as a librarian, even, since it\'s been so long
since she\'s been one. She certainly doesn\'t act
like the librarians her age that I know.

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She does represent the goody-goody, don\'t-make-waves, sensibly shod variety of
librarian who tries not to call attention to herself. But even those of us who
are perennial troublemakers and loudmouths can\'t seem to get people very
interested in libraries - in using them, funding them or anything else.

Case in point: Monday\'s CIPA decision was totally upstaged in the media by the
affirmative action decision. It\'s as if no one thinks free speech matters, at
least not in libraries. (If only they could see the sudden interest in filtering
software on this listserve. That might get their attention!)

I\'m glad I\'m not the only one who finds the perceived irrelevance of libraries
depressing.

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But I think that Mr. & Mrs. Bush deserve one another. The poetry
function at the White House that was cancelled due to poets desiring to
protest the war is more or less equal to Bush\'s U.N. be damned
philosophy, I\'m going to war cause that\'s what I want (and I\'ve always
gotten my way).

Well, I wish we could have someone more like Eleanor Roosevelt, who would
occasionally make public statements that differed from the positions of her
husband and his administration. (Not that I remember, but I\'ve read about
it!) The point is, not every First Lady is entirely compliant with her
husband and his handlers.

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L. Bush is in a difficult position--or a difficult two
positions. I would like to believe that she perceives the
conflict inherent in the positions and had made difficult
choices. I think it\'s understandable to not want to
embarrass the spouse one presumably loves publicly (as
with the poetry event). Note that I say "understandable"
not "admirable." We have a tendency to think that
librarians are so committed, dedicated, ethical,
information-access supporters, First Amendment supporters
etc. etc. that L. Bush, as a librarian, should turn her
husband right around. We might as well throw in Internet
filters and the death penalty while we are at it. She has
chosen not to take on those causes and we can\'t expect her
too, just because she\'s a librarian. Perhaps she doesn\'t
even believe in those causes--her MLS doesn\'t guarantee
that. Her roles as First Lady and Mrs. W are clearly her
priorities.

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don\'t pay much attention to Laura Bush - from my perspective she is irrelevant
to academic librarianship. If you\'re looking for a suitable personality for
nice, harmless PR stories and photos involving children and books - the novelty
factor of having a first lady who is (or was) a librarian certainly can\'t hurt.

As for the long-term implications though, Tom Ridge was the Governor of
Pennsylvania for nearly eight years - and his wife was also a librarian - and
was, I imagine, the Pennsylvania version of what Laura Bush is for the nation.
So how\'d that help libraries in Pennsylvania? After Ridge and his administration
left the budget in a deficit situation - further compounded by federal cuts to
states - the current legislature has proposed a 50% cut in state library funding
(although we anticipate some of that will be restored in the end).

So much for "first lady" librarians and their ability to raise awareness about
libraries and librarianship.

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The dilemma of Laura Bush is that she has a history of employment in a
profession that is heavily dependent upon discretionary government
expenditure, but is wedded to the leader of a party and an administration
committed to the reduction of discretionary government expenditure.

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This is a really sad commentary in that I don\'t really think about Laura =
Bush at all. She is almost a non-entity. I shudder to think that this is =
how librarianship as a whole is perceived. Is Laura Bush a microcosm of =
our whole profession? [I think I have just depressed myself for the rest =
of this week].

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There was Laura Bush\'s cancellation of the conference
"Poetry and the American Voice," which was to be held at
the White House on Feb. 12 and was to include discussion
of works by Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and Langston
Hughes. News reports indicate that Bush cancelled the
conference because of the possibility of inappropriate
antiwar poetry.

I can\'t speak for other librarians, but I didn\'t like this
one bit. I was tempted to make Dixie-Chick like
statements. If a librarian does this sort of thing, I
would prefer that the person not do it in the context of
her role as a librarian. I\'m sure that L. Bush saw (or was
made to be seen) that her role as First Lady would be
compromised if she made a stand for freedom of expression,
so she came down on the side of the First Lady role. That
would be my assessment of her as a librarian: when she
had an opportunity to take a stand for freedom of
expression, she chose her role as First Lady rather than
supporting a concept most librarians value and would fight
for.

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live in a state neighboring Texas; our school libraries, especially elementary
school libraries, are threatened with closure or have been closed; school
librarians are similarly considered unessential and are being shared between
individual schools or replaced with un-trained individuals (because-follow the
bouncing ball-anyone can check out books.) In spite of the Colorado study, with
which I\'m sure she has been made acquainted, and her professed support of school
libraries and reading, she has given no support to these issues in our state.
When she was invited in 2002 to address our state conference (whose largest
division is of school librarians) she declined (as I understood because she had
chosen to focus her energies at the national level.) For these reasons, I am
disappointed in Laura Bush. A letter from her position reminding any state and
local school decisions makers in any system similarly threatened, that a
well-supported school library program is the most reliable predictor of student
achievement, and therefore the most worthwhile place to invest limited school
funds, might make a difference. I would not consider this a "cheap publicity
trick," but a place for a grounded, sensible person to speak out. But she has
been silent.

I did not research and don\'t know how long she was a school librarian before she
became a full-time political spouse-a job in its own right-but my assumption is
that it was not for long enough, nor at a time when low funding so severely
threatened closure of school libraries and elimination of qualified, trained
school librarians that she understands what an impact she could make on how
money allocated in recent legislation is actually directed to school library
programs.

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This has nothing to do with politics in my mind. I think she is an
exemplary role model. She is thoughtful and caring and has dedicated
herself to educating our children. I did not vote for her husband, but I
have a lot of respect for Mrs. Bush and yes, I do admire her. We don\'t
have to agree on everything. I for one think she is a terrific First Lady.
So, that is my 2 cents!!

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My opinion on her is that she isn\'t really a librarian. The last time she was a
school librarian was over 20 years ago. If, for some reason, she had to take on
a job as a school librarian today, she would be lost. Things have changed so
much in 20 years that she would probably run from the library screaming because
she didn\'t know how to do the job!

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I read your message yesterday and was not really going to reply. I attended a
library media specialist meeting today and President Bush and his NCLB
legislation was brought up. The question was why were librarians not included in
the people who need to be highly qualified. We are trying to fight for our
positions and when people see that we are not listed in NCLB it looks like we
are not important. We discussed how odd this was with Laura being his wife and
all. I thought maybe were weren\'t included as what was thought was a favor to
us, but now it is backfiring. I suggested everyone write to her and ask. I am
planning to do the in the near future.

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just an opinion---how the heck can this \'no child left behind\' continue with a
school librarian in the white house-----if she knows anything about education,
she knows darn well this is an impossible task.........does she have any
influence?????? how much real teaching experience did she have?????????

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Speaking for myself, Laura Bush is one of the most gracious, genuine,
caring, dignified, admirable, humble, and lovely First Ladies our country
has known. She has a quiet, yet powerful inner strength that not only
supported her husband but shared that strength, courage, and inner peace
with every American (and probably many around the world), in the midst of
great disaster and fear, as evidenced by her dignity and resolve during the
memorial service for the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Bitterness, backbiting and blame have no foothold in her words and
apparently, neither in her heart.

I can\'t imagine a person more suitable as our nation\'s official hostess,
nor anyone more suitable as a role model for, and champion of, our nation\'s
school children. As the years roll on and her memory fades from view, I
believe her genuine concern for children and their education will live on
as a legacy enhancing the lives of many Americans. Perhaps not as visible
as Ladybird\'s wildflowers or Nancy Reagan\'s matching White House china
tableware, yet far more beautiful in its own way - in the eyes and heart of
a child whose life is touched by a story, or by an adult raised by
illiterate parents yet overcame that poverty of soul through the extra
focus on education and literacy.

Can we give Laura all the credit for successful reading programs or better
libraries? No, of course not. But we can certainly credit her for her
inspiration, leadership, and putting the nation\'s focus on those issues.

I cannot speak for others but Laura Bush has inspired me. I have shared her
vision with my school children and staff at Lawrence - to open wide the
doors of the library and thus open their minds to the wonders of their
world:

"Libraries allow children
to ask questions about the world
and find the answers.

And the wonderful thing
is that
once a child learns
to use a library,
the doors to learning are always open."

-Laura Bush, First Lady,
June 2002

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I am not going to reply to that survey for exactly this reason. I think it is
VERY difficult to separate Laura Bush\'s agenda from her husband\'s, and
frankly, I think the little bit she has done regarding libraries in the last two
years is nothing more than political penny candy.

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From a media specialist student (1/2 the way into my studied).

I was impressed with the Whitehouse Conference last year, seemed to very
supportive of School Library Media Services in particular.

It sounds like this is a "politically charged" question but I can\'t
understand why. I am hoping that this new world is not a political one,
naive me.

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in a nutshell, I think she\'s as big a phony and liar
as her husband.

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I personally think very highly of Laura Bush. She is such a respectable
and graceful woman. She has done a lot for libraries and literature
(Laura Bush Foundation grants and the Book Festival) that nobody ever
cared to do before. I met her a few years ago when she was the TX First
Lady. I was teaching in TX and she visited our school. She was so
down-to-earth and gracious. After speaking to the entire school (1300
students) at an assembly (about reading, no less), she spent the rest of
the day reading books to our second grade classes (there were 10 sections
of 2nd grade at that school). It\'s good to have someone like her speaking
out for school libraries in a time when a lot of schools are cutting their
library programs. I\'m afraid that, without her, more library programs
would be cut even more drastically. I think she has made the public more
aware of school libraries - many people don\'t even think about libraries
in schools. Even though I do support her husband in what he\'s doing, I
think my opinion of her would still be very high even if I disagreed with
her husband\'s policies. I do know of some librarians who are not fans of
her husband but still hold Laura Bush in the highest regard. Hope this
helps!

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I think this is a great question. Being very wet behind the ears in
this position, I can\'t say that I know enough about what she can be
doing- But personally I wonder why any library program is in jeopardy
with such a prominent librarian in the White House. I would love to see
what others think.

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Take politics aside, I think she has played an excellent role for the
profession. The Whitehouse Conference on School Libraries was fantastic - nice
focus and the LB foundation grants helpful...The focus is helpful.

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I\'m glad there\'s a librarian in the white house although our school system
isn\'t poor enough to get any money. I like her focus on books and keeping
George up to date. Just needs to be MORE done.

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My quick thought on Laura Bush is why can someone who appears to be
fairly intelligent be married to such an idiot!

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The national conference on school libraries brought much-needed attention to and
a greater understanding of what school libraries are/should be about. It\'s been
good for PR, but more importantly, the information disseminated at the
conference was current, research-based, and is being used across the country to
help inform school boards, district administrators, and building principals. I
certainly appreciate her involvement in making that conference happen.

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I think that she has done a wonderful job promoting literacy, encouraging
reading, and supporting libraries. We\'ve never had anyone in such a powerful
position who has supported us as she does

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I don\'t consider her a librarian. She may have been one once, but as far
as I know she\'s done nothing for years - no membership in ALA/AASL or TLA,
for example. Her foundation missed the mark by not giving good
instructions, by leaving the majority of applicants out of the takings, by
not having enough people to cope with the demand, etc. (all covered in past
LM_NET postings). And if she was truly aware of librarian issues, where
was she on CIPA and NCLB? The once a year conference is a great headline,
but the story is totally missing.

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She
loves books, reading and is committed to getting books to readers and
non-readers as well as making the written word come alive, through authors
and media - whatever it takes.

She is a great librarian! She\'s organized, has an incredible memory for
people and details, is open-minded, a voracious reader herself and loves
animals. She\'s hand\'s on with projects but absolutely not a micromanager.
She picks good people, works with them on the vision and then let\'s them go
to do their work.

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I attended a Christian College librarians meeting in Edmond, OK. One of the
librarians from Texas had a t-shirt that had George Bush\'s picture on it
with these words coming from his mouth, "the best thing I\'ve ever done is
marry a librarian."

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The one impression of Laura Bush that stands out for me is
seeing her and George Bush doing a children\'s reading
around Christmas time in 2001. I\'m not a children\'s librarian
so I\'m not qualified to critique her but to me she seemed to
have a very good rapport with her audience and very good. I was
impressed. Nothing against George Bush but you could really tell the
difference when it was his turn to read compared with her.

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I think Laura is still a library and literacy advocate as evidenced by the IMLS
work she does and the conference she hosted at the White House. I have a family
member who works with her on a Federal committee (he\'s a registered
Independent, but still received a Federal appt.) and he is highly impressed by
Laura Bush and her integrity, so I would have to conclude that the press
ignores her unless it\'s a controversial subject.

I think it would be a pipe dream to hope that she\'d be as outspoken as her
mother in law was!

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Laura Bush proposed $10 million in IMLS funding for recruitment of
librarians which I think was actually increased to $20 million. She
also hosted a conference at the White House on the value of school
librarians in addition to other literary events she has hosted. I look at
it as proof that opposites attract.

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As First Lady, I have no opinion on her. But when she was the First Lady of
Texas, when Bush was governor, she was active in adult and family literacy
efforts there. She was keynote speaker at one of the Texas Library Association
meetings I attended, and impressed me with her passion and commitment to family
literacy in particular. When I was secretary of the Taylor County Adult Literacy
Council, she graciously stood as our keynote speaker at our annual luncheon,
asking only transportation costs, and was instrumental in stirring community
interest, which brought in enough private donations to fund our work (which was
NOT funded by her husband\'s administration) for an entire year. In person, she
was eloquent, passionate about literacy efforts, and gave freely of her time.

Since her husband became president I\'ve heard much less about her efforts, but I
don\'t know if that\'s because she\'s keeping a low profile, her activities aren\'t
being reported, or she has cut back on her literacy work. I do know that at the
time, as a liberal Democrat public librarian working with no governmental
support, she impressed me with her personal dedication to the cause of advancing
literacy and, by her efforts, we were able to keep the adult literacy outreach
efforts in the public library afloat for a year. If only her husband were as
demonstrably dedicated to education and literacy, our country\'s libraries would
be in much better shape.

---------------------------------------

I suspect it is the “press’s inattention to her activities.” Unless she gets in
shouting match with democrats or does something embarrassing, they are not going
to cover it. My impression is that she is a grounded, sensible person who does
not go in for cheap publicity tricks. Word has it that she is intelligent and
has a good sense of humor. I believe she was devoted to books and literacy and
had a career before she met George but I suspect she is staying in the
background as not to take attention from important national issues.

-----------------------------------

I am somewhat disappointed in Laura Bush (though not surprised). Though I read
that she takes literacy and books very seriously and lends her support to
ventures in these areas, I rarely see her do anything. It seems to me you have
to go back several first ladies to find anyone this passive--or lacking in
presence. I\'m sorry it is so, as this may be seen as representative of our
profession.
Other than this, I am sure she is a nice person and many good things can be said
of her. Indeed, it is possible I am blaming her for the press\'s inattention to
her activities or to my own failings in following the news.

--------------------------------

My intial thoughts are that we, as librarians, think of her as anyone else
does since she isn\'t representing (or necessarily advocating for)
librarians. She is a gracious, well-spoken woman who plays a supporting role
as First Lady.

----------------------------

I have never seen evidence that Laura Bush exists. I got some information about
her from journals, newspaper, tv and the internet, but have no way to evaluate
it. Come to think of it, the same is true for her husband!

-----------------------------

This has been bothering me for some time. Apparently there are some in
the library profession that believe that librarians are cookie-cutter
images of one another. If you do not believe as they believe, you are
not a librarian. There are liberal librarians and conservative
librarians, old and young, wild and tame, etc. Please do not lump us
together. I have been a librarian a long time, and I make a special
effort to keep my politics out of my job. I would be willing to believe
that most library users do not know my opinion on a lot of things, and
I would also be willing to bet that they could care less. I do let them
know how I feel on library funding, freedom of speech, and other library
issues. That is my job. It is also my job to provide materials from
many different points of view - some of which I agree with- some of
which I don\'t, but I do not see myself as an arbiter of public opinion.
I see myself and my job as a provider of information and materials for
other people.
Laura Bush trained as a librarian. She was a librarian, and she will be
perceived as a librarian. If she has not done anything for you lately,
too bad. I prefer to think that she is one kind of a librarian among
the many kinds of us.
While I am ranting, someone keeps saying, \"This is not your
grandmother\'s library.\" We have about 45 computers, including 16 public
access computers. We have an Information Specialist, who works with the
computers and the people who use computers. We have quite a few
grandmas and grandpas who use the computers. This is your grandmother\'s
library, and it is the library for teens and children and mothers and
fathers and anyone else that shows up. We try to keep a certain
atmosphere of the old library that is comforting to some people and keep
as current as money and time allows for other people. I resent my
profession being used to exclude people. I also resent being told if
you are not the kind of librarian that I am then you are not a
librarian. Do you treat library users that way? If you do no agree with
my politics, then you can\'t use my library. Is this the new mantra for
the profession. Think as I think rather than provide the many different
points of view whether you agree with them or not!

 

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