SHUSH--for the Conservative Librarian


Found this over at Jessamyn's place this morning. The purpose of SHUSH (S*) is, according to the website: "To provide a conservative home for librarians as well as critical thinking on library issues of the day and to begin serious discussion on the nature of The Library and Its future." Recent stances by S* have been pro-USA PATRIOT Act, pro-CIPA, and anti-MLS/Pro-BS.


Wonder how many members there are? Haven't met too many conservative librarians yet.

Thanks for the tip. I'll link to it at my regular blog. I like the title, too. Now when people tell me they are afraid to let their kids go to the library, I'll tell them about Shush.

Quick answer: frankly, I don't personally know any other librarians I am certain are conservative, so I can't say.

As for my own views, they are rather complex (probably a euphemism for "confused"). I am still trying to think through my politics and economics more fully, but I am generally an anti-statist conservative, and hence I have a pretty fair libertarian streak. (It gets even more complex when we mix in my theology, but we won't go there just now.) By "anti-statist" I do not mean that I think there should be no state, just that it should be minimal. As for the CIPA, my concern with it is that it asks the government to stand in loco parentis, which in my view is a very, very bad thing. Parents, not the state, are ultimately responsible for their children's education, and hence they are responsible for overseeing their children's use of the Internet. I agree with those who point out that there are many things on the 'Net that no child should be shown. However, I still think that ceding ultimate responsibility and authority to the state in education matters is more dangerous.

As for the Patriot Act, my views are less well-defined. I am a strong believer in personal privacy, and so I am initially inclined to be skeptical about the Patriot Act. However, I don't know enough about its practical consequences to judge it well. I need to be better informed about exactly what it entails, and I'd like to hear the strongest arguments pro and con. (Let me note that I haven't been working as a librarian for over three years now.)

The upshot is that I probably don't agree with everything at S*, but I only discovered the site today and so haven't read much of it.

BTW, your questions seem perfectly appropriate to me.

Ok now, this is getting interesting. Tomeboy and Chuck B, thanks for your support. You consider yourselves conservative you think the majority of that group are pro Patriot Act, Cipa, etc.? No need to respond if you don't want to, I don't like to be considered a (flame)baiter!

Should have changed your moderation before posting Birdie.

Make a note in your little black book that tomeboy thinks your comments are fine.

I'm going to join tomeboy as a conservative librarian who found nothing amiss in your comment. Simple statement of fact, it seems to me. At least someone acknowledges that we exist ;-)

Birdie, this conservative agrees that your comments weren't flamebait. I'm going to give you an "interesting".

BTW, nice to meet you. My name is tomeboy.

Right Rochelle, I was wondering outload. Hit someone's particular sensitivity.

Why is this flamebait? I think birdie is just wondering outloud...I don't see any judgment in her comments. Sheesh.

Difficult question, although I suspect many conservative librarians would support the PA, CIPA, etc..

I expect my librarian colleagues to be liberal. Conservatism is anathema in our profession. Your original question serves to illustrate this.

The PA, CIPA and many censorship issues are, IMHO as a conservative, tools used by the leaders in our profession to stand against anything smelling of conservatism. The hypocrisy of the library "establishment", IMHO, serves to support this.

  • The PA's humble beginnings began with Clinton's anti-terrorism bill. I don't remember much outcry from ALA about this.
  • Filtering vis-a-vis CIPA, is not mandatory, but is a local issue. Again, do we hear this?
  • Censorship is another one. For fear of boredom, I'll just recommend my website if interested. Oh, and Diane Ravitch's new book,"The Language Police" that illustrates how liberal censorship is gently destroying American education. Again, you won't hear this type of censorship discussed in many library circles.

    I'm not an angry guy Birdie. In fact I bet we and most of the other folks on this board would hit if off quite well. It's the political partisanship of our profession, and ALA, that troubles me. T

    Thanks for asking

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