Ken Haycock was the second ALA Presidential Candidate to ring in with the answers to your questions. The questions are bolded, followed by the answers.
I was overwhelmed with the number of questions I received from librarians in the US and from around the world (the total was somewhere around 50). Normally I am lucky to get 10 responses to a call for submissions from people, so this seems to be an important topic for the LISNews audience. I chose what I felt were the best ones, omitted the duplicates (most popular were questions on pay and image), and ran them through a spell checker. What you see are the unedited questions I received, more or less in the order I received them.
I did move the very first question to the first position in this list, it struck me as being the simplest question, but yet the hardest question to answer. They were free to answer or ommitt any of the questions. I removed the names to protect the innocent, and did not number the questions.
Why should I continue to pay my dues and remain a
member of the ALA?
ALA serves well the continuing education needs of
members and support for defending issues of importance to
libraries and librarians. The programs, journals and collegiality
of ALA have always been beneficial to me from the time I joined
27 years ago. While I believe that ALA is an important, even
critical, association for our profession and institutions I
cannot answer this question for another. There is a plethora of
library associations while strength comes in numbers, focus and
At present, ALA throws the weight of its considerable
influence into absolute opposition of filters in all libraries.
Doesn\'t this make its claim to favor a local library solution on
this issue somewhat disingenuous? In the upcoming battle to
challenge mandated filters for libraries receiving E-rate
discounts, wouldn\'t the ALA\'s position be stronger if it really
did promote a local solution by taking a more balanced approach
that recognizes the ethical complexities of the problem?
I have written extensively on this subject [Bowker Annual three
years in a row] and conducted research on it as well [reported in
School Library Journal and elsewhere]. I do not favor blocking
access to information and ideas for anyone, especially using
flawed software. Although I support ALA\'s stand on filtering, I
do believe that more support should have been provided earlier
for public libraries to develop programs with their citizens to
encourage community-based decision-making. My preference, and the
evidence, favors education and programming over filtering.
Do the candidates support the ideas about the need for
a re-introduction of national public library standards supported
by the American Library Association as I urged in my March 2000
article in American Libraries?