ALA Attendees Doing Some Private Conferencing?

OK you naughty've been found out.

Amanda Hess from the Washington City Paper has been following you on Twitter, and found that:

When the American Library Association’s annual conference kicked off in Chicago last Thursday, some attendees wanted the world to know that librarian get-togethers aren’t all about shushing and stacking: There’s a lot of f**ing, too.

The nearly week-long librarian meet-up, which began July 9, delivers “over 300 educational programs” to professional bibliophiles each year—including workshops like “Collection Development: Decision Making With Data” and “When Is Nice Too Nice? Strategies For Disengaging From the Talkative Patron.” Some attendees, however, haven’t been entirely satisfied with the ALA programming. So they launched a “secret” Twitter account for librarians to share more intriguing professional insights. A typical anonymous ALA tweet:


yeah, #alasecrets2009 shoulda been something everyone just talked about, and not done.

unless it was done by a non-librarian who wasn't even there, in which case, it's hilarious.

Ah, a non-listener to the podcast!

Dan and I talked about the situation Saturday. He didn't create the concept. He merely created the new alternative when the original was vandalized and locked out. I have been informed reliably as to the creator of the original matter and can say that the concept originated on the ground in Chicago. All Dan did was counteract vandalism of the original.
Stephen Michael Kellat, MSLS
PGP KeyID: 899C131F

I got a blog post up on the methods I used to set up the account. Check it out if you have the interest.

As for your last sentence, I do not have an MLIS, and I'm not attending the ALA Conference. Indeed, I live in Arizona. So yes, @ALASecrets2009 was set up by a non-librarian who wasn't even there. :)

But really, the person who set up the original @alasecrets deserves full credit. It was a brilliant piece of culture jamming, especially when it's a culture jamming itself!

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

it was you!

Sounds like it's been a fun conference.

I'm not the person who set up @alasecrets, but if I ever meet them the first round is on me! I just set up the replacement after someone took down that account. :)

I agree with your motives, but I don't agree with the original "alasecrets" because it seems childish at a time when librarians need to prove that we have actual useful, professional jobs and not just tweeting about gangbangs and blowjobs.

What you contributed was useful, like building a better mousetrap. Don't forget to patent the process.

The Spanish Inquisition comment was from me. I thought I was still logged in. That's what I get for looking at LISNews at work!

Some books contain the machinery required to create and sustain universes. Tycho (Jerry Holkins) @ Penny Arcade

good for you. it sounds like something I would do, if I knew how to do stuff.

This really is an interesting story. I blogged on it at "Tweet Censorship at the ALA Gangbang."

I would be interested to know who shut down the original Twitter feed and why.


From Dan's blog: "Dig the part about the likely ALA member censoring other ALA members ... "

and then

"Don't you love the double standard when the ALA censors people ... "

Well, which is it, Dan? Was it one person acting outside the aegis of the ALA or was it the whole ALA? Which part did you get wrong, since they can't both be right? Or were you lying about one to score points in an intellectually dishonest manner?

I await your apology and retraction.


p.s. I love the antiquated slang, Daddy-o. And the high school debate tactics.

Chuck, there's no misdirection here. I specifically stated, "I would be interested to know who shut down the original Twitter feed and why." That makes it very clear that I do not now know that. No one does, so far as I know, but I am making an effort to find out. You are making an effort to attack the messenger.


You said "Don't you love the double standard when the ALA censors people ... " with no evidence or even a suggestion that ALA was involved at all. Is that inaccurate or an intentional lie?

Let's wait for the facts. In the meantime, it sure is an interesting story.

Did you see the post linking to some gal's sex blog?

We have no idea who shut it down. I could have been anyone in the profession or someone that highly respects the profession. We do not even know it was someone affiliated with ALA.

I also do not know if I call it censorship since they were using an account based service and posting the login information widely. I would consider it more vandalism by someone changing the login information and thus locking up the account.

Since it is a violation of Twitter Terms of Service ( to have all the account information posted all over the place, maybe even Twitter killed it.

Brian C. Gray