Gorman: Yipping and Yawping to the End


Karen Schneider has an interesting Post Over At FRL where she points out Michael Gorman's column in the May issue of American Libraries (which apparently can't be read online). She writes: "Soon, deliciously soon Gorman will be an ALA past-president, and then the New York Times will call Leslie Burger when they want a sound-bite on the state of things informational. Oh tasty future!"Some interesting comments including one from David King who sums up my reason for not being part of ALA: "Honestly, one of the reasons I'm not a member of ALA is because of people like Gorman." I'm out numbered 3506 to one, I don't believe if I joined I'd make any difference. Update: 05/09 00:09 GMT by B :librarianscott points out Actually you can read his columns on the web (in PDF format). They're on his web site.


Actually you can read his columns on the web (in PDF format). They're on his web site

Personally, on balance I think he has been good for the ALA. His anti-blogosphere rhetoric aside, he has been a true advocate for reforming library education.

I agree. It is so easy to complain. He may have gored the blog ox, but he's kept quite a forward momentum on many important issues. He also made very fine appointments on committees and real courage has been shown especially by COSWL. So much of what a president accomplishes is the warp and woof, not the gaudy bits.

It seems in an unplanned way, he may have also united newer or younger librarians and given them specific issues to sink their teeth into. But, has he done so at the cost of future ALA memberships? In attacking bloggers or having a problem with the increase of technology in library schools, has he alienated an entire generation of future or new professionals?

I suppose Gorman might have been good for the ALA, but it might have been better if he had been consistent. He certainly wasn't any good for the independent Cuban librarians.

I read the Gorman column and I'm confused by his use of "millenniarist." Is this a case of a typo, poor editing or is he creating a subtle and nuanced new word, somewhere between the existing "millenarist" and "millennialist" that he feels describes this type of librarian.
I think it is unfortunate that Gorman often chose to use inflammatory words in his comments during his time in office. His other works, including "Our Enduring Values" are classics.

A millennarianist is a religionist who believes that humanity is currently in the 1,000 year period (the millennium) between the return of Christ and doomsday; AKA Judgement Day.

A pre-millennarianist believes that Christ has not yet risen, and we still have time to party down.

My bet is that Gorman was either trying to get cute with the word or making an allusion only he would understand.