Library Director cancels newspaper to protest articles


Anonymous Patron writes " The library director at the University of the Incarnate Word has canceled the library's subscription to The New York Times to protest articles revealing a covert government program to track terrorist financing.

While the university said Mendell D. Morgan Jr., the school's dean of library services, was acting within his authority, the decision outraged library staffers who called the move censorship."


"And here's where mdoneil defends him, and fang-face attacks him."

Don't have the energy right now on account of I'm trying to write a little commentary of my own regarding some of the reactions and interactions. The dean is a butt head reactionary, though. As Bill Keller and his comrade in print pointed out in that editorial Katherine linked to, Bush regime officials had been crowing about how they were tracking the money since some time ago.

Pity. I had given the regime the benefit of the doubt for a couple of days.

It is a holiday weekend, do you really expect people to get bent out of shape because some guy uses his vacation time to get a jump on a holiday.

Not everything is a conspiacy.

If you want to rank librarians as professionals then why does the professional organization not speak up about $27K starting salaries for masters degreed 'professionals'. The lady that cleans my apartment makes more than that. (Not from me, but I'm not her only customer.)

Are you calling this Director a liar? You are totally ignoring the justification that was stated in writing by this Director. What you stated is a reasonable reason to cut a publication, but that is not why this Director took action.

mdoneil, you're either an idiot or a liar. One of the two.

It is a market economy. Librarians earn what they are worth for the most part. How much time do reference librarians you know spend reading magazines while on desk duty?

No, I am calling the New York Times a rag not fit for wrapping fish heads.

What the director said is of little concern to me. I would have cancelled the subscription quite some time ago as it was available electronically.

(Why anyone would want it I have no idea.)

I earn (almost) what I am worth precisely because it is a market economy. I gained marketable skills and used them to my advantage to more than double my salary my moving from the reference desk to my desk in my office in corporate America.

Librarians that don't market themselves are: 1) stupid, 2) poor librarians 3) lazy or 4) placing their career second to something else - which indeed may be the most noble of actions if it is family.

Anyone who gets a Masters degree (albiet an MLS) to get a job that pays what a McDonalds night shift manager makes, and is happy with that is a nitwit.

The only time I have seen a librarian reading a magazine on desk duty was at the University of South Florida, perhaps she was conducting research in the current issue of Brides' magazine- I shouldn't be so cynical.

I am an idiot or a liar because you used some tired old line about Hitler?

I fail to see how your lack of cogent argument, failure to address salient points, and evident lack of the skill required for reasoned debate makes me either.

But thanks for the argumentum ad hominem. Perhaps next you would like to continue your post hoc ergo propter hoc nonsense.

You might also try calling me a Fascist, that has always been entertaining here.

I always agreed with the good Sisters when they told us Latin would come in handy some day.

Reading magazines while on reference is rather common in public libraries. It indicates an improperly supervised worker often by a library director for life type.

While I find the political discussion here important and interesting, I believe a salient point has heretofore been overlooked: that the library director, Mendell D. Morgan, left town and became unavailable. Such action, regardless of the reason it was taken, is beneath contempt professionally and personally. Isn't facing such matters what directors get paid the "big bucks" for? Please consider the quote on this site about reality and perception! Morgan has, in his craven cowardice and lack of responsibility diminished us all. I'm ashamed of him!

You're projecting your shadow there, Greg. The left doesn't want to be subverient to any of them any more than it wants to be subvervient to Bush and his handlers. Left-wingers are typically free people. They understand, subconciously at least, that what makes them free people is that they have sole authority over and responsibility for their own selves. Unlike the right-wing which is formed pretty uniformly of what Erich Fromm calls authoritarian characters and who reject personal liberty in favour of covert slavery to the state.

STFU about censorship

Kiss my ass, rightist whiner.

By the way: Yes, it is censorship when you unilaterally remove -- or bar, as the case may be -- materials from a library just because you dislike that text that offend your petty political prejudices.

NONE, unless they are conducting research for a patron. Everyone I know never has free time to browse literature as you suggest. If they are reading, it is because we are restricted to silent activities at the Reference Desk.

Good to see you Fang-Face. I hope you enjoyed your Canada Day holiday. Do you get Friday or Monday off if it falls on a weekend, well more correctly does Canada Post get Monday or Friday off?

I await your commentary, with hich I'll most probably disagree, but it always is something to think about.

Do you get Friday or Monday off if it falls on a weekend, well more correctly does Canada Post get Monday or Friday off?

Depends on where you work. Government offices and many business were closed on Friday. Financial institutions pick the Monday. Some businesses close on Monday because it is more cost-effective than closing on Fridays.

I don't pay that much attention to Canada Post since I don't work there. Why? You fixing to bomb the place? If so, remember that you can't even bring a firearm across the border much less a couple of tons of AN/FO explosive.

If that is what you're planning though, have fun with it. Personally I'd aim for Parliament Hill.

I just figure Canada Post takes as many bank holidays as the US Postal Service.

I went to Canada once and was actually required to bring a gun. A friend and I were doing some cross country flying (I had a pilot's license, I don't keep it current) and one of the required items was a shotgun and shells.

I guess if the plane crashed we could hunt something, or shoot ourselves, or something odd like that. That was 15 years ago though.

When I was part-time that's all I ever did at the ref desk--they didn't want to assign me any permanent duties other than answering ref questions. Now that I have a full time job I have no time for that, which is a pity since keeping on top of news magazines from across the political spectrum and around the world really helped with a lot of reference questions.

They subscribe to online databases that contain the content of the NYT. Since the content is available to staff and students I fail to see how it is censorship. You know how librarians love to jump to conclusions and run crying censorship like chicken little everytime somebody decides to remove an item from a collection.

He is not shutting down the old grey lady (although I wish someone would) he is just not giving them the twelve bucks a week that delivery of a print subscription costs. I considered cancelling my previous library's subscription because it was often not delivered.

I say good for him. I was in NYC early this week and I purposefully did not buy the NYT because I think it is a rag. The Post and News are better papers and they are sensationalist crap (Headless body found in Topless Club).

Fiscally responsible too, no sense paying for the same content twice.

Via Library Link of the Day

Anonymous Patron just Godwined the discussion.

Simply amazing what these come to.

When simpletons have no idea what to say they invoke Godwins Law.

Reducto ad Hitlerum what a way to show your cluelessness.

"The left wants to take your possessions and freedom away, the right does not."

It's an interesting argument, Matthew, but I believe a few million dead Jews would disagree with you if they could speak.

Yep, none of the right (Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, Pinochet) ever wanted to take anyone's freedom and possessions away. We'll all sleep easily now that you've explained it to us.

No, the left wants to take your posessions and freedom away, the right does not.

See wasn't that easy.

Fang will chime in, perhaps he is taking Canada Day off.

Happy Dominion (Canada) Day to all of my friends up north.

Yes I agree he should have to work on Independence Day weekend so he can listen to leftists whine.

People are free to buy whatever leftist rag they want and if some of the faculty want to read the NYT and its smudgy black ink on paper let them subscribe.

Removing something you get in another format is not censorship. Put that torch down, stop marching and STFU about censorship. I'll call a spade a spade, but this is not censorship.

Imprisoning Cuban librarians, now that is censorship.

The difference between the right and the left is merely this: they each want the whole country to be subservient to completely different creeps. Each side is fanatically committed to their own creep, while fanatically hating the other side's creep. Which means, in the end, there is no difference between them that matters a damn. It's one hell of a dysfunctional binary system.

"But the left doesn't want to be subservient to one man"

They surely do not... ya got Che, Castro, the UN, Stalin, Mao, etc etc etc

I can't resist. Over in my journal I posted a satire about the NYTimes...a GOP amendment to burn it. The right will only be happy when one voice is heard..constant war and constant obedience to one overlord. But the left doesn't want to be subservient to one man.

Funny... when I posted this story I originally added "And here's where mdoneil defends him, and fang-face attacks him." Looks like I was only half right.

This IS a great country! You don't HAVE to buy the New York Times! You don't have to read it, either! And no one is holding a gun to the University of the Incarnate Word telling the President that HE has to read it! But it does seem a little rude for him to announce the cancellation to the staff via email, then disappear on vacation. But that's just one of our many rights and there are folks fighing in Iraq right now so we can have that right of avoiding unpleasant situations!

But this is not the case. He simply did it for no other reason than because it clashed with his politics, and that is not representative of our profession.

Give me strength! Lately, this is the hallmark of our profession.

It could be labeled as fiscal responsibility if the dean had not been so cavalier in admitting that the reason he did it was because he did not like the politics of the publication. It is a pretty clear case of unilateral censorship, pure and simple. The guy is pretty much making a political statement and using his power to do so at the expense of the rest of his library community. He said,

"Since no one elected the New York Times to determine national security policy, the only action I know to register protest for their irresponsible action (treason?) is to withdraw support of their operations by canceling our subscription as many others are doing," Morgan wrote in a Wednesday e-mail to library staffers.

There is nothing there about it being a practical decision, which may be something to respect. It is a fair idea to argue access is available in other ways, such as electronic databases that provide full-text. But this is not the case. He simply did it for no other reason than because it clashed with his politics, and that is not representative of our profession. That is just petty censorship.