"I'm Alright, Jack"-M. C. Rosenzweig on Bush Budget & Libs

Mark C. Rosenzweig, of the Progressive Librarians Guild has sent a statement to various librarian lists including the Council of the American Library Association. The statement is posted at Librarian
and titled:
"I'm Alright, Jack."


I thought I'd hit this first since I'm a bleeding heart, anti-war, Mondale Democrat.I read MCR's piece twice and I don't understand it.1) It says there was an increase in library funding. I realize that in negotiation or advocacy you ask for the stars, they counter with dirt and you get something in-between. But what's to argue about with an increase? Even flat-funded would be a victory in a time of staggering debt and deficit.2) I don't see the connection between opposing the war, domestic spying, unconstitutional whatever, etc. and funding for libraries.First of all, ALA opposed the war, sort of. The funding isn't for ALA. It's for federal libraries and library-related programs. I'm not sure what ALA's position on the war has to do with someone else's money.There's a laundry list of good points about how bad No Child Left Behind is and so forth. MCR's point here seems to be that we've been bought off with the budget increase while these other bad things go on.Wouldn't these things be going on even if we didn't? Would it make it worse, for example, for libraries in schools damaged by No Child Left Behind?3) Why is "First Lady" in quotation marks? What are you, nine? She IS the "First Lady." I don't care for her politics and I think her husband is a six-foot one-inch tumor, but they're still the President and the First Lady. They're just titles.Further, liberals in ALA really blew it with Laura Bush. She would have been a huge PR boon for us. She's popular, as visible as they come and a professional librarian with actual work experience. She could have done a lot more for ALA. And hostility toward her that diminished her contact with ALA was stupid and hurt only us.If you don't like the President or his politics then why not cynically use his wife to your professional advantage?4) Ultimately I think this shows the diconnect between overtly political members of ALA and practioners. If were were to turn down millions of federal dollars in protest (not that it's that simple) the only people who would suffer would be our patrons, and the most vulnerable ones at that.Is MCR more interested in making a point or doing his job as a librarian? I'm interested in both, but the latter is more important.

I couldn't help but notice that the post of MCR's letter, comments are closed.Mmmm, irony.

I think discussion should take place on the lists where "It's Alright Jack" was posted (ALA Council, SRRT, PLGNet)or even here at LISNews. I don't think a lot of people look at my blog as it is a librarian's blog more focused on reading and not a place intended for discussion.
But I did want people not subbed to ALA Council, SRRT; or PLGNet to see the post.


The cranky Communist librarian is more interested in making a political point. I thought that was a given.