Librarians for Castro


David Goldman writes "...while the the American Library Association (ALA), with its more than 64,000 members are protesting provisons of the Patriot Act (and by inference Atty Gen. John Ashcroft), they are ignoring a much more pressing human rights issue. The organization refuses to condemn Fidel Castro for sending to his gulag, for prison terms of up to 28 years, 10 independent Cuban librarians — who were included among the 75 independent journalists, union organizers, economists, human rights workers and other dissidents who were rounded up. The librarians resist the dictator's censorship of ideas, as do all those captured in the raids." Read the article here."


With this latest example of the outrageous hypocrisy of the ALA's leadership, it any wonder that many look upon our profession as "cute" or "nice" but certainly not "relevant" or "honorable"?

David Goldman

"In omnibus requiem quaesivi, et non inveni nisi seorsim sedans in angulo cum libello" (trans. "Everywhere I have sought rest and found it not except sitting apart in a corner with a little book") - Thomas a' Kempis, De Imitatione Christi,

David - this has been one of many problems I have with ALA. Hypocrisy.The silence of this organization re the Cuban librarians, an organization that considers itself a standard-bearer for egalitarian principles, actually speaks volumes to me.Maybe Ashcroft should retire the razor and pick up the olive colored fatigues?Good thoughts and find!

It's winter. The nuts are falling from the trees. Once again the Friends of Cuban Libraries are stalking Why, once again, do we give Robert Kent and his merry band of discontents an opportunity to spread their anti-Castro gospel? They were quiet for a while, probably huddled in some damp basement discussing their various conspiracy theories. But now, that their conversations about who shot JFK and where, really, the government is keeping the alien bodies from Roswell, have waned, they've once again climbed into the snowy winter air to vex the rest of us.Why do we persist in this pointless discussion? The reality is that these so-called "cuban librarians" are not, by any reasonable definition of the term, librarians. It may be that they they are, indeed, dissidents and, most likely, they are oppressed.But, how is this the ALA's problem?? There's nothing ALA can do about the situation. We have other more immediate fish to fry right here at home. Let's move on to more important issues.

What do the need to be considered librarian's? A masters degree?

ALA can do something about the situation they can speak up about it. They sure are opening their mouth about the patriot act.

If you read the article ALA had a pro-Cuban speaker at their event the least they could do is allow the other side to speak.

Any chance our colleage who "Flamebaited" David's post will be as quick to wield their pooh pooh sabre with our next daily serving of Rantus Patrioitus?I'll give 10:1 for you Vegas types out there.Unbelievable.

I admit that I'm puzzled and I know very little about the issue. It would be very easy to condemn the ALA for hypocrisy, but before I jump on the bandwagon, I would like to know more about the issue. What are the reasons behind the ALA's position?

Of course, it's quite possible that ALA decided to speak on this through its membership in IFLA, since the only way US policy comes into play would be if the "independent librarians" really were operatives of some sort funded by our government. Which would kinda fuck up the whole "independent librarians" thing.

Strange that the Washington Times columnist didn't mention ALA's participation in IFLA.

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