Oh goodness, I may never have read such a fantastic editorial. It’s long and just full of opinion. This guy thinks the ALA is "censoring" good American values, and peddling smut. They were smart and put it out just as everyone was preparing for the ALA mid-winter conference, otherwise, I’m sure the blogosphere would have many more opinions. I’m not a librarian, but I am a card carrying ALA member, I paid my dues.
Here’s a sampling:
It’s a dirty little secret that the librarians of today are far removed from the prim and proper characterization which for years was part of American lore; today, these professionals -- more precisely, the ALA -- has taken its place among the militant left and has staked out positions well beyond the mainstream
Mostly true, except for the “dirty little secret” part. There’s more than enough literature to make you gag about trying to update the librarian image. It’s not a secret at all, we’re trying to tell people, they’re just not listening. Maybe you should listen more and judge less? Eh?
Unbeknownst to most people, a new wave of literature called "authentic literature" hit our public school libraries over the last few years. The ALA claims such books portray American life and culture in a more realistic fashion. But they don't. These books feature druggies, sex addicts, pedophiles, gang members and others on the fringes of society. Increasingly, this literature is replacing the traditional literature classics, which, in general, promoted mainstream American values or at least didn't undermine them.
This is true, sort of. Except for the American values thing, have you ever read Shakespeare? If that’s not classic, I don’t know what is. No role models there. And as much as I love the Baby-Sitters Club and it’s innocence and purity, and will defend it to anyone, I just can’t accept that as real life.
The rest of the article goes to focus on how bad we are for “the children.” And, I’d just like to point out that I’m not doing all the work, and paying all the money to get my masters (and sometime in the future may have to cave and get a MBA too) so I can be a glorified baby sitter. Actually, strike that, there’s not much glory.
There are few very libraries today in which I would leave my 13-year-old son unescorted, because, unfortunately, the protection and safety of our children is simply no longer a priority for libraries or for the ALA
Ummm, safety is the concern of police and firemen, I think. Not librarians. And a 13 year old boy? You’d be lucky if the worst thing he’s done is read YA fiction at the library. Still unsatiated, and believing we are babysitters, Baldwin goes on to note:
“Indeed, the ALA web site arrogantly states, "Librarians do not serve in loco parentis."
Once again, I am not getting my masters to be a baby sitter. Arrogant? If you think that’s arrogant, then so be it. Then hire a nanny. Is it arrogant to say the grocery store clerk isn’t a baby sitter? No, it’s just not he clerk’s job.
Still not happy, he suggests the ALA should:
shift to more important issues, like helping children learn how to read, but no, the battle promptly shifted back to literature. [instead] , ALA members have intensified their efforts to purchase highly inappropriate literature.
Dude, you’ve caught me. It’s totally my goal to turn the library into a seedy sex shop. Maybe we can even get a few snuff films. Exchange your good American literature for free needles.
It has become increasingly clear that the ALA is really not so much dedicated to defending the First Amendment as it is to challenging America's underlying value system. It’s time to acknowledge that libraries have changed. Those who think their children are safe in libraries today need to know that many of our libraries have been transformed from the caretakers of knowledge to key players in the militant movement to undermine America's Judeo-Christian heritage.
If anyone wants to help me challenge America’s underlying value system, you know how to reach me. And if anyone wants to focus on the adults and not the snot nosed children, I’m here for that too. Also, if anyone wants to eat marzipan babies, I’m good for that too.