Monday, November 28, 2011

ALA: What Us Worry?

So ALA likes to dispatch public statements whenever they feel that libraries or information is threatened.  It is all for good PR and what-not.  They made a big deal out of the OWS incident.  Okay, call it a library but it was far from a formal library which ALA is meant to represent.  I know that there is deeper symbolism behind it, but does it warrant this much attention: 'ALA alarmed at seizure of Occupy Wall Street library, loss of irreplaceable material'.  If that isn't sensationalistic writing, then I don't know what is.

Apparently, ALA is so damn nonchalant about the real issues looming on the horizon: Amazon's book lending and SOPA. 'Amazon Starts Lending Ebooks, but Head of ALA Says Libraries Still Offer Best Value' so libraries shouldn't be worried about the conglomerate-retailer behemoth that is Amazon?  Okay, so it technically isn't a conglomerate, but I think they are considering you can buy pretty much anything and everything from them.  One must be completely oblivious to think nothing of Amazon's foray into book lending, yeah, so it is restricted to only one title... FOR NOW.  New sales estimates say that the Fire will reach 5 million by the end of the year.  If last Friday is any indication, it sure seems like that will happen: Amazon Kindle Fire wins big on Black Friday.   ALA should know better, numbers don't lie.  You cannot just shrug it off like it's nothing big, it's FREAKING AMAZON.

Then we have a huge threat to the freedom of information with the idiots in government trying to pass SOPA.  Library Copyright Alliance Voices Concern about SOPA to US House.
The passiveness is killing me.  Here is a Bill that threatens the very nature of information freedom on the internet and ALA doesn't even bother to reach for its pitchforks and torches.  What good is the ALA for if it doesn't rally and stand up for its own Code of Ethics (II. We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.)  Oh, I guess letting ISP's and search engines censor results and certain webpages isn't that big of a deal either huh?

ALA's shortsightedness is one of its biggest attributes.  I hate to bring it up each time I mention my frustration with ALA, but I cannot for the life of my fathom what librarians saw in Second Life: ALA Island in Second Life.   ALA also likes to push the agenda about the 'Graying of the Profession.'  I wonder how many people they've suckered into library schools with that line.  They really need to reevaluate what they're doing before they continue to screw libraries and librarians over.

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