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January 22, 2007

Librarians to debate Bush impeachment

Posted by David Postman at 10:46 AM

A group of librarians want the American Library Association to go on record during its Seattle convention this week in support of impeaching President George Bush, who they call a war criminal.

Lynn Lorenz, a Seattle librarian, e-mailed to say the impeachment resolution was adopted by the ALA's "Social Responsibilities Round Table" Saturday. Tomorrow it will be introduced at the ALA Council by Washington state members. The ALA also has a resolution calling to stop funding for the Iraq war.

There was a similar effort at the ALA's summer meeting in New Orleans — which I wrote about here — but it was not successful.

A statement from the anti-Bush librarians says, in part:

If the president is allowed to finish out his term, then everything he has done — the doctrine of preemptive war, the legalization of torture, the obliteration of basic constitutional protections — will be legitimized and may be made permanent, no matter who becomes the next president.

If we don't look at this question with historical sweep, we risk missing the forest for the trees. The most important way to ensure the future of Libraries, is to ensure that the society they reflect and serve is a Democracy.

When I wrote about this in June the question was asked, why are librarians involving themselves in national politics? The resolution tries to address that by saying:

WHEREAS, Open and unfettered access to information created and held by the government is a prerequisite for a free and democratic society (Resolution on Security and Access to Government Information); and

WHEREAS, The broad social responsibilities of the American Library Association are, in part, defined in terms of the contribution that librarianship can make in ameliorating or solving the critical problems of society, and the willingness of the ALA to take a position on current critical issues with the relationship to libraries and library service set forth in the position statement (ALA Policy Manual, 1.1);

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