Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Patrons and Patriots

Michael Gorman has some things to say about the Patriot Act - boiled down to one word: Kafkaesque.

There's a fascinating article in First Monday by Joan Starr that goes over the history of librarians' responses to national security threats.

Barbara

3 comments:

Alec said...

I found this part to be the most interesting segment of the article:

So far, no librarian has openly flouted the Patriot Act, Gorman said.

"There's been no public case," he said. "There was some speculation in the beginning that maybe a test case will be found. ... Either it hasn't happened or they haven't found a suitable test case, or they haven't found a librarian with the intestinal fortitude to do it."

Gorman said he would be reluctant to go to jail to defend the implicit trusted relationship between librarians and readers.

"To be perfectly honest, I'm a 64-year-old academic librarian," he said. "I'm not going to go to prison over that kind of stuff."

Laura said...

Hey all...

thanks again for all your input. I'm trying to figure out exactly where I'll be at this point next summer (after graduating from Gustavus). I know for sure that I would like to go on to pursue a MLS (yay!! I'm so excited to join the ranks of wonderful people like you!), but am fairly certain that I won't be able to leave the Twin Cities area. (My fiance just started a great job that he doesn't want to leave after only a year!)

My question is this: many of the resources I've found have mentioned how many schools offer a distance learning option. This really interests me, since I could then have a much wider range of possible schools (I was considering trying to attempt a commute at Iowa State or something crazy like that). Do you know of anyone who has completed their degree through distance learning? Much of the material seems to indicate that in general people who choose this option are very happy with it, but I would love to converse with someone who has personal experience.

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing from you!!

Laura

Barbara said...

That's a good question. I have talked to people who attended totally distance programs and to people who have taken a mix - some courses in traditional ways and others as distance courses. But I don't know anyone personally who has. I'll see what I can find out.

Interesting, that quote that Alec highlighted from the Gorman piece. I know from hearing her speak that Judith Krug of the ALA's Office of Intellectual Freedom has not encouraged librarians to be test cases. She's all for opposing the law, but advises librarians against going public (and thereby, in the words of the Monopoly game, go straight to jail). It's safe to say, though, that librarians have resisted complying with FBI requests for information on patrons and their reading and internet use. In one case in Washington State the FBI asked (without a warrant), the librarian said no, the FBI went away.