On Laura Bush and Libraries

Library Juice has a comprehensive report on the discussion among librarians about government fellowshiops named after Laura Bush.
Here are a few highlights from the ALA discussion lists.

----Original Message Follows----
From: Al Kagan
Reply-To: alaworld@ala.org
To: ALA International Relations Round Table

I was trying to stay out of this discussion, but it has gotten to the point where I think I need to weigh in. Whether one agrees or not with Mark and the way he makes his points, this is certainly an important topic of debate. There are many librarians who opposed ALA's attempt to be nice to the Bush Administration. Tellingly the large auditorium were our so-called First Lady spoke looked quite empty. It seems that the folks in charge of scheduling the venue thought that thousands would go to her program. They were wrong. I was one of the few who rose to the hastily called task of distributing flyers outside the door. By the way, the conference security left us alone for awhile but just before the beginning of her talk tried to intimidate us from distributing flyers. We held our ground and they eventually relented. In fact, one person in the group challenged them to arrest her for expressing her free speech.
When I was arguing for opposing the entire USA Patriot Act, not just the section related to library records, I said that getting an exemption for libraries was a poor tactic. If we succeed in protecting libraries while the rest of the country descends into a new kind of McCarthyism, we will have totally failed our task. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is the Bush Administration that is destroying our civil rights at home and laying waste to whole countries overseas. The latest news is that the Pentagon has established a new group to plan the coming war on Iran.
Laura Bush is part of this plan. She is cleverly trying to win us over to silence us on the larger questions. We can't let that happen.
Those who think Laura Bush is doing something independent of a larger strategy are mistaken. They should rethink what is going on. Any short term gain for librarians by playing Laura's game can easily turn into a long term disaster for our country and the whole world.
Al Kagan
On Sep 21, 2006, at 7:06 PM, Mark C. Rosenzweig wrote:
If Laura Bush is going to be canonized in the US library world despite >her connections to this administration --or because of them --and in >complete capitulation to the administration's tactics of using her and>her activities to put a "smiley face" on the detestable policies they >pursue, it is a legitimate topic of discussion on this or any library list.>
>Politics, supposedly so anathema to librarianship, has been introduced >here not by me but by the decision to go along with the PR machine of >thje Administration in creating a cult of Laura Bush, "librarian and >teacher".>
>On this list devoted to international aspects of librarianship, I feel >it perfectly legitimate to suggest that in the eyes of the world (even >ALAWORLD) anything which connects US librarianship to this >administration --with its global policies of war, torture and occupation -- is open to question, debate and criticism.>
>I strongly urge you all to read the two documents whose URLs I forwarded previously and ask yoiurself, if we giving awards and naming programs >after her, what Laura Bush really stands for in relation to the big >issues which surround her everyday.>
>And, frankly, I don't care what Nacy Bolt tells me about where I should >take this, or what Mr. Cooperman says. I am a member of ALA and a >Councilor. I feel perfectly entitled to post on this list and will >continue to do so as I wish.>
>Mark C. Rosenzweig,ALA Councilor at large.
>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Nancy Bolt
>>Sent: Sep 22, 2006 5:20 AM
>>To: ALA International Relations Round Table
>>Subject: [ALAWORLD:1854] RE: Laura Bush: A fourth rate Eva Peron and
>>partisan patron saint of libraries
>>Mark, not on this mailing list. Please take these comments to ALA
>>council and complain there.>>
>>Nancy Bolt & Associates

>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: owner-alaworld@ala.org [mailto:owner-alaworld@ala.org] On Behalf
>>Of Mark C. Rosenzweig Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 8:07 PM To:
>>ALA International Relations Round Table Subject: [ALAWORLD:1849] RE:
>>Laura Bush: A fourth rate Eva Peron and partisan patron saint of
Yes, and as a SEPARATE PERSON she is a responsible moral agent.She is free to determine whether she wants to be publicly (or , for that matter, privately) associated with -- and help advance the interests of -- the political administration of a person, her huisband,whose policies and pronouncements show such contempt for our constitutional order, for international law and for human rights and
>>whose manner and mentality exhibit such a lack of intellectual development, of reasoning, of civility and of culture, and such rrogant disregard for the norms of international political discoursethat he has made his country at once the most hated and most ridiculous in the world.>>
>>As a SEPARATE PERSON, Laura Bush could break from th eAdministration,disassociate herself from it, refuse to serve in any official capacity under its auspices and speak out against it.Is conventional wifely "duty" stronger than the demands of moral
>>autonomy and responsibility? Apparently, for some here-- the same who keep yelling that she is an individual in her own right -- it goeswithout saying that it is.>>
>>-----Original Message-----
>>>From: Nancy Bolt
>>>Sent: Sep 21, 2006 8:10 AM
>>>To: ALA International Relations Round Table
>>>Subject: [ALAWORLD:1848] RE: Laura Bush: A fourth rate Eva Peron and
>>partisan patron saint of libraries
>>>I will say yet once more. SHE IS A SEPARATE PERSON and she has done a
>>> lot for libraries.
>>>From: owner-alaworld@ala.org [mailto:owner-alaworld@ala.org] On Behalf
>>> Of Mark Rosenzweig Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:27 AM To: ALA
>>>International Relations Round Table Subject: [ALAWORLD:1844] Laura
>>>Bush: A fourth rate Eva Peron and partisan patron saint of libraries
>>>Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program???????????>
>>>That's how the IMLS has renamed a long-standing grant program in sickening adoration of the President's wife -- and as an act of fealty to our illiterate President.>>
How about: "Seemingly Clueless Wife of International War Criminal 21st
Century Librarian Program"
>>>If you think the Bush family/Administration should enter posterity with its name attached, in an act of oblivious obsequiousness, to an ALREADY EXISTING grant program, formerly unnamed for anyone, connecting Bush et cie. with the promotion of -- of all things -- culture, then I suggest you read this final report of an international tribunal accusing the man Mrs.Bushshares her life with -- and owes her notoriety to-- of being gulity of war crimes and crimes against humanity...>>>
>>>Also, if you lost count... read this report of how many prisoners are
>>>in Bush's gulag. 14, 000 and still growing.
Perhaps we should ask
>>>Laura Bush if she's read anything about this in her extensive readings
>>>and what she thinks of it ....

Library Juice has a comprehensive report on the discussion among librarians about government fellowshiops named after Laura Bush.