Get LISNews via email! Enter Your Email Address:
ALA President Camile Alire has been caught plagiarizing and possibly using a fake signature by me, SafeLibraries. Before the usual crowd piles on, you have to see the evidence for yourselves:
ALA Double Standard on Accuracy in Texas State Board of Education Proposal on School Book Content; ALA President Plagiarizes to Promote Matter Outside ALA Purview
"...Paranoid ideation differs from paranoid delusions in that the ideas are held with less conviction. Paranoid style is a character style featuring hypervigilance, litigiousness, rigidity, humorlessness, jealousy, sullenness, suspiciousness, and hyperattention to evidence in the environment that corroborates paranoid suspicions."
I needed a good laugh.
There is no plagiarism. That is why we could not focus on it. This thread has already gone nuts so I am responding here but when you make any other post you do not exist to me.
That was actually interesting. This is not.
I agree. The textbook thing is interesting and it is my main point. You are the very first person to address a substantive issue and do so positively ("actually interesting"), no matter how short.
That main point, namely the ALA double standard of seeking accuracy in Texas while opposing accuracy in Florida, let alone the standing issue, was addressed on my blog, and the plagiarism was only an aside I discovered while rereading everything before publication. I thought the letter from Camile Alire was actually written by Camile Alire when I first read it. As I continued proofreading down my page, I was stunned reading the Garnar letter and realizing it was substantially the same and was published 2 days previously. I looked back at the Alire letter and found absolutely no attribution of true authorship. Truly stunning.
On LISNews, however, I restricted my comments solely to the plagiarism by the ALA president as this is LISNews, not general news, and I didn't think LISNews would care about the non-library-related Texas issue. Clearly, with all the comments here, this topic has been good for LISNews.
Blake, as you read above, will not be removing this post despite being asked. Can you believe freedom of speech advocates would ask to remove speech with which they disagreed? Sadly, that is not truly stunning, sadly, it's par for the course. So I hereby officially thank Blake and LISNews for providing a forum that actually practices what the profession it follows preaches. I hope to bring many more issues to LISNews, only I will try to write them better in the first place.
You are the one who brought up the whole "plagiarism" non-substantive issue in the first place. I give up. There is no reasoning here.
Good point about the fact Safelibraries brought up the plagiarism issue. You are right. Here he is trying to claim it was not his main point. How is it not your main point when the title of your post is: ALA President Caught Plagiarizing and Faking Signature
It's my main point here on LISNews, but only a subsection on my own blog.
Congrats, you kept the focus on me and not the ALA. Apparently ethical lapses or plagiarism are or no concern to you.
Richard Blumenthal claims Vietnam service, it's false, but he's a good guy and the New York Times is at fault for exposing him and writing the story really poorly, right? Sound familiar? Focus on the Times and not the deceptive act, right?
Okay, so it's not the main point of your blog post. But, it was the main point that you posted on LISNews. Yet, you dismiss anyone who has focused on the so-called plagiarism "side issue". Odd. If you didn't want the discussion to be about the plagiarism, don't mention it, especially as the main topic.
Or, was it when your opinion about the alleged plagiarism wasn't backed up, did you just conveniently "remember" your main point, even though it wasn't posted here?
I wrote a longer reply, but I decided against posting it because this entry does not deserve it. You will not be swayed in the slightest, but merely use it as another chance to write the words "Camile Alire" and "plagiarism" in the same sentence, as if repeating the phrase will somehow magically make it true.
In the end, you have nothing to prove your allegations. All you have is the thinnest of circumstantial evidence, based on your own biases and imagination. You have no substance in your posting nor integrity in your prose nor willingness to engage in discussion or debate in good faith. You occupy the shadowlands of internet debate, convinced of your own hyperbole, an opportunist who is more interested in shouting their opinion than actual discourse. And there is no length you will not go in order to smear the ALA, whether or not it is grounded in reality.
Have you no shame, sir?
I am going to suggest to Blake that he take down this post. You can commit as much libel as you want in your blog; there is no need to engage on it in this one.
Free speech people say what?
"I am going to suggest to Blake that he take down this post."
As the Annoyed Librarian says, intellectual freedom means the freedom to think like the guy who wants to remove this post:
"Intellectual Freedom Means the Freedom to Think Like Us!"
Taking down the post will not make the plagiarism or the potential ethics violations go away. The problem is the ALA's, not mine for reporting it, no matter how poorly I may have written it in the middle of the night.
I was not asking Blake to take down a post because I disagree with your opinions; I asked him to take down the post because you are engaged in libelous activities. It would be your opinion that Mrs. Alire engaged in plagiarism because of two letters that have similar wording and passages. However, when you make the accusation that she has engaged in plagiarism, a serious intellectual charge, based on the same evidence (an accusation that she availed herself to unauthorized use of the document), then you are entering a whole different sphere.
Blake told me he wasn't going to take down your post. I can respect his decision and the reasons he gave. I suggested it because a person does not have the right to engage in false accusations that tarnish the reputation of another individual. I would do it for anyone, no matter how I felt about them. Reputation is an important commodity these days, and you are trampling on someone's reputation with no basis whatsoever.
I wish to pay you a compliment and say that I admire your echo chamber. You only hear what you want to hear. Our apparent resistance simply fortifies your beliefs, regardless as to the counterpoints offered and (in this case) the surrounding reality. For every reply given, you have taken it as evidence of deeper conspiracies, of greater loyalty to a professional organization, and of grand schemes and cover-ups that abound in the world of libraries. Even if we were all standing at the edge of the ravine, chanting "You're driving the wrong way!", you'd take it as a sign that you are on the right path, even as your car plunges off the side of a cliff.
You are tilting at windmills.
This is an excellent point:
For every reply given, you have taken it as evidence of deeper conspiracies, of greater loyalty to a professional organization, and of grand schemes and cover-ups that abound in the world of libraries. Even if we were all standing at the edge of the ravine, chanting "You're driving the wrong way!", you'd take it as a sign that you are on the right path, even as your car plunges off the side of a cliff.
He won't listen but I can guarantee I have no professional loyalty to ALA. So if he thinks that is why I disagree he is dead wrong. If there was plagiarism I would be the first to jump on the condemnation wagon.
Freedom of speech does not extend to libel. If your accusation of plagiarism is false then you are libeling someone. In that case taking down your post is not infringing our your rights because you have no right to be libelous.
I have said repeatedly it is my opinion, but that I was providing the evidence for people to make up their own minds, to have their own opinions. I have also suggested the ALA ought to look into whether its own ethics code has been violated.
It is no surprise, in fact, let me change that. It is quite obvious from the number of people attacking me or my writing while steering clear of the substantive issues that I have hit the nail on the head, particularly where the freedom of speech people are calling for the removal of this blog post.
What are the "substantive issues"? The plagiarism that isn't really plagiarism because it was a collaborative work product? The "fake signature"? Oh, wait...you said the signature wasn't the issue, yet you're the one that brought it up in the first place. Who can keep track of what you think the "substantive issues" are when you yourself are avoiding them?
I read this statement in a completely different way that you do..."President Camila Alire will be sending a letter including the statement to the Texas DOE this week." No where in that sentence does it say that the letter and the statement will be SEPARATE. I read that sentence to say that the letter will INCLUDE the statement, not that the statement will be a completely separate thing.
Just yelling "this is an opinion" does not keep you from libel.
Truth is an absolute defense to libel.
>Truth is an absolute defense to libel.
Wow. Did you get that off Wikipedia all by yourself? Let me give you the real world take on "truth is an absolute defense to libel".
1) It is not an absolute defense in all states
2) Even if it is a defense you still have to pay your attorney. Mess with someones name enough and get yourself sued and you will be out $10,000 in legal fees even if you win.
3) I would say that in this case it is not the truth so even if "truth is a defense" you are hosed
Round and round we go, where Safelibraries stops nobody knows.
It's either "your opinion" or it's "truth"...you claim it's "your opinion" and you litter your writing with those two words, hoping to protect yourself from libel. Yet then you come out with some one-sentence line implying that this is the truth? What happened to "providing the evidence for people to make up their own minds, to have their own opinions"? Let us draw our on conclusions and quit telling us this is the "truth".
I was wondering how/why this post ended up on lisnews to begin with. Can anyone add anything they want to this website? Is there no editorial oversight?
You're right that in the context of a personal letter, this copying would be considered plagiarism. However, these particular "letters" are not really letters in the traditional sense. They're a specific kind of institutional document-- a statement drafted by many people in an organization and then publicly affirmed by a delegate of the organization. That they are written in the form of a personal letter is somewhat confusing, I agree.
However, nowhere in either document does the author use the words "I" "me" "mine" or any first person pronouns (which would indicate that original ideas were being put forth). Everything is phrased institutionally. It would actually make more sense, in some ways, if they were just signed "The ALA" or more accurately "Everyone in the ALA Who Agrees With This". However, it's a social convention that authors be identified by name, so a delegate signature is the compromise that some organizations choose for institutional statements (in contrast, anarchist groups sometimes choose to indicate communal authorship). Consequently, the signatures on these documents are more similar to William Blount signing something that begins with, "We the People of the United States", when it's not clear to what extent he agreed with the text, nor how many of those words were actually his.
In this context, copying is not generally considered to be plagiarism. It's a widely held social convention that institutional statements don't need to adhere to the same kind of rules that personal ones do. Consequently, you are free to argue about what *should* constitute plagiarism: you could demand that the President of the ALA write a personal letter with her own ideas, or stop using her signature to publicly affirm institutional documents, or request that each person who had a hand in writing the thing (or alternatively, whoever agrees with it) sign instead. However, this argument has absolutely nothing to do with textbooks in Texas, so it would behoove you to separate the two issues.
Ah, a substantive response. Finally.
The ALA's Executive Director said, "The Board has been waiting to hear from the Intellectual Freedom Committee. President Camila Alire will be sending a letter including the statement to the Texas DOE this week."
So the Executive Director expected her to write her own letter and "include" the IFC statement. Anyone would expect that, actually. Instead, she chose to plagiarize.
I understand that people find it hard to believe that plagiarism could be committed by an ALA president. I totally get that. But that does not excuse the behavior.
Further, what ever happened to the "appearance of impropriety"? The ALA is fully aware of the issue:
"However, because of the nature of the work of such committees, those who serve on them must be especially sensitive to conflict of interest situations as well as the appearance of impropriety."
Certainly you will admit at a minimum there is an appearance of impropriety, will you not?
Or consider the "Code of Ethics of the American Library Association." http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/proethics/codeofethics/codeethics.cfm
"We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations."
Has Camile Alire met that "special obligation" by plagiarizing?
"IV. We respect intellectual property rights...." How, by plagiarizing from others, by stealing their intellectual property?
All she needed to do was add a simple statement to prevent this whole thing. She's no different than any other plagiarizer and should be treated no different as well. At a minimum, the ALA should launch an ethics investigation.
Her letter did include the statement. In the text of the letter. And now you're complaining about it ;)
I fully believe that any president of the ALA could commit plagiarism. Sure, why not. The issue here, though, is that people don't agree with you that this is plagiarism because of the nature of the communication (the details and implications of which I described above). If this were a personal letter or a book or an op-ed piece or anything else where this kind of copying violated the social norms regarding plagiarism, it would be a different story (though still entirely distinct from that of textbooks in Texas, mind you).
Your definition of plagiarism is entirely valid, but language is a social agreement. If *no one else* defines it your way, then effectively the word doesn't mean what you want it to. It might in the future? It might have in the past. It might in other countries or cultures. But in this one, right now, these letters don't constitute plagiarism because the vast majority of people in the library/academic spheres are okay with institutionally ascribed documents following different rules than those written by individuals.
But in this one, right now, these letters don't constitute plagiarism because the vast majority of people in the library/academic spheres are okay with institutionally ascribed documents following different rules than those written by individuals.
Really it's, The vast majority of people in the ANY sphere are okay with institutionally ascribed documents following different rules than those written by individuals.
If I had to guess I'd say it's also okay legally as well.
Previous commenter stated: Also...you allege she plagiarized her own signature. I don't even understand what this means
I having been waiting for you to respond to this. How do you plagiarize your own signature? I am dying to know.
The signature is not the issue. You cannot plagiarize your own signature.
The issue is the plagiarism as raised on this LISNews blog post, and, on the main SafeLibraries blog post itself, the main issue is the ALA's double standard claiming the need for "accuracy" in Texas while the ALA opposed accuracy in Florida when the ALA went all the way to the US Supreme Court (and lost) to attempt to force a community to do what the ALA wanted, namely, accept propaganda about Cuba into the public schools.
For the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom it is one thing for Cuba and another for the USA; materials in public schools about Cuba need not be accurate but materials in public schools about the USA must be accurate (where that accuracy is defined by those who oppose the Texas SBOE's actions). Similarly, the ALA cares little that Martin Luther King Jr books are being burned in Cuba and librarians are being beaten and jailed, but let some parent complain about oral s3x or bestiality in a public school book and suddenly that parent is branded as a "censor" and "Banned Books Week" gets created.
Perhaps a library association should stay out of what gets taught to children in other locations in the first place, then it would not be caught in such double standards.
>The signature is not the issue. You cannot plagiarize your own signature.
That is not what you said on your blog. If you are wrong about this maybe you are wrong about the letter being plagiarized.
Safelibraries plagiarized my letters. In my post I used these letters:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
In his post he used the same letters. He is a plagiarist.
> I explained the reasons in the body of the blog post and in responses here.
But no one understood what you are saying.
Here is how you have to lay it out. State what you think plagiarism is and then give a specific example of how there is plagiarism in the ALA letter.
Hosted By ibiblio XML Twitter!