Rory Litwin critical of LISNews

The most recent issue of Library Juice includes an essay by editor Roy Litwin. He reflects on Blake Carver's decision in February to encourage more conservative contributors to LISNews.

When Blake made his original announcement, I linked to it in Library Juice and called it "Batty." It seemed batty to me for Blake to describe his own site as a "liberal echo chamber" when to me it had for years seemed like one of the more politically conservative sources of information relating to librarianship available, in terms of the stories that were posted, but especially the comments that people were leaving. The belligerant, "AM Talk Radio" style of much if not most of the discussion on LISNews had led me to stop posting stories there roughly a year earlier and to stop reading the site almost completely. A year ago it already seemed, to me, that LISNews had, far from being a "liberal echo chamber," been taken over by a right wing librarian's militia group.

So, basically I am still disturbed by Blake's sentiments about his site and about politics in the library community. It comes as a surprise and a disappointment. If you are a reader of LISNews, I hope you will read it with a critical eye and an awareness of this development.

I would like to add that I have nearly stopped reading the comments in recent weeks. Mainly because my work load has increased and my free time has decreased, but also because it seems to be the same folks, beating each other up over the same issues. Sometimes I get the feeling that my moderate, left-leaning opinion isn't wanted here.


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Re:You should get an account

I am not using my account because I don't want to be a member of this community. I don't feel welcome here and this thread makes me feel even less welcome. This is an environment that I find intolerant of dissent and criticism.I also don't want to use my account because I'm not a big fan of this format as a mode of discussion and debate. I don't think it works very well. So, call it a "small act of resistance" against cyberculture.- Rory Litwin

Re:'Nuff Said

Blake, the notion that this is an open forum, that it doesn't have a frame of reference and a political culture which you have actively shaped, is a complete myth. For you to look at such a one-sided discussion and call it an example of how open lisnews is makes my point perfectly.For pointing this out I am called an "enemy of democracy and free speech" and attacked in rather below-the-belt ways. I'm glad you "can't really add to that."- Rory Litwin

Re:So who is objective?

Blake, do you really think that that is what this is about? Then you are completely disregarding what I am saying.I don't think there is any way to compare Library Juice and LISNews - as I've said before, they are two completely different things, two different kinds of things, with different aims, different formats, different audiences. I'm anything but jealous or bitter towards you. Why can't you take my criticisms at face value and respond to my actual arguments?So far, no one has attempted to respond to my actual arguments! All I'm getting is abuse!!Rory Litwin

Re:You should get an account

Not to be rude, but if you don't want to be a member why do you continue to frequent the site ?

You say that LISNews is any number of unsavory things, yet you continue to come here and debate. I don't begrudge you your opinion, but it seems like you want to take your toys and go home if everyone does not let you have your way.

I don't think Blake complains about your website, and I'm not certain why you feel the need to complain about his. If you really dislike it that much stop reading it, you have threatened it, stop crying wolf and do it.

To paraphrase Groucho Marx, perhaps you should not be the member of a club that will have you as a member.

Re:So who is objective?

after rereading the comment I said was brilliant I really should've qualified that, it's not an entirly brilliant comment.I really meant" Blake's call for more conservative contributions seemed to me to be an invitation for increasing the diversity of articles and viewpoints on LisNews...not a request for conservatives to take control. "Was good, certainly not the insults

Re:You should get an account

As members of the Secret Coven of Anonymous Patrons, we demand that Mr. Litwin cease and desist from masquerading as one of us!

Incivility as the Root Issue

Based on Rory’s response, I’d like to respectfully suggest that he did not articulate his concerns particularly well in the piece, titled “LISNews Veers Right.� His commentary really does focus on the issue of political viewpoint. I was responding to that piece in particular, and still just flat-out disagree with his perception that LISNews has become a more conservative site via subversive orchestration. Where he filled in the blanks (for me, anyway) was in his larger piece, Four Delusions about Free Speech, and through email. While Rory and I will likely always have a difference of opinion about a variety of political issues, I think that we can have those differences and disagreements in a collegial, civil and even friendly way. This thread has been a perfect example of how the slashcode can hamper the open and, more importantly, civil exchange of diverse viewpoints. At this point, in what has turned into something of a pissing war, I don’t see the issue as being about liberal vs. conservative, but rather about thoughtful and fair participation in discourse. While several folks have contributed truly insightful and thoughtful comments, there are the usual suspects whose contributions have been nothing more than the online equivalent of playground bullying. I am disappointed to see that, in some cases, mudslinging appears to have trumped honest, if difficult and contentious, discourse.

LISNews, as a forum, should be an inviting and welcoming place for anyone who is willing to take some intellectual heat for viewpoints expressed. Trolls are trolls, and I’m not sure how to address that issue except to ignore them. As site owner, Blake is able to prohibit people from participating. As an uber-moderator, I have that same authority. I’ve never done that and would not do that unless there was clear and ongoing harassment. I'm quite sure that Blake and any other moderators with similar power feel the same way. My advice to my daughter, who has experienced significant bullying at school, is “Please Don’t Feed the Jerks.�

One of Rory’s questions to me via email was about low-rated comments “disappearing.� He seemed to think that some of his responses had disappeared. Perhaps to those not registered, anything below a zero doesn’t appear in the thread…..? As I explained to him, my interest in LISNews is strictly from the writing/editing side—I know pretty much zero about how slashcode works.

I think that Rory misunderstood my questions to him as accusations. As much of a drubbing as he got yesterday, it’s understandable that he was sensitive to anything directed at him. I have apologized off-list for any misunderstanding or miscommunication and I’ll apologize here. I think we have at least two different issues here. I’m choosing to ignore the liberal/conservative issue, seeing it as a red herring and something non-negotiable with Rory. Rory’s points about civility as an essential tool for open discourse, however, are very well taken by this moderator and chronic gut-level responder.


Re:You should get an account

I haven't been here in a long time. I came to this thread because I found it in my server logs referencing the latest issue of library juice, and saw my editorial - and me - being discussed. I came here to defend myself.Editors criticizing each other's publications is in the best traditions of literary and political engagement. I criticized LISNews for my readers, not to discourage them from reading LISNews, but, as I stated, to read it with a more critical eye and an awareness of a) how it has changed and b) that it is not the neutral, "open forum" that Blake claims it is, as his action of inviting more conservative bloggers attests.- Rory Litwin

Re:So who is objective?

Thank you, I appreciate it. I understand that this was your intention; however, I think the way you felt diversity to be lacking and the direction you felt you needed to move in to increase it show that your decision was not as neutral as you would like to think. It is related to your own politics, and that is something that I have been trying to point out. You are claiming neutrality for your editorship of the site while moving it in a more conservative direction. Another editor might have felt that the site was imbalanced in the other direction back in February (it certainly seemed right-leaning to me already at the time).I have no problem with a publication - or an open forum - having a clear political frame of reference. I just don't think it should pretend to be neutral when it is not, and in claiming that you invited more conservatives to create more "balance" has the effect of claiming neutrality when it isn't there. That's my complaint. It's not intended personally.Rory

Re:Incivility as the Root Issue

Regarding civility, I do want to be clear that I'm not opposed to publicly criticizing people. But when it comes to that I think it's something people should approach with seriousness, caution, and a lot of concern for accuracy and truth (as well as relevance), as strong as their criticism might be. There's been a lack of that concern for accuracy and truth (and relevance) in some of the posts about me and my character; some of them have just been baseless attacks that I think show that this thread and my editorial are partially in the context of something as simple as a political battle.I wasn't offended by anything Rochelle wrote, however; I'm not sure what she said that I called an accusation. I may have confused something she wrote with something someone else wrote in the heat of the discussion last night.I think part of the reason this thread looks like it does is the nature of online fora, but another part of it is that in my original editorial I used somewhat rhetorical language; I was a bit provocative, and I suppose should have toned it down.Because my responses to the attacks in this forum seem to be getting moderated down (for reasons that seem more related to that political battle than intellectual judgment, it seems to me) I am planning to write a response to this thread in the next issue of Library Juice. You can expect it to use cooler language, but also to restate a little more clearly what my criticisms are.To some of you, apparently, criticising this site seems to be evidence of an intolerance for discussion or discomfort with dissent or opposition to free speech or democracy. It's difficult for me to understand where this idea comes from. Editors criticizing - even attacking - each other's publications is in the best tradition of intellectual and political discourse - exactly what intellectual freedom intends to protect. I feel that I am simply exercizing my right to free expression, which I also feel is one way of defending that right. In online fora and especially in librarianship, a lot of people are uncomfortable with criticism and very quickly equate it with "attempts to stifle debate" and call critics censors, often with calls for their sanctioning (e.g. in "listserve acceptable use policies"). This is the great irony of the culture of unreflective IF philosophy in librarianship. For pointing out how this forum is less open, free and neutral than it pretends to be - not to drive readers away but to influence the way they read it - I am called an enemy of intellectual freedom and democracy. I hope that only represents the view of a small minority of LISnews readers.Rory Litwin

Re:Incivility as the Root Issue

For pointing out how this forum is less open, free and neutral than it pretends to be - not to drive readers away but to influence the way they read it - I am called an enemy of intellectual freedom and democracy.

Rory, is it possible that your shilling for the Castro dictatorship might have something to do with the latter accusations?

Underlying issues

In this thread and in the article, I made some points that haven't really been responded to. There are ways to talk about some of this issues in the abstract, aside from the political fight.I can think of two underlying questions that I think really deserve to be debated. One is the question of how Blake determined the "political center" in deciding that the site was too far left. A question we should be able to discuss without a lot of heat is, rather than "was or is the site left or right leaning," how do you determine the balance point? The fact that Blake somehow did this while denying that he was doing it (stating that he would leave definitions of right and left up to readers) is one of my important points and deserves more than the request to "agree or disagree" that my friend Rochelle has given me. Part of my point is that any decision about where the political center lies necessarily involves one's own political orientation to begin with, and Blake doesn't really acknowledge that in regard to LISNews.The other related point that I think needs to be discussed is the extent to which an online forum like LISNews, and LISNews in particular, can really be said to be neutral and open, and the extent to which it actually has a cultural and political frame of reference. I pointed out that Blake, while claiming he was merely creating balance and greater neutrality and openness, was actively shaping that frame of reference when he called for more conservative bloggers. That is also a point that deserves more discussion than merely a request to "agree to disagree."

Link to "Four Delusions"

My link to Rory's essay didn't work, and even with ubermoderator status, I haven't figured out how to edit comments--even my own. So, here it is--definitely worth reading.

humanistic opinions

I think "left" is a misnomer. Progressives tend to care about people and the future of the planet and conservatives about themselves. Today the USA is so overwhelmed with jingoistic bluster and war and hate and torture and worse from the right that I admit when I see "conservative" I think ORCs, environmental destroyers, torture. They OWN the airwaves...Powell's son...Clear Channel...and I thought that it would make LISnews full of that same bragging empty limbaughian yap...but I jsut have learned who these folks are and ignore or delete. I think Rory was likely responding to that same gut check.


Rory, I don't think many of your responses are being moderated down. If you post as an Anonymous Patron (anyone posting as an Anonymous Patron) your post is automatically assigned a value of 0.
I think that most of your Anonymous Patron posts remain at 0, which means that NO ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN TO MODERATE THESE POSTS ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. If any of your Anonymous Patron posts have been set at a value of -1 or -2, then someone has been moderating your posts down.
I wanted to mod a couple of your posts up, because I think that you have some good points when you state your case minus the rhetorical language you used in your library juice piece but since I have already commented on this thread, I can't moderate other people's posts in this discussion.

Library Juice and LIS News

I have long assigned items from Library Juice to students. The essays are very thoughtful, analytic, well-documented and the result is energetic discussion in my classes. Litwin's level of intellectual curiosity is seldom matched in the literature. It makes me hopeful that there is so much rich content.
I also assign LIS news. The articles selected expand issues to very local and world-wide sources.Carver's leadins and comments add a good touch of whimsy or seriousness as context. Some of the comments in LIS news have been, well, hostile to the point of discouraging me from posting. I don't mind discussing issues but the last post I made resulted in personal attacks from conservative posters that went beyond what seemed to be civil. I tend to feel that the conservative side is just meaner. I don't know why this is..but compare oh say Ann Colter and Molly Ivins.

Re:belligerence is in the eye of the beholder

I shouldn't have referred to you as "the Library Juice guy", which sounds dismissive. My "true believer" comment stems from my time in a Trotskyist group that was notorious for its sectarianism. There was no such thing as polite disagreement, and the slightest deviation from the party line was taken as a sign of either bourgeois or Stalinist thinking, and the perp was either browbeaten into submission or forced out. Your characterization of the conservative comments on this board brought back memories of my twenties, when everything seemed clear to me.

Re:Library Juice and LIS News

The essays are very thoughtful, analytic, well-documented and the result is energetic discussion in my classes.

They also reliably, stridently left-wing, comporting very well with Dr. McCooks own political views. Fancy that!

Dr. McCook, do you assign in your classes anything that one would reasonalby term as "conservative"? If not (and I assume you do not), then you are engaging in political indoctrination, not education.

Re:You should get an account

I can see why if your logs had a great deal of traffic from here it would pique your curiosity.I do enjoy Library Juice, I don't have to agree with everything printed in something to enjoy it, heck I even get the local newspaper. I'm not sure you need to 'defend' yourself. There are people who are going to find you a jerk no matter what you write here or on your site.

Indeed LISNews has changed in the last few months, and I'll agree that some of the comments are childish - you're an idiot, no you're an idiot- kind of things; that is truly unfortunate because as you suggest it makes reading the site a chore sometimes seperating the chaff from the wheat.

However I am glad you participate. Perhaps you can be, should be, an anchor to the left to keep LISNews more toward center. As one of the more conservative, and in the last few months one of the more frequent posters, I welcome differing opinion -and yours frequently differs from mine!

Re:Library Juice and LIS News

I do think academia is a bit left wing. However I suppose in the overall scheme of things it balances out.

Dr. McCook while you and I may have different political views, what I know of your work -especially the community building- is remarkable as it shows what great difference a librarian can make. I chose FSU for my MLIS because of my experiences as an undergraduate at USF; not that USF does not produce fine graduates: undergraduate and beyond, but the political climate at USF was remarkably too liberal for me. Tallahassee had a somewhat more tempered crowd. However, we read your work in class at FSU SLIS and I hope are better librarians for it.

We do agree on some things as I belong to REFORMA and the Catholic Library Association and FLA by choice, of course ALA because it is career suicide not to.

However you do have a point that some of the postings are hostile. If I have made any towards you that you felt hostile, I apologize. I try to make reasoned replies that illuminate my point of view without attacking those with opposing viewpoints.

Will you and I ever see eye to eye on everything, no I am certain we won't Dr. McCook. However as to the core mission of libraries and librarianship, to encourage freedom and self-sufficiency through involved library service, I think we will never part.

It is unfortunate that I was not able to take any of your classes, I would love to have discussed some of topics of library juice or LISNews in class. Debate fosters learning, and I am sure it would be a spirited debate in your class.

Thanks ...ya liberal.

"Editors criticizing - even attacking - each other's publications is in the best tradition of intellectual and political discourse - exactly what intellectual freedom intends to protect."

You know it's ideas like that that do more to destroy the Fascist ideals I hold so dear.
I just hope you're happy.

Re:Library Juice and LIS News

Yep, we only read Hegel, Kant,Gramsci, Lukacs, and Adorno.

Re:Library Juice and LIS News

I think that FSU has the "Rule of Law" center that the IS school develops...but don't forget they also have Dr. DeHaven-Smith (another dept.)
Glad you are connecting to the museum/library movement. It's going to be important and public history is a new venue for us.

Re: extremist opinions

Progressives tend to care about people and the future of the planet and conservatives about themselves.

Okay, so take as an example the Cuban dissidents sitting in prison and the Castro dictatorship's "progressive" apologists. Does this exemplify "progressives" caring about people? Or perhaps you defend communist tyranny for the future of the planet?

Re:Rory responds

I have it from a very, very good source that you indeed took credit for getting Mitch Freedman elected. Ann Sparansese called Sandy and myself "footsoldiers for Bush" - that was the first attack, and I am the person who responded. This is exactly what you Castronistas have been doing to anyone who question you - you attack them ruthlessly, and then when they respond, you get them kicked off the ALA SRRT listserv. You and your friends have established a record of the grossest intolerance I have ever seen in the profession. I despise you and everything that you have done for the last four years. Mark Rosensweig is the most unpleasant attack dog in the profession - and one day the history of ALA will record his attacks, Ann's, and YOURS as part of the blackest era in American library history.

Re:Underlying issues

The other related point that I think needs to be discussed is the extent to which an online forum like LISNews, and LISNews in particular, can really be said to be neutral and open, and the extent to which it actually has a cultural and political frame of reference.
So that we can start the discussion please provide an example of how LISNEWS is not neutral or open. If you cannot provide any examples we can at least end the discussion on that point.

Re:Rory responds

You and your friends have established a record of the grossest intolerance I have ever seen in the profession.

I couldn't agree more. Rory Litwin runs SRRT like some petty caudillo, making insults and abuse against dissenters an explicit policy.

It really is a wonder that ALA tolerates such behavior from the leadership of one of its Round Tables. As with Castro's Cuba, changing SRRT from within is out of the question, so that protest from outside is the only alternative.

Guthrie, Steinbeck, Rosenweig,Litwin

I am reading Guthrie's biography tonight and about the fundraiser he did with Steinbeck for farmworkers in NYC. I think about Litwin near Kern County and Rosenweig in New York and all these people fighting for the great good of equality, against war. Separated by 70 years but so close in sympathy. And yet even today amdist an unjust war there is an abiding set of personal attacks missing the point by a country mile. How could a topic of ideology open the way for this bleak and foundationless puling by whales and conservators?

Thank You

Just one thought.

For the left leaning librarians here at LISNews, thank you for not whining.

When I began posting here last fall, I don’t recall any appeals to Blake. And contrary to Rory, I considered this site a milieu for liberal library types. This has changed to a degree. There was little of Pchuck, nbruce, Eli, mdoneil in those days. In fact, I really don’t think this is debatable as Blake, a self-confessed left leaner admitted so much with his now infamous “liberal echo chamber� reference.

To the point. Rory, you will never be confused with Rochelle, Great Western Dragon, Fang Face, madcow, Brian, Blake, Walt, Daniel, slashgirl, and most other liberals/libertarians/anarchists here at LISNews and perhaps in our profession. You may share their politics to some degree but you have nothing in common with their fortitude.

Something to consider. Blake’s “popsicle stand� of a library blog has grown. Immeasurably. As I look at this story now, I see it has well over 3700 hits. (How many online votes were recently tallied in the last ALA election?) In fact, LISNews may be the most popular site of its kind and present a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and your own Library Juice echo chamber.

Simple Question

If peace and democracy do take hold in Iraq, will you celebrate with the rest of us?

I propose an experiment

Rory, you are attributing LISNews' move to the center solely to Blake. Poppycock.

Following this logic can he, Blake, appeal to the left to "storm this blog" and take LISNews back? (no pun intended) If so, I suggest he do this to discern any latent influence.

I'm serious.

Re:Rory responds

I recall a conversation with an intimate friend who is also an acquaintance of yours, in which we agreed that Mitch Freedman probably underestimated the help that Library Juice gave him in that election. That may be what you are thinking of and exaggerating into something quite different. I never claimed to anyone that Library Juice was "the key" to Mitch's election or instrumental in it.This is an example of how something very run of the mill and unobjectionable can be distorted by hate into something damning. There is a lot of that going on in this thread at my and also my friends' expense.Rory Litwin


Okay, I wasn't aware of that. Thanks for the explanation.

Re:Thank You

In fact, LISNews may be the most popular site of its kind and present a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and your own Library Juice echo chamber.Well, I agree that LISNews probably is the most popular site of its kind, a probably presents a more accurate reflection of librarians today than SRRT and Library Juice. SRRT has always been in the minority in librarianship, loses many more battles than it wins, and as far as I'm concerned should stay the course.I'm not sure why you call Library Juice an echo chamber. It's a newsletter that I edit from a particular perspective. I'm not sure what you say it is echoing. When I write an editorial, I'm usually saying something that hasn't been said in print before and needs to be said. The same goes for most of the articles I publish.Rory Litwin

Re:Gee Wiz.....


We both attended the same SRRT meeting in San Diego and I am surprised at your version. It's like we were in two different rooms. Rory did no such thing when taking votes. At least tell the truth when you try to argue a point. You don't have to try and embellish a story to win supporters, do you? Or is your point of view lacking in substance so you have to create your own "reality"?

Re:Thank You

>>It's a newsletter that I edit from a particular perspective

Then why the hoopla re Blake's "perspective" of LISNews and conservative voices. Have we stumbled across a double standard here?


Fine, but I disagree with you as well.And I like to think of myself as a reasonable person.If you're not giving *everyone* access, you have no idea what the world is thinking. You only have a partial subset. We're already limited to a partial subset: those people who can get on the internet, and most likely your subset is limited to those who post in the English language (and if you're like me, those who can post coherently).If you keep reducing it down - you're eventually in an echo chamber. And that's something that seems to inherently happen on the internet (and now with authors/books). That type of filtering is bad for your intellectual health.-- Ender, Duke_of_URL

Re:You should get an account

Actually, there has been surprising little traffic coming from here to the original article. I generally check on any new reference to a page on my site, because I want to know what people are saying out there.Thanks for your comments, but while I can see that it has some value for a lot of people, I don't really like the way this format works me. I think one of the problems with the medium is the way it seems to create hotheadeness. I think a lot of the comments in this thread don't show their authors at their best, to put it mildly. I am also vulnerable to this aspect of the medium and have certainly said things I regret in elecronic discussions. I've gotten in the habit of writing emails a little more slowly than I used to, but this board tends to speed up the time factor. I have other problems with the medium, as well as with this community, especially as it's changed over time, that make me not want to participate.Maybe in a few years things will have changed in such a way that I'm more comfortable with LISNews and feel like participating.Rory Litwin

Re:Gee Wiz.....

Rory did no such thing when taking votes.

As a matter of fact, he did. I watched him. After every vote, he said "UNANIMOUSLY" with a blissful look on his face, letting everyone know that he expected them to toe the line.

So Dickens, at least tell the truth when you try to argue a point....

Re:Thank You

If this message appears twice pardon my repetitiveness - I posted a response and might not have finished it. Anyway, I was expecting it to appear and it hasn't.The problem isn't the frame of reference of LISNews. (I say it has a frame of reference rather than a single perspective because there is a real diversity of views represented here, but all within a particular cultural and political frame that sheds a certain light on all of those views.) I think every publication (or whatever you want to call this) has a frame of reference or a perspective.The problem that I have noted is that Blake doesn't acknowledge that his site has a frame of reference and that frame of reference has a political aspect to it. This was always the case, in my opinion, but when Blake explicitly called for more conservatives to participate in the site - during the time that the conservative presence in the comments had grown considerably and was continuing to grow - I thought that his lack of acknowledgment that LISNews isn't really neutral became an actual issue that I should bring up - not to drive readers away from the site, but to affect the way they read it.Rory

Rory And PLG Today

The biggest problem with Rory and his SRRT/PLG friends is that they have wasted all of their energy and time keeping dissenters down - and not fighting for the poor people of this country, and the imprisoned fellow librarians who are in Cuba. At one time PLG and SRRT members would have been fighting for them - instead of ignoring them like the right-wingers they hate. The history of their ideological battle with everyone else who is a librarian will record this waste of time and effort.
For an example - look at Library Juice. During the last two years how many articles has Rory posted on the programs or lack thereof from ALA to help the poor people of this country.

Re:Gee Wiz.....

I'm sorry Jack, that DID NOT HAPPEN at the meeting. It's time you told the truth about what did happen. You continously interrupted the meeting to make the same comment over and over re: you must follow the bylaws. You continued on this thread even though according to the bylaws you wanted Rory to supposedly follow in detail you would have not been allowed to speak. It continues to amaze me that you continue to criticize Rory for supposedly trying to hamper free speech when he let you continue to speak even though you were out of order. Funny, rules only apply when you want them to. Grow up. I have read your posts for months, read your conservator blog and see only distortions. I have heard you speak in person but I have yet to find that you have any substantive to say. I also have noticed how you attempt to hamper any viewpoint opposite of yours. Obviously, free speech is dependent on your ok.

Re:Thank You

I do think you're somewhat exaggerating the importance and the audience size of LISNews. Those 3700 hits tallied include every repeat visit of every core user of the site. The 3700 hits probably represents far 500 to 1000 people, and most of them are probably people who don't care very much about this discussion. The remainder are probably evenly divided between people who agree with you and people who agree with me. Compare that to a biweekly circulation for Library Journal of 100,000, and the approximately 4,000 daily hits to and 3000 biweekly readers of Library Juice. This is an important site, and in terms of the postings, does probably represent the (not-very intellectual) mainstream of younger librarians, though the comments are leaning well to the right of the mainstream. In the end, it's just a blog, and opinions expressed in the blog aren't taken with the same degree of seriousness as opinions expressed in formats which require more time and reflection in their production. That's as it should be. In an online forum like this, people tend to be at their worst and least thoughtful. It shows.

Re:Thank You

Tomeboy, how can you say I lack fortitude? I've come onto a site that I never use and basically hold my own against a whole team of people who apparently hate me, with very little support from the people you mention whose politics you say overlap mine. What is the basis of your claim that I lack fortitude? If you were familiar with my publication, you would know that I am willing to express views that are truly unpopular, including views that are unpopular with people in my own community. I do it because I often find it more important to say what I think is the truth than to rest comfortably in what I know that people will accept. I do it because I have an independent mind and the courage to risk losing false friends in exchange for more commitment from my real friends, whose numbers may be fewer. Do you do that?So where does this talk about fortitude come from? Just who do you think you are talking to? If anything, my editorial and my participating on this website of yours show fortitude, and I think it's actually your recognition of that that put the word :fortitude" in your head in this posting of yours, because it gave you something to deny.

Rory, PLG, & the Right

This whole business strikes me as merely a knockoff of the long established right wing attack: moderation is called "liberal", "liberal" is called "left wing", and "left wing" is called "crazy/insane/irresponsible." Screaming at Rory for pointing out the inconsistencies in Blake's roving positions of convenience so that he can claim "fairness" by representing more right wing folks on LISnews is also a familiar tactic. Now of course, we're down to personalities and "fortitude" B.S. - which is where this was headed all along.Being involved with librarianship is naturally going to whack the sensibilities of the right - after all, it's not really Rush Limbaugh who's in danger on the library shelves and URLs, it's those who have always been underrepresented. The push to get them represented has caused a backlash - and that's what we're in the middle of.John Buschman, Co-editor Progressive LibrarianCoordinating Committee, P

Bluster and Bullying

Thanks Dickens for the calm voice of reason. They try to bully us, but if we tell the truth their bluster will be seen for what it is.

Re:Bluster and Bullying

Dr. McCook, you mean "bullying" like throwing people into prison for the crime of calling for improved health care?

Re:Thank You

I've come onto a site that I never use and basically hold my own against a whole team of people who apparently hate me, with very little support from the people you mention whose politics you say overlap mine.

Now calm down there. It is not like you single-handedly saved the village from a rogue elephant.

It seems to me that you are attempting to clarify your initial essay. Your original essay, which I have read, essentially disagrees with Blake's attempt to get more people from a right-of-center point of view. In addition, your essay is peppered with several swipes at conservatives.

It sounds like you just don't care for something library related that includes diverse viewpoints. Fine.

Re:Thank You

Rory: no good deed goes unpunished. Thank you for your always thoughtful, always wide-ranging, and indispensable Library Juice newsletter, which unlike this blog I find always rich in library heritage and above all, intelligent. Though I have never seen you in action at an ALA Council meeting, the mild-mannered and unassuming person I met at ALA Toronto does not seem to match the diabolical descriptions of you that I have read here. I am frankly stumpted at what in the world a "conservative librarian" could be when the end game of the right wing according to Grover Norquist is to "shrink government (read public libraries and public schools and public universities) till it is small enough to fit in a bathtub and then drown it." I guarantee that the resulting private, gated communities resulting from this plan will provide little or no employment for said librarians.

Carol Gulyas
Reference and Instruction Librarian
Columbia College Chicago

Re:Thank You

Tomeboy, how can you say I lack fortitude?

It may help my response if I knew who I was addressing here. ID yourself, then ask your question.

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