marathons and ALA bullshit

Marathons can really exhaust a person, even if you are just watching. That’s what I learned today.

Also, for you library folks, only watch this if you really want to be pissed off. I mean I know *I* have always tried to make libraries a safe haven for criminals, but I am glad everyone else has been too.

I think the ALA response in this video is, to be frank, cowardly bullshit. Way to go, Madam Intellectual Freedom! Never have I been so proud to NOT be an ALA member. I am sure it was also edited poorly, but what a completely lost opportunity to discuss intellectual freedom, and what an utter backstabbing move by ALA to not defend its libraries. I have now worked or volunteered for just under ten publicly funded libraries, and ALA’s archives, and I have never ever seen any ALA publication which advocates calling the police into the library for people looking at porn. I don’t know ANY library which holds that as a rule. I would try and find something ON ALA’s website about this, but all the links are broken at the moment.
Of course I am also angry at the retarded reporting in this story, but once again it is ALA that has let me down the most.


  1. Jenn says:

    Just this summer (or early Fall, I’m not sure), we had someone in the Undergrad Library looking at porn on the computers. I don’t think he had progressed to auto-manipulation, but the response that some of the librarians here might as well have been on that level. And these are librarians around my age, not “old fogeys” or anything.

    Basically, a patron complained that this guy was looking at “dirty pictures” on the Internet and wanted us to do something about it. The GA librarian came to my boss and asked if the library had an official policy regarding such matters and what we thought he should do. Huh?

    I *know* that this has come up before here (how could it not?) and it just seemed so much a non-issue, with a near-instinctual response: unless he was pushing it in someone else’s face (assault, I guess) or touching himself (illegal in public, and easily addressed by speaking to the guy), we can only suggest that he view it at a more private terminal, so that he can browse in peace. We have the entire run of Playboy freely available at UGL, for Krishna’s sake, why should looking at the same thing on a screen be that much different? Hell, he could have been doing research (my ex actually wrote his dissertation on pornography at its regulation in the former Soviet Union), he could have been reading for pleasure; it shouldn’t matter. At the public library we never, ever would have called the police if someone was just looking.

    And oh yes, the great “problem” of Library confidentiality. Not even touching that one today.

  2. jennybento says:

    that’s exactly my experience too, so i have no idea what ala is talking about.

  3. Kasey says:

    Where’s the video? We have a policy that masturbation is OK as long as they keep it in their pants….

  4. jennybento says:

    sorry, i broke the link! fixed now. go here

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