I know I said tomorrow, but I have some time after all and I am falling behind. I’m supposed to be writing a job analyses by now, but I will save that for tomorrow. Now, I shall blog about the Progressive Librarians Guild which I mentioned earlier. This is the second of my professional organizations.
The PLG is a little too controversial for the ALA, but it has many chapters and affiliations, including a Wayne State chapter:
The PLG is devoted to progressive issues as you might guess. This is more than just a group of socialists who happen to work in libraries. Their mission statement involves keeping libraries independent and free from indoctrinating influences. This is especially important in the fight not to let companies decide what you can and cannot see in an information exchange. On the other hand, the earlier article I posted, about questioning neutrality, is also form this group.
They have a monthly newsletter and an award dedicated to Miriam Braverman, a socialist who founded the ALA’s Social Responsibilities Roundtable:
The PLG are opposed to war, pro human rights and opposed SOPA. They think of neutrality as “sterile” and oppose libraries becoming “privatized, commercialized zones.”
Their website is very straight and to the point and yes, you can join the guild which has 16 different guild chapters. There are membership dues, and not a lot of information as to what membership can do for you. This is the kind of group you join because you really believe in and want to do things with like minded people.
The PLG is devoted to providing an open space for the discussion of ideas. I wonder if they are not so radical, that they just want to have a forum where they all agree on whom they hate. This can be a sticking point for leftist groups. They oppose censorship and restriction on the net, but might not be so open minded in their library collections. To a point, I agree with them on that and I don’t want to rehash my older posts on neutrality here. It is a good thing that they view the librarian as an advocate for peoples access to information and that they are not afraid to be called socialists when drooling idiots who cannot even define the term are happy to vilify it.
I might be interested in joining this guild someday since it seems to be on par with me on almost all issues. I don’t know if we can all agree on what we mean by neutrality and if that might be grounds for keeping someone out. I don’t want to join a group that argues that libraries can’t house popular fiction because that dumbs people down. That is too high minded. But I do like to battle for the free and open exchange of ideas. Even while admitting that some sides of an argument are better than others, hiding one view completely just makes it less understood and why it is wrong becomes less understood and then we are all doomed to repeat our forgotten past.
Of course, these are librarians. I’m sure they can be reasoned with.