Librarians, Unite!

A lot of what I heard at ALA MW revolved around the frustration that ALA is divided on just about every issue. ALA is not strong enough for the average American and public officials to understand the importance of libraries. On January 18, 2012, Wikipedia “blacked out” its website, to demonstrate the ramifications of SOPA/PIPA. But many people did not make the connections from the Wikipedia blackout –> legislation –> access to information –> libraries. I imagine most people were able to make the first connection, although I suspect a lot did not really understand, and were just frustrated they could not find out on what date Queen Elizabeth was born, or what is the capital of Namibia. I would hope a decent amount of people made the realization that the government CAN control access to information in America, but the importance of this to libraries? Probably not even a glimmer of acknowledgment by most people. This is where ALA can be influential, taking a lead in educating the American public on the value of libraries in this regard. The problem is: how can the ALA increase its communication and influence?

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