Tuesday, November 22, 2016

ALA president apologizes for press releases that ‘normalize’ Trump administration

In a post to American Libraries blog, The Scoop, Julie B. Todaro, president of the American Library Association, apologized for recent press releases that appeared to capitulate to, and normalize, the incoming Trump administration.

One press release, dated Nov. 17 or 18, linked to briefs illustrating libraries’ contributions to entrepreneurial opportunity, U.S. veteran services and broadband Internet access — described in the press release as “policy priorities” of the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. The emphasis of the press release was that libraries “support” the administration’s policy priorities.

A cached copy of the press release, which has been taken down, quotes Todaro as saying, “The briefs released today demonstrate the diverse range of programs and services provided by our nation’s 120,000 libraries, which together constitute a national infrastructure that can address some of the challenges identified by President-elect Trump.”

An earlier press release, dated Nov. 15, offered the ALA’s expertise and resources to the incoming administration and Congress. This press release has been rescinded.

In a press release issued Nov. 19, Todaro stated the Nov. 18 release had still been in draft form and “in the haste to communicate with our members, it went out by mistake without my full review and approval.”

Todaro added that while she was very proud of the three briefs showcasing what libraries can do for the country, “the introductory and positioning content” were in fact not what she would have approved.

In her post to The Scoop, Todaro emphasized that the ALA’s work “with any administration” must always first be in line with the ALA’s core values of diversity, equity and inclusion. “And it is clear that many of these values are at odds with messaging or positions taken by the incoming administration.”

Todaro asked that members share their thoughts and concerns via commenting to The Scoop blog post.

“Beginning Monday morning, the ALA executive board will discuss these issues and our processes and we will use your comments to help guide us in our discussions and planning as we work to earn back the trust of our members and prepare for the work ahead during this new administration.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Robust debate and even unusual opinions are encouraged, but please stay on-topic and be respectful. Comments are subject to review for personal attacks or insults, discriminatory statements, hyperlinks not directly related to the discussion and commercial spam.