Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My Name is Jon Mark. I am a Blog Person

I've been meaning to write about this for the last week but have been too busy. The title of this post, along with the new graphic-- refer to some recent trouble brewing in the library world.
In a nutshell, here's what happend:
Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association, wrote a piece critical of Google’s Digitization project for the LA Times:
[found via Google, by the way!]

As you can imagine, some folks found fault with Gorman’s argument, wrote about it, and posted their comments on various blogs. I guess someone called him an “idiot.”

In response to his critics, Gorman writes the following in Library Journal:


This, of course, is like putting out the fire with gasoline. As Neil Gaiman wrote on his blog:

(Surely, if you're upset that someone called you an idiot, the wisest course of action would be not to write an odd screed that will itself convince many people who haven't heard of you before reading it that this is in fact the case.)
(Source: http://www.neilgaiman.com/journal/2005/02/nook.asp)

Gorman comes of as an arrogant and academically patronizing with comments such as, “Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts.” Nice to hear when you consider yourself one of the Blog People.

Myself, I think I really take issue with statements such as these when they come from the person who—ostensibly—is the public voice for my profession. This is why, when asked what I do, I usually say I work in a library, instead of answering, “I’m a librarian.”

I'm going to post as many follow-ups as I can find, if only for myself. I know some of you are keeping up with this whole thread so please, let me know if I miss something.

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