The Nation takes an admiring look at librarians
The Nation magazine posted a web-only article yesterday by Joseph Huff-Hannon titled, “Librarians at the Gates,” which takes an admiring look at American librarians. It discusses librarians’ responses to anti-immigration legislation (with a link to REFORMA’s website); our responses to the USA PATRIOT Act, responses to censorship attempts, four paragraphs about the National Security Archive at George Washington University, and attention to both sides of the Cuban “independent” library movement, with a quote from Mark Rosenzweig at the end of the article.
(The article got one important thing wrong that should be pointed out. It states, apparently repeating an assertion of Robert Kent’s, that “Library associations around the world have drafted forceful statements of condemnation [of Cuba for arresting ‘independent librarians.’]” This is simply false – library associations, with only a very few exceptions, have avoided taking a position in support of the “independent librarians.” Thanks are due to Ann Sparanese for pointing out this error in the article.)
The Nation, back in the early part of the 20th Century, used to publish reports from ALA’s annual conferences, showing a definite interest in the professional issues of librarians at the dawn of the modern library movement. It is very gratifying to see the magazine make a return to that tradition.
Joseph Huff-Hannon also had an article published in In These Times earlier this year, with a byline of Buenos Aires, titled, “Locating Argentine Memories,” about the Archive for Permanent Memory (Archivo Permanente Para La Memoria), where the terrors of 1976 and 1977 are documented, researched, and memorialized. Huff-Hannon is a translator and a writer with an intimate understanding of the importance of libraries for justice and social change.