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LOTR Librarian

This blog is for lovers of LOTR wishing to find information about Tolkien, discuss Tolkien, or for librarians who happen to love Tolkien's books. (No movie discussion here, please.) It is also for general librarianship rants based on experiences or beliefs of the LOTR Librarian. Attention Spammers: Your comments will be deleted. Don't waste your time here. Go elsewhere. English-only comments please. If you want to comment in Mandarin, German, Spanish, etc; frequent blogs in those languages.

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"Oyarsa" for those who don't know, is the name of an archangel (or "god" with a little 'g') in C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy. I liked the character, so I stole the name. Who am I? I am a library science student in Illinois who has a variety of interests--too many to list! I have worked in libraries for five years and counting.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Codrescu: Librarians Fail to Stand Up for Oppressed Peers

U.S. librarians fail to speak out for oppressed peers

SAN ANTONIO , Feb. 1, 2006 (Jonathan Gurwitz/San Antonio Express-News) - Michael Gorman, the president of the American Library Association, was mugged recently in San Antonio. Gorman was in town for the ALA's annual midwinter meeting.

Ordinarily, I would be horrified to hear that a visitor to this fair city had been the victim of such a misdeed. But in this case, it's the ALA that's committing the crime and the truth that fittingly mugged Gorman.

At the ALA's President's Program on Jan. 22, Romanian-born author Andrei Codrescu delivered the keynote address about the importance of books, libraries and librarians.... I was born in a place [Romania] where people were forbidden to read most of what we consider the fundamental books of Western civilization," he told the audience.....

Codrescu spoke about the librarian who changed his life — Dr. Martin, a retired professor who had managed to accumulate a collection of works blacklisted by the communist authorities. "Books forbidden by an authoritarian government are the only reason I am now standing before you," he said.

Codrescu recounted how, in those dark days in Romania, the ALA — along with the ACLU and the Helsinki Federation for Human Rights — offered a beacon of hope for democracy and freedom. Then, by President Gorman's lights, Codrescu's speech turned down a criminal path.

Read the rest of the article here.

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