Saturday, February 3, 2018

ALA Ignores Sexual Harassment of Librarians; Librarian Says #TimesUp

Another librarian is exposing the sexual harassment of librarians, only she adds that library management and especially the American Library Association could not care less:
Read it all, it's well written, but here are some sad quotes:
  • "Because the truth is, every femme/female public librarian has dozens of stories just like this one; uncomfortable, but harmless interactions of harassment."
  • "Librarians fiendishly guard patrons' right to do everything that makes sexual harassment so prevalent in public libraries — right up to the point where it becomes harassment."
  • "The American Library Association doesn't provide any guidelines or resources for dealing with sexual harassment, either from patrons or colleagues." (hyperlink omitted)
  • "Management also has to back up those policies by taking action when necessary. This does not always happen. I discovered this firsthand when I went to report a library patron's escalating harassment to my boss."
  • "In my experience, and the experience of many other librarians I know, management is often reluctant to address the problem of sexual harassment — especially if it's verbal and not physical — for fear of generating any negative attitudes about the library."
  • "We whisper, we warn. We stop the patron who's intent on chasing the librarian into the staff room. If we happen to see it. If the library is fully staffed. If he can be stopped."
  • "And so it's time for the American Library Association to recognize and address the reality of sexual harassment in libraries."
  • "It's time for library management and the city and county governments they're affiliated with to unequivocally stand behind librarians' right to serve the public free from physical or verbal sexual harassment."
  • "Our #TimesUp moment is long overdue."


The American Library Association obviously does nothing to solve the problem, as this librarian confirms and as I have been reporting.  Worse, James LaRue, the leader of its "Office for Intellectual Freedom" that facilitates Internet pornography in libraries despite the law, says any claims librarians are harassed by patrons as a result of viewing porn are, get this, "dubious":
My correspondent ... wrote that "harassment is caused by people having viewed the unfiltered Internet while in the library." But that's speculation, not fact. It's dubious, too. People read mysteries in libraries and don't feel compelled to commit murders. People are responsible for unwanted or criminal action, not the internet. And not library policy.
ALA leadership claims the problem doesn't exist to protect its own porn-facilitation policy guidelines.  And ALA has been denying the problem for years: "Hostile work environment is a very fact-based lawsuit.  ....  And there've only been three of them over time, over the last twenty years of Internet access in libraries."

ALA and its acolytes hate that I report on ALA's involvement in the sexual harassment of librarians.  Already, before this is even published, I have been attacked for daring to help by offering librarians a platform to speak.  Cutting off any medium for librarians to speak out about harassment serves ALA's goals well, keeps harassed librarians silent:

So now we know why ALA does nothing to help sexually harassed librarians.  It's like all those people ignoring or protecting Harvey Weinstein all those years.  It won't stop until librarians stop ignoring or protecting ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  They at ALA OIF, they are the "dubious" ones.  They cause this:



NOTE ADDED 8 FEBRUARY 2018:

Just found more evidence of yet another librarian revealing the American Library Association itself is the problem (source of comment by Dena Marger): 
"It is legally up to our employers to prevent a hostile work environment, even if the source of harassment comes from a patron... Patrons who view porn in the workplace are still a point of contention with the ALA, which staunchly defends a patron’s right to unfiltered internet access in the library. Lawsuits from librarians claim that forced and consistent exposure to pornography in the workplace creates a hostile environment." Yes, I've been saying this for as long as I've been a librarian, and having to deal with patrons and porn in the workplace. Glad others feel able to actually say this out loud as well. In a profession that prides itself on protecting everyone's "free speech," some people's speech can be harder to hear.

And here's yet another:
Patrons who view porn in the workplace are still a point of contention with the ALA, which staunchly defends a patron’s right to unfiltered internet access in the library. Lawsuits from librarians claim that forced and consistent exposure to pornography in the workplace creates a hostile environment.
Source: "Sexual Harassment in the Library: When Patrons are the Perpetrators," by Melissa DeWitt, Hack School Library, 11 September 2017, hyperlinks in original except one I updated that was 404.

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