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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/5/08

Librarians Against Palin Founder a Mystery

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The identify of the founder of Librarians Against Palin as of September 4, 2008 is still unknown to the general public and the majority of librarians. The new LAP site may simply be a blog, a grassroots effort, the latest 527 group on the political scene or just one part of a wider movement that will not only teach Sarah Palin a thing or two about democracy, but may well cost her the election come November if the Librarians Against Palin group does what they set out to do. My money is on the latter.

The identity, age and gender of this unknown librarian upset with Sarah Palin's treatment of Mary Ellen Emmons and the Wasilla Public Library is a mystery. Logic tells us the founder of Librarians Against Palin lives in the United States and may be someone well known nationally or simply our next door neighbor. We do not know how large the membership of Librarians Against Palin is or will be prior to our next election, but the group is sure to generate interest among librarians, parents and voters in general whether they are Republican or Democrat, whether they are well read or illiterate.

Other than bits and pieces of information, we are clueless as to the mystery surrounding the the founder of LAP. Well, not a total mystery and not totally clueless as much information is readily available about who this person may be.

The first clue is found in what the mysterious founder had to say in the About Section of the Librarians Against Palin  

"I am a public librarian who is concerned about having Sarah Palin in the White House. While mayor of Wasilla, Sarah Palin attempted to ban some books from the city library. When the chief librarian would not ban books without going through the formal book challenging process, Sarah Palin attempted to terminate the librarian’s employment. Only after public outcry was the termination withdrawn.

"I do not want a book banner in the White house!"

We know for a fact this group is involved in the world's oldest profession.

No, not that one, the other one. Information Processing.

It's becoming apparent that librarians other than the LAP founder are upset as well. This was posted shortly after the site went up:

Librarian Lucy's September 4th post:

"have worked in Alaskan libraries for 20 years and can assure you that the story about Mary Ellen Emmons is true. After Palin was elected she did her darndest to work with her but the pressure to censor materials got to be too much and Mary Ellen resigned and moved across the state where she rebuilt her life and continues to work in a library. She is reluctant to bring up that part of her past. We all wish she would make a statement to the press, but you forget that Palin is still our Governor and she is one mean, small minded woman and we may need her support for our libraries in the future. There is SB119 waiting for funding right now, which would provide matching funds for new library construction and $$$ for our school libraries, for instance. Once you cross Ms. Sarah, she keeps you on her list for life."

What else do we know?

We know the founder of Librarians Against Palin attended one of only 47 institutions in the US and Canada who offer a Master's degree in Library Science (MLS). This degree, known by other designations as well, requires between 36 and 72 credits depending on your course of study.

Chris Hinson, PhD, explains the library degree a bit further:

"I have never been a librarian nor have I ever wished to be a librarian…I research and teach federal information policy, more specifically information policy departures (not related to libraries, except when the Nat’l Archivist violates the Federal Records Act). HOWEVER, Florida State University’s College of Information just awarded me a PhD in (you guessed it) Library and Information Studies. If you are surprised you may be more surprised to find out this is my second graduate degree in Library and Information Studies awarded by FSU. I was awarded a Masters of Science from the Department of Information Studies in 2002. I have never taken a single course directly related to libraries or librarianship from FSU or any other university. So, buyer beware…when recruiting from FSU."

"Why am I writing this? Simply to make you aware that a graduate degree or two in library studies does not qualify you to be a librarian."

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I was raised an Armybrat, which gave me an appreciation for our military, diversity and travel. In my young adulthood I was a Republican, this in the days Republicans were still actually conservative. When the move began in earnest to push (more...)

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