can we finally ditch the ala?
December 19, 2016
Given recent ‘controversies’ at the ALA and its support (or willingness to collude) with Trump’s administration (a positin I’m not at all surprised with), I’m curious if other canadian librarians are finally onboard with the notion that we stop using the ala as our own ‘professional’ organization? Like. I’ve said as much before but people think I’m wonky. In the union discussions we’ve had, I’ve tried to get our union away from using language like “must have an ala accredited degree or equivalent”. I want canadian library schools to stop seeking accredation from ala and do almost anything else. Please.
This latest business is only the most recent example of the follies of pretending like the professional organization of a different country ought to have any sway in our own national context. The american library association doesn’t represent canadians. Like. It doesn’t even pretend to. For all the canadians giving them membership fees and the like, all you’re doing is funding an organization that couldn’t give two fucks about us.
People say that the cla did fuck all for us. And its true, they did do fuck all. But they were at least trying whereas the ala doesn’t do anything in canada because its an american organization, so why would they? Beyond just membership fees there’s also the labour donated/given by canadians to an organization that doesn’t care about us and certainly doesn’t represent us. Imagine if we put that money, time, and effort into actually creating a robust national professional association that is actually meaningful for us.
Because recall this fellow canadians: if you’re giving membership dues to the ala and they ala does happily (as they will) collude with the american government, you are helping to fund the oppression of marginalized people in the US. And do notice how I said ‘american government’ since no matter who’s running the show, it will never cease to be a white supremacist settler state. But I know not everyone will agree on this point. But most will agree that trump is bad business and supporting/funding collusion with his administration is Bad.
At the very least, canadian members of the ala should cancel their memberships and boycott the ala until the current administration is out of office. This might actually give us the time and resources to work on building our own robust association.
(Note that canada is any less of a white supremacist settler state than the US. In this respect we are the same. But we theoretically could build up a national association designed to resist this, if only we cared to.)