Michael Gorman is apparently being chastised by his peers on an ALA mailing list for his Library Journal thrashing of blogs and Google. His response, or should I call it “backpeddling”, is interesting:
The piece (LJ, February 15th 2005) was intended to be satirical, though I am certainly no fan of “blogs,” having an old fashioned belief that, if one wishes to air one’s views and be taken seriously, one should go through the publishing/editing process.
Satire? I don’t see it, and neither do some of the librarians on that list. Division Two’s Mac Mini review is satire. The difference is very plain.
Mr. Gorman then raises the first amendment flag in his defense:
Rest assure that my views on “blogs” have nothing to do with my activities as ALA president-elect or president. I merely air my views and believe that everyone (including me) has a right to speak in any way they wish and that others have a right to respond.
I believe very strongly in a person’s freedom to speak in any way that they wish. However, when you write something for public consumption, that is a reflection on you, and expectations of future behavior will be built on such reflections. This is something that many bloggers miss.
Clearly, Michael Gorman as president of the ALA will not encourage work to cull the best content from blogs and make it available to library patrons. Yes, blogs are a source of a large amount of junk, but they are also a vast source of up-to-date information in many fields.