The latest issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education features an article entitled "The Loneliness of a Conservative Librarian" [sorry, subscription required]. Last year David Brooks investigated the ratio of Kerry campaign donors to Bush donors within academia, and it was in the neighborhood of 11:1--but among librarians it was 223:1.
The author of this piece, David Durant, knew back in 1997 that the profession he was getting into was made up predominantly of liberals and leftists. That didnt matter to him--he prized himself on his ability to get along with everyone. The problem arose after September 11, and particularly after the Iraq War. At that point, he writes, the profession became "overtly politicized":
One of the most disturbing aspects of the situation is the way in which the supposedly nonpolitical American Library Association has become a platform for left-wing partisanship. The ALAs Council, its elected governing body, is dominated by left-wing activists who recently passed a resolution calling for the United States to leave Iraq.
It is, of course, the right of the vast majority of my colleagues to hold positions I disagree with. But its a very different matter when the major professional association in librarianship takes openly political stands on issues that have no direct bearing on the field.
Proponents of the resolution on Iraq argue that abandoning the country to Al Qaeda would allow us to spend lots more money on libraries here at home. I believe that allowing radical Islam to run rampant in the Middle East would be utterly disastrous for libraries and intellectual freedom, both here and abroad. It is for individuals to choose between those positions; a professional organization like the ALA has no business adopting such a blatantly partisan resolution.