Clarifications, changes, and an update: Three posts in one!

A coffee-break quickie that probably should be three separate posts, but…

1. Libraries as information places: For someone who grumps about “the library” being an artificial construct that sweeps too much into one pile, I fell right into it in the Library 2.0 and “Library 2.0″ essay. I should have been much clearer about two things:

One, that I was primarily talking about public libraries (and secondarily academic libraries)–and that school and special libraries are very different creatures (lots of kinds of very different creatures);

Two, that I wasn’t at all saying that libraries shouldn’t be information resources, just that public libraries aren’t primary everyday information resources for most people and that “information” seriously understates what public libraries do well.

Three, that narrative can be in almost any medium and delivery system (I heartily approve of DVD and CD collections in libraries, and of audio ebooks and…, not that it’s my role to approve or disapprove)–although print books have real and sustaining virtues for certain forms of long linear narrative. Which is only one kind of narrative.

[No one expects the Spanish Inquisition. If that reference makes no sense, ask.]

2. Banning and civility: I just love the conversations that take place on this blog, even if they are sometimes “dangling” and certainly one-sided to some extent. I do not believe that yelling at people constitutes conversation. But I may have overreacted to what I believe to be a deliberate, escalating form of inflammatory and defamatory comment. So: Nobody’s entirely banned from commenting–but I do reserve the right to put certain email addresses into “always moderate” status, and to delete without comment any comment that I regard as offtopic, hateful, or deliberately inflammatory.

Disagree with me all you like. I’m frequently wrong (there’s no halo above this head, and continued learning means changing one’s mind and becoming better informed) and expect to continue to be frequently wrong. I have never, ever deleted a comment because the person disagreed with what I said.

But I will delete, or fail to approve, comments that constitute yelling rather than conversation. And comments that are personal attacks (on me, or anyone else) rather than disagreements with what’s been said. And comments that slander entire groups of people.

And if other blogs choose to interpret that insistence on civility as suppression of dissent…well, you know, it’s still a free country, and intellectual dishonesty is part of that freedom.

3. If you’re attending Midwinter and knew Ilene Rockman: see this comment about a Sunday 5-6:30 gathering. I won’t be able to make the gathering (prior commitments, oddly in a very light Midwinter schedule), but will be there in spirit.

5 Responses to “Clarifications, changes, and an update: Three posts in one!”

  1. Ruth Ellen Says:

    Two things:
    1. I know the quote, but I’m not sure what you’re trying to say with it.
    2. Don’t apologize for banning people who have repeatedly behaved badly.

  2. walt Says:

    1. Well, I said “clearer about two things”–then proceeded to clarify three things. The punch line of each instance of that particular Monty Python running gag, where the people bursting in always relied on one more thing than they announced they relied on.

    2. I’m not apologizing. I’m rethinking. The effect of banning individual posts that don’t meet my standards for civility may turn out to be the same as banning the poster, but it may not.

  3. Angel Says:

    Totally understandable on the issue of civility. I have always debated that myself and have reached similar conclusions that I would not tolerate any yelling, personal attacks, slander and defamation and other assorted flames. I think that is something every blogger should feel comfortable about doing, and if the visitor dislikes it, like you say, it is a free country, and there are other places out there for that kind of rudeness.

    Oh, and did you mean. . .?

    “The Inquisition, what a show.
    The Inquisition, here we go.
    We know you’re wishin’ that we’d go away!
    So all you Muslims and you Jews
    We got big news for all of yous:
    You’d better change your point of views TODAY!
    ‘Cause the Inquisition’s here and it’s here to stay!”

    Just a little humor. Best.

  4. Elena O'Malley Says:

    Funny, a friend of mine just had to moderate/ban today on her blog, which she normally doesn’t do. Is Mercury in retrograde?

  5. walt Says:

    Angel–interesting, your comment wasn’t emailed to me (which is supposed to be automatic). No, I meant the Monty Python running gag in one episode. See my response to Ruth Ellen. Cheers.


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