It appears that there are still people coming out of the woodwork–sometimes people in high-profile situations–who are unhappy about the ALA Statement of Appropriate Conduct.
I honestly don’t understand this, except in two cases:
- People who themselves are guilty of conduct that is frowned on in the Statement, or who operate from such a position of privilege that they regard such conduct as acceptable.
- People whose understanding of free speech is seriously flawed.
I fear that my previous post on this topic in my earlier post, “Codes and levels“–a post that said I probably wouldn’t be writing more on this topic, partly because I’m not the right person to be doing so.
I think that latter clause is still true, but just so there’s no misunderstanding:
I believe the Statement of Appropriate Conduct is both appropriate and useful.
I believe it will have a good effect on ALA conferences.
I do not believe it limits free speech in any meaningful sense.
I do not believe it would hinder the speech or action of any reasonably responsible grown-up person during a conference.
I emphatically do not agree that it is a solution in search of a problem. Honestly, if you’ve been to, say, half a dozen or more library conferences (ALA or otherwise) and have never witnessed, overheard or been subject to inappropriate conduct (including unwanted attention), then I suspect you’ve avoided hotel bars, receptions, social events–and I wonder whether you’ve been paying attention during discussions and programs Q&A sessions. I’m not saying the problems are rampant; I am saying they’re frequent enough that “show us the problems!” strikes me as coming from a very sheltered perspective.
And that’s enough to say.