Good news!

Congress has been so effective at getting things done and solving problems that they can focus on telling librarians how to do their jobs!

So when the Library of Congress Policy & Standards Division decided that “Illegal aliens” was not a useful and objective term for use in subject headings (with good reason), Repugnant congressmen raced to compose a bill that would undo their deliberations. For some reason every other PSD decision made that week was fine, but this one change demands action from our normally sessile representatives.

What next, a Senate hearing to investigate subversive call numbers? (“Why is Islam listed before Christianity? Why is the Bible filed under BS?“) A Supreme Court ruling on permissible story time books? Maybe we need a congressional oversight of reference librarians to make sure every question is screened by the Heritage Foundation.

FFS, man.

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Published in: on April 13, 2016 at 3:28 pm  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. LoC’s justifications seemed pretty reasonable to me.
    Whereas most folks these days think green men when they’re looking up Aliens, changing to Noncitizens makes perfect sense. If we’re tossing out Alien in favor of Noncitizen, Unauthorized Immigration is a great catchall for the subject of… uh… Unauthorized Immigration.

    Stuff like this is why the Republican Party is an embarrassment and needs to die.

  2. And naturally, I mean in the way of the Whigs, the Federalists or the Anti-Masonics.

    • I’d love to see the two-party system broken and a parliamentary system replace it. When I was involved with the Green Party, we were working with Libertarians, Natural Law, all kinds of people from all over the spectrum because we could see common causes. The two party system just seems to ensure gridlock.

      • I think the analogy of the Democrats & Republicans in DC as the Globetrotters and the Generals is more than apt; most of what’s going on is just a show for the audience, players are actually interchangeable, and after the “game” both teams go back to the same locker room.

        I think that the best thing that could happen would be to make it unlawful for parties, being private organizations, to use public funds and mechanisms for their primary elections. The way things are now, party insiders not only have a lock on the process, they get to force tax payers to foot the bill for the process of selecting their party candidates.

  3. All the RPG blogs are getting infused with political crap what a shame. I understand it as shorthand for Illegal Resident Alien, where Resident Alien is a legal term.

    Noncitizen is a much broader term. They do not mean the same thing.

    Moreover; this is a fairly hot button issue being used as a propaganda nugget by Democrats. That’s not to say that in particular Congress should care how their Library is organized, but try to be objective about the issues if you are entering the Punditry.

    • This isn’t just an RPG blog, but I do try to limit my political posts. When politics interferes with my profession, though, I don’t mind speaking up.

      If you read the linked background document, you’ll see that it’s being replaced by two terms — Noncitizens (replacing the legalese term “alien” which nonlawyers don’t grok) and Unauthorized immigration (to cover the act).

      I’d say that noncitizens and their immigration status is more of hot-button for Republicans, but it probably boils down to one’s perspective.

      I’m certainly not pretending to be a political pundit, but I’m pretty confident in my understand of library & information science, at least regarding cataloging and classification. The terms we use for subject analysis should reflect usage, be as precise as possible, and be objective. We don’t always follow legalese for legal topics, of medical jargon for medical topics, etc., though we often do. The point is we don’t let politicians decide on the terms to be used by libraries across the country — because the Library of Congress is de facto the USA’s national library, and not just a collection for Congresspeople. In fact the Library of Congress subject headings and name authority file are used internationally.

  4. Euphemisms are dirty and should be opposed. Good for them. This is some political correctness BS.
    (Why do I read blogs about this shit? Oh, that’s right, I don’t.)

  5. Our tax dollars at some distant approximation of work.

    I didn’t know you were a librarian — I love libraries. When I get pissed off at humans, libraries are one of the things that make me back off and love my fellow humans again.


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