[Libs-Or] Editorial Response to OLAQ 25(2)

Max Macias max.macias at gmail.com
Wed Nov 13 10:58:22 PST 2019

If BIPOC had freedom of speech I would respond.


On Wed, Nov 13, 2019 at 10:47 AM Judy Anderson <JuAnderson at cu-portland.edu>

> I would like to thank editor, Elaine Hirsch, for including Heather
> McNeil’s piece in the OLA Quarterly.  It gives perception and positive
> suggestions for rectifying past wrongs and offers a different perspective.
> It is a valuable piece in solving the balance needed to ensure we serve
> all of our clientele.  The recent historical attempts to begin rectifying
> the past show how awareness of an issue is needed to correct past mistakes
> and prevent future blunders on all sides. Silencing that voice only harms
> the dialog for finding solutions.
> We information professionals consider helping our clients find varied
> opinions and viewpoints to assist their learning as a treasured
> responsibility. In our work, we have taken that duty very seriously.  When
> our public space policies are challenged because community members oppose
> the content that is being shared, we stand up for the right for all sides
> to be heard.  Why are we abandoning that principle within our own local
> organization?  Heather McNeil prefaced her well thought out article (*Yes,
> but … One Librarian’s Thoughts about Doing It Right*) with reservations
> about bringing up her areas of concern to her colleagues.  *That should
> alarm each of us*. Self-censorship is as deadly to freedom of speech as
> the external forces in censorship.  Had the piece been poorly written or
> grossly inflammatory, exclusion from the OLA Quarterly might have been
> appropriate. That was not the case
> Heather’s work is a positive, well written piece designed to inform by
> chronicling some of the progress that has occurred to address diversity
> concerns and provide awareness for an issue of concern that impedes
> rectifying under representation in our collections.  She goes on to
> suggest positive ways to move the cause forward, i.e., she has examined the
> issue and taken the time to find some ways to recognize and encourage
> improvement, not just condemn and dwell on past behavior.  The reaction
> of some of our members to the work is a concrete illustration of the type
> of negativity briefly addressed in Heather’s article. A negativity that
> stands in the way of progress for all sides of the spectrum.
> Organizations have the right to set editorial policy for their
> publications.  I hope the editors of OLA Quarterly will continue to
> provide varying opinions in their selection of articles for publication.  Encouraging
> a variety of viewpoints on topics illustrates to our readers that we
> practice our belief in non-censorship among our colleagues as well as
> championing that right for clients.  It shows that we are interested in
> making the future better through honest dialog and respectful consideration
> for the ideas and concerns of all of our members.
> Judy Anderson
> Past co-Chair of the OLA Intellectual Freedom Committee
> ------------------------------
> *From:* Libs-Or <libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us> on behalf of
> OLA President <olapresident at olaweb.org>
> *Sent:* Monday, November 4, 2019 7:59 AM
> *To:* libs-or <libs-or at listsmart.osl.state.or.us>
> *Subject:* [Libs-Or] Editorial Response to OLAQ 25(2)
> Dear OLA Colleagues,
> I am writing in response to the conversation surrounding the Oregon
> Library Association Quarterly (OLAQ) Summer issue, 25(2).  I understand the
> concerns Max Macias, Meredith Farkas, and others have expressed about the
> final article in the issue, “Yes, but … One Librarian’s Thoughts About
> Doing It Right” and agree with the valid criticism that the OLAQ editorial
> standards need to be strengthened.
> As the guest editor of this issue, I take responsibility for choosing the
> theme, reviewing proposals, selecting contributors, and reading the first
> draft of the authors' submissions before passing them on to the editorial
> team.  My goal is to provide a forum for a variety of voices on the topic
> of equity, diversity and inclusion in Oregon libraries, including library
> type, career experience, and geographic location within the state. I missed
> my responsibility to more critically reflect on the article by Heather
> McNeil and engage the author in an editorial conversation, particularly in
> relation to her commentary on Dr. Debbie Reese’s 2018 May Hill Arbuthnot
> Lecture, An Indigenous Critique of Whiteness in Children’s Literature.  I
> am sorry for the impact and distress it has caused.
> I want to thank Meredith Farkas for her letter to the OLAQ editorial
> board, which has provided an opportunity for critical reflection which will
> strengthen the OLAQ, one of OLA’s most important venues for professional
> discourse.  Yes, the editorial team of the OLAQ needs to better develop the
> journal’s editorial standards and are already beginning to address them.
> The conversations we are having surrounding equity, diversity, and
> inclusion are challenging and necessary. The Oregon Library Association has
> much to learn as an organization and understands open dialogue and
> constructive criticism help OLA grow as an association.  I look forward to
> our continuing dialogue on equity, diversity, and inclusion.
> Sincerely,
> Elaine Hirsch
> OLAQ 25(2) Guest Editor
> OLA President, 2019-2020
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