ALA President Bashes Bloggers; Neil Gaiman Takes Him to Task

Posted on February 26, 2005

In a most un-librarianlike move, Michael Gorman, president-elect of the American Library Association, lashed out at bloggers for having bad grammar, being unable to write well and questions their reading habits. In a recent article for the Library Jounal Gorman wrote:
"It turns out that the Blog People (or their subclass who are interested in computers and the glorification of information) have a fanatical belief in the transforming power of digitization and a consequent horror of, and contempt for, heretics who do not share that belief."

"Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts. It is entirely possible that their intellectual needs are met by an accumulation of random facts and paragraphs."
Neil Gaiman, a bestselling novelist, author of the phenomenally popular Sandman graphic novels, and frequent blogger, responded to the slurs on bloggerdom in a recent blog entry about Mr. Gorman:
"a) he's simply a very, very bad writer, or b) he lacks any skills of a diplomatic nature, or it's just c) he really believes that statements like "Given the quality of the writing in the blogs I have seen, I doubt that many of the Blog People are in the habit of sustained reading of complex texts" are somehow going to disabuse people who keep blogs, journals and such from believing or repeating the calumny that "Michael Gorman is an idiot" (someone apparently said this on a blog, he tells us, expecting us to feel an outrage on his behalf I somehow wasn't able to muster)."
Gaiman goes on to say that he is a real fan of libraries and librarians in general. But we have to wonder if Mr. Gorman really is the best person to represent the ALA. Bashing bloggers (blog people) is no way to encourage a love of writing and books.