I urge all librarians to rally behind her to stop the violence and intimidation she is receiving from other librarians and also patrons. Read this, this is sad and shocking and I don't know what to do about it, but I hope my bringing attention to the issue helps even a little:
- "And Yes, Sarah is Still Alive…," by Sarah Houghton, Librarian In Black, 1 March 2013:
- several more unwanted advances and “touches” at conferences (including a drunk librarian in underwear only knocking on my hotel room door), which is part of why I dialed back my speaking engagements – I’m so sick of this shit
- a marriage proposal from a fellow librarian (who I don’t know from Adam) who started it off with the very romantic “Now that you’re finally divorced and everything…”
- two hand-written mailed death threats at work
- numerous anonymous bouquets of flowers on my home doorstep, some with creepy stalker-ish poetry, which I traced back to…
- a local stalker who eventually revealed himself while I was on a break outside the library, physically assaulted me, and got slapped with a restraining order after I kicked him where it counts and grabbed his wallet and ID when he was on the ground to get an identification to present to the police
- "ALA President Maureen Sullivan Responds to Edwin Mellen Press Lawsuit," by Macey Morales, American Library Association, 26 February 2013.
So we know ALA can support librarians when it chooses. Let's hope Sarah Houghton is the next librarian getting official assistance from ALA, and let's hope ALA stops talking about "divestment of fossil fuels," etc., and instead pays attention to hurting librarians.
Good luck to you, Librarian In Black. Since you said, "I am hoping that spark will come back and I will want to start writing again," I hope this cheers you a little:
by Joe Walsh
album Analog Man
Yeah I'm gonna get my motor movin'
I'm gonna dress in black
Walk down that red carpet
Show everybody I'm back
Show everybody I'm back
NOTE ADDED 7 SEPTEMBER 2013:
I just found an old discussion on stalking discussed by many, many librarians. It is a VERY big problem, though not one of them mentions it could be occasioned in part by an anything goes policy. Be that as it may, this is a very worthwhile read on the subject of stalking, including the many comments:
- "Stalking – Is It Really a Huge Problem for Libraries?," by David Lee King, David Lee King, 17 December 2010.
And given that post, it's even worse that ALA does nothing to help these people.
NOTE ADDED 20 NOVEMBER 2013:
It could be sua sponte or it could be in response to my call for ALA to act but ALA has acted! Look:
- "Statement of Appropriate Conduct at ALA Conferences," by Unnamed, American Library Association, circa November 2013.
NOTE ADDED 28 NOVEMBER 2013:
- "How to Conduct Yourself at ALA Conferences," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 27 November 2013.