Hey, Library of Congress. Cut that shit out.

Oh hello Library of Congress. I didn’t see you there. Nice running into you like this!

glassesbuttonYou know, I’ve always admired your electronic resources and open-minded collections policies. My undergraduate university and career have both profited from your generous grantmaking, and your reading room sure is fun to visit when I’m in town!

Being a big organization sucks, doesn’t it? You do your best but, well, you can’t keep track of everything. Sometimes you just end up with people in charge of the Congressional Research Service, who for whatever reason, act like complete dumbfucks.

Revolutionary LibrarianYou must be very embarrassed. I mean, rescinding a job offer because you thought the candidate’s upcoming gender reassignment was…what? Icky?

You had better be fucking embarrassed. The federal court recently fined you $500,000 for your treatment of former Army Special Forces Commander Diane Schroer, who, I suspect, has better things to do than get jerked around by library staff.

I mean, career damage and humiliation aside, it seems like an anti-terrorism analyst’s time might be better spent out of court FIGHTING TERRORISM. A subject you DC dwellers seem to get pretty excited about under normal circumstances.
What’s going on here Library of Congress? Couldn’t think of anything better to do with 500 grand? I wonder how many smaller libraries out there could say the same.

So tell me, is it really easier to house decision makers capable of grossly immoral and illegal actions than it is to cull employees who show these traits? Are Library jobs really so stable that a hiring manager feels comfortable acting on overt prejudice?

And who is this legacy codger you’ve been harboring anyway? A political appointee from the 1880s?  Are there really adults in this world who have never met a transwoman and are ALL AFLUTTER by the idea?

If so, perhaps it might help to read a book or two on the subject. You might enjoy this one from your own extensive archives:

An examination of discrimination against transgender Americans in the workplace: hearing before the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives.

Anyway Library of Congress, It’s a brand new administration and I’m sure you’ve learned your lesson. I expect your excellent reference staff will happily direct anyone who has experienced this kind of hiring discrimination to the ACLU.

12 Replies to “Hey, Library of Congress. Cut that shit out.”

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  3. Wow. While I am sure there are plenty of people who have never (knowingly) met a transgendered person, I clearly remember my dad telling me about the guy he worked with going through the entire gender reassignment process, starting with telling all his co-workers he would begin living as a woman. This was in the 1980s. And my mother, who was an HR specialist, knew back then that any discrimination based on gender reassignment would be illegal. And there was none.

    How the hell does this happen nearly 30 years later in a public institution? This is horrible evidence of terribly poor judgement on the part of the prospective supervisor. Anyone with true concerns over ‘security’ would obviously go directly to HR, who would promptly tell them to STFU about the issue. Especially after the job offer had been made. Sooooo clearly illegal.

    But hell, if we can afford to toss arabic translation experts out of the military, who are coincidentally gay, why would we need a transgendered woman at the LOC working on terrorism? That would be icky! :\

  4. Elisa said it could’ve happened anywhere, but, ya know, it didn’t. It happened at the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, damn it.

    Erica, your essay is brilliant and enlightening. Thank you for bringing this to the attention of librarians across the U.S.

    Sometimes it seems that people have forgotten about those documents in the National Archives in which the “Founding Fathers” discussed “equality” and “justice for all”. At any rate, who ever it was that decided against hiring Diane Schroer, well, I hope that person (or persons) is no longer in a decision-making position at LC. Obviously retraining is necessary for someone.

  5. hey, it’s not like they knew it would cost $500,000 of our tax dollars to not hire her. (hope avengers love, love, love paying $500,000 in federal taxes for this, btw, ’cause what happens when government pays is that WE pay in our taxes. plus interest on account of the deficit).

  6. I am *shocked* SHOCKED that LOC would lose 500k over antiquated worldviews or would harm someone’s feelings by clinging to convention. Oh no wait, strike that whole shocked part…

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  8. I don’t mean this to be snarky and mean, but truthful: I guess its possible that bad judgment in one area (“she [he, really] was becoming a woman”) does not necessarily translate to bad judgment in another.

    Of course, sadly, I know that this will be seen as being mean, insensitive, and uninformed.

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