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We are highly critical of policy and procedures set forth by the American Library Association [ALA] and equally critical of libraries that follow it. Yet there are librarians that are in full disagreement with the ALA and feel in many ways the same way that we do.
We at SafeLibraries.org would like to encourage librarians that do not share the philosophy of the ALA to keep fighting to make positive change. Some librarians use great discernment in choosing proper material for children and are not a rubber stamp for ALA recommended books, for example.
We realize that the library is a place for adults also. We just want kids to be safe, well informed, and not looked upon as a "little First Amendment." And there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to protect kids from inappropriate material by seeking guidance from or compliance with the law, the courts, community standards, and common sense.
Thanks to all of the child friendly librarians. In honor of them all, we include this "comedic look at libraries" that we found at the She Said/He Said: Kankakee Public Library Blog, written by our friends already recognized below.
P.S. Please feel free to contact us with comments or suggestions on how libraries can be safer.
Folks, truth is stranger than fiction. While you are about to learn
how the ALA pushes porn on children and gets away with it scot free, even
getting librarians and school administrators to assist in this effort
nationwide, keep in mind this unbelievable information, and we quote:
at the Ohio State University are investigating an OSU Mansfield librarian
for 'sexual harassment' after he recommended four conservative books for
a freshman reading program. .... Scott Savage, who serves
as a reference librarian for the university, ... was put under 'investigation'
by OSU's Office of Human Resources after three professors filed a complaint
of discrimination and harassment against him, saying that the book suggestions
made them feel 'unsafe.'"
So pushing porn on children is perfectly acceptable but a librarian recommending college students read conservative books, thereby making professors feel "unsafe," is sexual harassment. Does this not outrage you totally? Read more here: "OSU Librarian Slapped with 'Sexual Harassment' Charge for Recommending Conservative Books for Freshmen," 13 Apr 2006, by Alliance Defense Fund Media Relations.
Best of all, the censored librarian speaks in an outstanding, must-read article the ALA refused to publish despite previously agreeing to do so, so SIT BACK AND READ WHAT THE ALA ITSELF HAS CENSORED SO YOU WON'T SEE IT: "Persecuted Librarian Censored Again," by Scott Savage, 9 May 2006. Here are some quotes proving again the ALA is exactly as Safe Libraries has been reporting, including a direct challenge to Judith Krug whom we have said is the de facto leader of the ALA and the chief cause of the ALA's porn pushing proclivities:
As librarian David Durant noted in his 2005 bombshell article in The Chronicle of Higher Education, "The Loneliness of a Conservative Librarian," the lopsidedly leftist, activist tilt in librarianship has resulted in "a politicized atmosphere of groupthink and intolerance," which increasingly privileges the feelings of officially protected groups over the Bill of Rights.
Ultimately, ALA's current actions speak louder than the words it once uttered as a defender of free speech. If today's Association won't stand up for anti-communist librarians in Cuba, I'm not holding my breath anymore that they'll stand up for allegedly "anti-gay" me. (Memo to J. Krug: four weeks of heavy media and Internet exposure, and you haven't called – is this a "Day of Silence" protest on your part?)
Lindsay City, Tulare County, CA: - "Lindsay Librarian Fired for Reporting Man Viewing Child Porn," by KGPE CBS 47 Fresno, 13 Mar 2008. Despite the library, Linsay City, and the County all falling for the library's siren song, the librarian bravely says she would do it again! Look at this unbelievable story (and here are news and blogs about the firing):
A library worker in the town of Lindsay reported to police last week that a man was looking at child pornography on one of the library computers, and because of that tip, police arrested [a] 39-year-old [perp]. But she also lost her job over the incident.
Brenda Biesterfeld says by calling the police, she disobeyed the direction of a supervisor. The supervisor told her to make a note on the man's library account and tell him to stop looking at the pictures. Biesterfeld felt that the authorities needed to be alerted, so she called the police anyway. When police did get involved, they found thousands of images of child pornography. [The] 39-year-old [perp] was arrested, and a day and a half later; Biesterfeld was out of a job.
The County says they can't discuss personnel matters but maintains Biesterfeld was not wrongfully terminated. Still, they admit they're looking at their policies, including requiring employees to call a supervisor before police.
Lindsay City leaders have now jumped into the fray, concerned about the County's policies, and have sent a letter to the Board of Supervisors.
Lindsay leaders say they can't take a stand on Biesterfeld's termination, but they're glad she spoke up. Biesterfeld says she has no regrets and would do it again.
[The perp] goes back to court next week, and investigators say he may be facing federal charges.
Minneapolis, MN: - "Child
Porn Sting at Minneapolis Library," WCCO CBS, 22 Feb 2007.
LIBRARIANS ARE THE HEROES in this
video news story. They fully filter and monitor. They
caught someone who evaded the filters. They added the filters after
TV news showed repeated violations. They say filters are working
fine. No false claims of censorship or First Amendment violations.
And they assisted the police! THESE ARE ALL THINGS THE ALA ADVISES
LIBRARIES NOT TO DO!! These librarians
deserve an award for defying ALA policy and defending the local community!
THIS IS A MODEL LIBRARY WITH MODEL LIBRARIANS!!!
WHAT A DIFFERENCE FROM YEARS AGO WHEN THE ALA-CONTROLLED LIBRARY ALLOWED EVEN CHILDREN TO ACCESS ILLEGAL AND INAPPROPRIATE MATERIAL AND LIBRARIANS WERE SEXUALLY HARASSED! See ADAMSON v. MINNEAPOLIS PUBLIC LIBRARY FOR THE GORY DETAILS! Sample quote: "More cruelly, the reality of children being sexually victimized by adults became a depressing and recurrent image of every day life." The Adamson complaint for sexual harassment and the EEOC complaint are now online for other librarians and communities to use as a model for their own lawsuits.
For your consideration we present an article that gathers together in
one place examples of both good and bad librarians. WorldNetDaily
brings into focus the ALA's "Soviet-style" efforts to make the
Boy Scouts of America disappear. Setting aside for now the issue
that "Intellectual Freedom" for the ALA apparently only extends
to pushing pornography on children and other ACLU-like goals, this story
goes in depth into the ALA's efforts to ban or censor out the Boy Scouts
of America and the specific responses of numerous librarians thereto.
Please read the article then decide for yourself who are the good librarians:
Librarians to Sever Ties with Scouts?
Effort Underway Cites Discrimination Against Atheists, 'Gays', by
Walter Skold, 22 Apr 2006.
Notice there are no issues of libraries or librarianship here. This is clearly outside the ALA's activities for which it receives taxpayer and corporate support. Might it be time to withdraw such support? Is this not further evidence of the ALA double standard?
"Banned Books Week" is a total propaganda effort by the ALA leadership to basically get people to think it is censorship to keep sexually inappropriate books away from children. A recent ALA Councilor, displaying a refreshing willingness to say something the ALA leadership would never admit, exposed the dirty little secret about this hoax that puts the 'shush' in librarians:
It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don't talk about much — the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it's totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all.
Jessamyn West acts honorably again when she exposes the ALA's silence regarding the Lindsay, CA, library employee fired for reporting criminal activity. See her blog, "Loyalty, the Library, and You the Librarian," and see my blog where I give her credit, "ALA Conceals Policy Outrage by Ignoring Fired Librarian."
We have just found an entire web site for good librarians, SHUSH, a Website for the Conservative Librarian. This guy is so naughty, the ALA leaves his name out of ALA election mailing! See "ALA Election Fraud" and subsequent stories with the same name. Let's look at a sample post on SHUSH, and particularly look at the paragraph about James Casey--he's identified as an ALA Councilor--and his gathering of the forces of the ALA Council is more evidence that James Casey answers to the ALA, not to the patrons of his local library--he's not reaching out to the Oak Lawn residents explaining why children should maintain access to Playboy or the unfiltered Internet, no he's pleading to the ALA for help or gloating over his and his Library Board's control over the local population (emphasis added):
Tuesday November 29, 2005
Jack has a good post on ALA's 2006 keynote speaker in New Orleans, Madeline Albright. Madeleine Albright, Barack Obama, Richard Clarke... the Grand Canyon doesn't echo as badly as ALA does.
Corrigenda had an interesting post last week on Intelligent Design that I meant to link to sooner. I suppose I'll eventually post my own bit on it but I've been avoiding it like the plague.
ALA Councilor James Casey posted the following email on ALACOUN [ALA Council List] today:Oak Lawn resident Mark Decker has been on a campaign since March 2005 to remove Playboy magazine from our Oak Lawn Public Library. He has thus far been unsuccessful. Our Board voted unanimously to retain that title in our collection on June 21. This was publicized heavily in the Chicago area. The issue hasn't "gone away" as Decker began lobbying our Village government, has broadened his focus to filtering issues and expanded his demands for removal of other "indecent" titles. Most recently, he and his supporters launched a website. http://www.safelibraries.org ALA and the ACLU are among the chief targets of this site. Several "ALA-Indoctrinated" Librarians are named in various sections, but the chief target of the authors seems to be Judith Krug. "Now we come to the ALA. While the ALA has a president elected yearly, the top dog at the ALA is someone working tirelessly, year after year, with ten of thousands of supporters and millions and millions in funding, to ensure, among other goals, children maintain access to pornography."
If Judith Krug is really the "top dog" of ALA, maybe she should get a raise!
Good for Mr. Decker. I don't have a problem with Playboy being in a large library as long as its not accessible to minors [oh, but it is: "Periodicals Desk staff will make a copy of a text article from Playboy for patrons under the age of 18 who have a specific citation for the article." Library Board, 6 Apr 2005.] but Mr. Decker has every right to do what he's doing and his assessment of Krug is pretty accurate. Check out the Krug quotes page on Wikipedia linked from his site.
Okay, I'm done for the night. Tomorrow I will post my bit on the 'Not Censorship But Selection' that I mentioned last week. Night.
Regarding Judith Krug being the "top dog," the following quotation serves the purposes of proving SafeLibraries is correct; illustrating the effectiveness of Judith Krug's ability to convince people to follow ALA doctrine instead of community standards, and showing how Mr. Casey, an ALA Councilor, who should know better, obfuscates the truth--see how he even calls the ALA's biggest loss in US v. ALA a "partial victory":
Despite a few battles with her, I have always admired Judith Krug. She's been director of the American Library Association (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) since its founding in 1967. Her service to intellectual freedom, without doubt ALA's most important cause or, if you like, core value, has been tremendous. Under Krug, OIF became one of the nation's most important agencies engaged in the fundamental work of protecting the rights of Americans to free expression, freedom of inquiry, and privacy in their pursuit of information. More than any other activity, ALA's work on intellectual freedom—including that of the sibling Freedom To Read Foundation, also headed by Krug—has captured national attention and given ALA and librarianship huge prestige throughout the world.
While that effort is laudable enough, my own respect and admiration for Krug was magnified and deepened by two encounters with her. Krug is one of the few leaders in ALA and the library profession who has been able to convince the association that it should put its money—lots of money—where its mouth is. The old ALA has always found it easy to dish out lip service to a host of causes, but when it came time to spend money—especially endowment money guarded by its Endowment Trustees as if it were their own—forget it. That money has always been next to impossible to get at or to spend. Until Krug, ALA had never before come through at such a price or for a cause as crucial to the profession's values.
It cost millions, and the victories have been sometimes simply moral ones, but ALA has fought multiple cases of Internet censorship in state and federal courts. ALA even achieved a partial victory in the June 2003 Supreme Court decisions regarding the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Proponents of filtering wanted total filtering on library computers, except for "bona fide research," a term that would engender endless debate. The court said CIPA was constitutional, but, in a crucial concurrence, two justices said that libraries should turn off the filter if an adult requested it. Most of the credit for getting ALA to put up more than a million dollars to take that case to the nation's highest court must go to Krug. She fought that battle with her usual vigor, despite many critics who said it was too expensive for a case we couldn't win. The legal triumph was small, but the victory for principle was huge.
The second Krug encounter was a debate I had with her at a state library association conference many years ago. At that time I took the position that if we were to agree to what I thought were reasonable limitations on the access of children (12 or 13 years old and under) to library materials, we should liberate access for adults. I felt that ALA was naïve to take the position that children should have free access to all library materials. I thought we could rate library content the way movies are rated. Krug took the position that children, like adults, have rights of access to information. Even though I stuck to my guns through that particular debate, she changed my mind. She convinced me that there are a host of circumstances in which children must have freedom to seek and get information, regardless of their age. I don't have space here to review her compelling arguments on that very difficult question, but they have been important to me as my career has developed. I owe Krug a great deal for the deep understanding she provided.
Source: The Krug Contribution; She Convinced ALA to Put Its Money Where Its Mouth Is, by John N. Berry III, Editor-in-Chief, Library Journal, June 15, 2005, emphasis added.
Obviously Judith Krug is the de facto leader of the ALA, its main proponent claiming it is age discimination to keep children from any material, the chief enforcement officer for ensuring this ALA policy is followed in local libraries, and the Propagandist-in-Chief to convince people why children should have access to inappropriate material despite the law and despite community standards. With her position in the ALA, she is most likely the reason why public libraries and public schools are now and have for decades pushed sexually inappropriate material on children resulting in seriously messed up kids and numerous rapes and molestations nationwide.
Back to James Casey, the situation is even worse. James Casey has labeled his post "New Censorship Website," showing his total and complete bias. Under these circumstances, it is obvious his master is the ALA, not the community that he ostensibly serves. James Casey goes on to make fun of people trying to wrest control from the ALA: "preserving and enhancing the myth of ALA as an 'elite (not effete) corps of impudent snobs' may be necessary to those embellishing their own heroic image as defenders of public virtue." Wow! Anyone who tries to free themselves from the influence of the ALA and protect children from pornography and from being raped or molested by people viewing unfiltered pornography are personally attacked!
The "Annoyed Librarian" discusses how the ALA talks the talk
but doesn't walk the walk. Regarding "publicly subsidized porn,"
she raises the issues and argues so eloquently that we urge everyone to
read her blog, "Library
Porn Challenge," in its entirety. Here is a sample quote:
"Are we supposed to support [public library porn] because
everything is 'information' and 'the people' have a right to access all
information? That seems to be the ALA's line."
Here is a sample comment from an anonymous librarian: "My coworkers and fellow patrons should not be subjected to other people openly viewing porn in a public place. It creates a hostile work environment and let's face it, working with the public is already hostile enough." Again we see not all librarians are hypnotized by the ALA's gaze. Bravo Annoyed Librarian!
Here are librarians willing to publicly state the ALA is out of touch and brings its own problems on itself by defying local communities. Librarians everywhere should grow a spine like these have. The following is from "She Said/He Said: Kankakee Public Library Blog—Is the ALA Out of Touch?"
I fear the ALA has become hopelessly out of touch with the concerns of real communities that finance public libraries. I don't understand why it would be acceptable to ask a loud patron to lower her voice, but the ALA would not have us ask a patron viewing shocking pornography on a publicly viewable screen to stop.
If we follow the ALA philosophy - what we don't see we don't have to be responsible for - we will be buried in proposed filtering legislation that none of us want.
Well said. Look, you can smile again when you are no longer afraid of the ALA.
We know this is hard to believe. We know librarians are afraid to violate their own ALA Policy that ensures children have access to inappropriate material. But here's one library director finally saying enough is enough:
The county's library director has ordered librarians to remove the August edition of HopeDance magazine from library shelves because the issue is "dedicated to sex," features local artist Mark Bryan's painting of a nude woman on its cover and has sexual graphics inside.
[I]n a July 13 letter to librarians, library Director Brian Reynolds wrote that he is "not comfortable having this particular issue" on the free shelves. He asked librarians at the county's 15 branches to recycle it.
"Take a look at it, as well, and you'll see why I am concerned," Reynolds wrote.
San Luis Obispo: Public Library to Pull Progressive Magazine From Shelves, Calling It 'Pornography,' 19 Aug 2006. See also "Local Libraries Pull 'Explicit' Magazine; Librarians Stash or Trash an Issue of HopeDance That's 'Dedicated to Sex'; Publisher Says He'll Sue," 19 Aug 2006.
This library director deserves an award from his community for protecting his community's children despite ALA Policy. Get a load of this:
52.5.2 Sex Education Materials in Libraries: ALA affirms the right of youth to comprehensive, sex-related ... materials ...; affirms the active role of librarians in providing such; and urges librarians and library educators to reexamine existing policies and practices and assume a leadership role in seeing that information is available for children and adolescents....
Some librarians are claiming RFID tags in library books are "potentially unhealthful." Well, we don't know, but we are about Safe Libraries, so since they are claiming a safety issue, we bring this group to your attention: SuperBOLD - Super Berkeleyans Organizing for Library Defense.