by dan kleinman
"i get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children," said judith krug, the de facto leader of the american library association [ala], in 2005 when citizens tried to restrict children's access to playboy by removing the magazine from a public library in illinois. [ 1 ] yet few people think children should have taxpayer-supported access to playboy magazine. [ 2 ]
"parents who would tell their children not to read playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore,'" krug claims. [ 3 ]
as author and researcher judith reisman put it:
playboy's own sex and violence agenda long funded the ala and its freedom to read ... campaign. such a conflict of interest becomes significant when the ala seeks to bring into our libraries previously prohibited "harmful matter" produced by one of its legal patrons. .... [t]he ala is in direct conflict with the majority of the tax paying public.... [ 4 ]
that library still has playboy magazine available for children [ 5 ] despite outcries by citizens, [ 6 ] petitions against it, independent surveys of general public opinion [ 7 ] and direct requests from the local government to reconsider the decision to keep the magazine available for children at public expense. [ 8 ]
krug counts on people being intimidated and misinformed. after almost 40 years of her leadership at the ala's orwellian "office for intellectual freedom," she even ridicules them.
"we hear from time to time that in response to a situation ... politicians will be making noises. but there has been very little follow-through on it, mainly because people get upset, and there are things like privacy screens." [ 9 ]
so much for local governments. what does she say about everyday citizens?
"what we're dealing with is a minority of people who are very vocal," krug said. "these people are small in number but they start screeching, and people start getting concerned." [ 10 ]
the ala ensures children have access to sexually inappropriate material. not all librarians agree, not even most, but ala leadership ensures just that. this access is available nationwide in public libraries and public schools, [ 11 ] all at the direction of the ala. the ala's so-called "library bill of rights" enshrines anyone's access to any material regardless of age. [ 12 ]
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 re-examine existing policies and practices and assume a leadership role in seeing that information is available for children and adolescents.... [ 13 ]
when the ala sued [ 14 ] to stop the children's internet protection act [cipa], [ 15 ] the ala lost and lost big. everything it has been saying about children's access to sexually inappropriate material was proven 100 percent wrong.
the u.s. supreme court said, "the interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all members of the court appear to agree." [ 16 ]
it sounds like "age" discrimination as an excuse for allowing children access to "material inappropriate for minors" is no longer valid, right? wrong.
"despite the court's 2003 ruling on ... cipa, ... ala policy is unchanged ... because [of the] block[age of] legal information to which users are entitled under the constitution." [ 17 ]
the ala just lost on this issue, yet it raises it again as a reason to maintain its policy. obviously, the ala cares only that children continue to get inappropriate materials despite the public, governments and the law.
enter the so-called "value voters." is protecting children from inappropriate material only a family value? if the u.s. supreme court says it is "legitimate, and even compelling" to keep inappropriate material from children, what does that mean? are there people who vote to defy the court or to defy community standards?
why do people not vote to see that the supreme court's decision to keep inappropriate material away from children is carried out? unfortunately, most people are not aware of what has been going on in public libraries in the last few decades, and the ala is intentionally misleading them. after all, the ala is celebrating 25 years of "banned books week," [ 18 ] an event it uses to claim that censorship is evil and no material should ever be taken away from children no matter what the u.s. supreme court said in u.s. v. ala [ 19 ] or in board of education v. pico . [ 20 ] the ala thereby obscures the law, and "banned books week" is just one of its propaganda efforts.
step no. 1 is to be educated about the ala, its agenda and those who support that agenda. use the information in this article to begin your own investigation into the truth. step no. 2 is to be aware that the ala will attempt to mislead you every step of the way. the law, or issues of right and wrong, will not intrude in the ala's calculations. step no. 3 is to speak up, speak out and attend library boards meetings. [ 21 ] organize a campaign to vote out those who support the ala agenda or those who appoint such people.
[i]n most libraries there is a planned disconnect between taxpayers, who fund libraries, and the appointed trustees and librarians who run libraries. [m]ost trustee ... vacancies are never advertised. other trustees nominate the like-minded person they want to fill the position, and elected officials rubber-stamp their nomination and make the appointment. the end result is ... "organizational inbreeding." there is no genuine representation of the diversity and viewpoints reflected in the community. library boards should be responsible to the taxpayers who support the library, not to the chicago-based ala. [ 22 ]
do not be afraid of the ala. here is a perfect example of someone who took action:
in 2004, toni manning and her 10-year-old daughter were in a library that has become the foundation of the u.s. v. ala case. after that library lost big in the u.s. supreme court in 2003, it decided to circumvent the court's ruling. many library internet computers remained unfiltered, and little heidi was
exposed to graphic pornography [ 23 ] that might not have been there but for her library's act of defiance.
admittedly, libraries are not required to use filters, but if they accept certain federal funding, filters are required. so the library chose to turn down more than $100,000 per year in federal funding. worse, this decision was made by a small group of people following ala misguidance, not community standards. when polls of local communities are taken, invariably the results show people do not want children to access inappropriate material [ 24 ]--exactly as the high court ruled.
rob brading, a library advisory board member, [ 25 ] decided the library should join the ala/aclu's unsuccessful suit against cipa ( u.s. v. ala ) and recommended against accepting further federal funding, so as to maintain unfiltered internet access. brading is running for political office in oregon. [ 26 ]
manning, believing her daughter was harmed in part as a direct result of brading's actions, decided to act. she made public statements about her beliefs in the form of a website ( [ 27 ] the flier warns, "rob brading: this man is responsible for children viewing internet porn in our county library. please don't send him to salem."
for exercising her freedom of speech, manning was sued by brading, [ 28 ] who naturally thought he was being maligned [ 29 ] by someone speaking out to protect her daughter and others. but her efforts are paying off, and the truth is getting through. for example, an editorial in the oregonian said that while manning may have been "one shade too tough," she is nevertheless correct:
someone who can't differentiate between the rights of adults and the needs of children--someone who doesn't understand that parents shouldn't be the only line of defense between their kids and smut in our libraries or
that, as [it is] famously said, it takes a village--shouldn't be making decisions on what's best for our state's kids.
brading's radical and absolutist view of the first amendment simply prevents him from advocating reasonable, adult steps to protect children from pornography while they're at a public library. he is, as the flier says, "responsible for children viewing internet porn in our county library." [ 30 ]
brading's political party affiliation is irrelevant. people of all political parties are against allowing children access to inappropriate material and in favor of following the law as affirmed by the supreme court. everyone except those who follow the aclu-influenced ala--people like rob brading. democrats are often the strongest proponents for protecting children from the ala's agenda.
"'there is no constitutional right to view [pornography] in our libraries," said [phoenix, ariz.] mayor phil gordon. "our libraries are not adult bookstores or adult video stores, rather places for families. and that's the way it's going to stay and why i fought so hard for it." [ 31 ]
values voters, indeed all voters, are starting to stand up and be heard. voters are becoming aware of how those who follow ala policies instead of community standards endanger children in their communities and nationwide. voters are learning how the ala and those local librarians who blindly follow its lead intentionally mislead citizens and governmental officials.
and people are fighting back. people are publishing embarrassing political fliers that politicians are suing to hide. truth hurts. but does it really take more child victims to motivate people to finally get involved? electing the right people into office can really make a difference. [ 32 ] only you can decide to become knowledgeable, then take action in your own public libraries and public schools. now get going.
dan kleinman is founder of plan2succeed citizen's group, which has since joined forces with safelibraries.org. these organizations work to protect our children by fighting for libraries to install internet filters on their computers. kleinman also lectures on child internet safety and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
1 . jo napolitano, " oak lawn library vows to keep playboy on shelf ," chicago tribune , june 23, 2005. http://www.safelibraries.org/oak_lawn_library_vows_to_keep_playboy_on_shelf23jun2005by_jo_napolitano.htm
3 . scott denicola, " what lurks in the library? -- the american library association believes children should have access to all material, no matter how violent or obscene ," citizen (focus on the family), sept. 18, 1995. http://www.safelibraries.org/what_lurks_in_the_library18sep1995by_scott_denicola.pdf
4 . judith a. reisman, ph.d., " the toxic american public library: violating children with 'harmful matter'; 'a clear & present danger ,'" the institute for media education, april 4, 2000. http://www.safelibraries.org/toxic_public_library.htm
5 . " report of the ad hoc committee on the reconsideration of playboy magazine ," oak lawn, ill. public library board of trustees, april 6, 2005. "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." http://www.safelibraries.org/rpt6apr05playboyreconsideration_p1.gif
7 . laura rizzardini, m.a., " playboy magazine and the oak lawn, ill., public library ," oct. 2, 2005. http://www.lrizzardini.741.com/index1005.pdf
10 . bao ong, " parent loses fight to ban book; committee votes to keep abduction! on library shelves ," st. paul pioneer press , may 19, 2006. http://www.safelibraries.org/parent_loses_fight_to_ban_book19may2006by_bao_ong.htm
11 . dan kleinman, " ban all 'authentic literature' books from schools ," echoes-sentinel , jan. 26, 2006. note that the 1982 u.s. supreme court in board of education v. pico took essentially the same action. this matter originated in warren, n.j. http://www.plan2succeed.org/p2s016.html
19 . see footnote 16.
20 . " board of education v. pico ," u.s. supreme court, june 25, 1982. public school libraries cannot remove books for political reasons, but parties stipulated sexually inappropriate books may be removed at any time. http://laws.findlaw.com/us/457/853.html
25 . library advisory board, multnomah county library (oregon) , last accessed sept. 1, 2006. http://www.multcolib.org/about/mcl-govn.html#board
26 . " rob brading for oregon state representative district 49--working for us for a change ," friends of rob brading, last accessed sept. 1, 2006. http://www.robbrading.com/
27 . " non-legislative approach: use political fliers to oppose candidates who oppose your children ," by safe libraries ( www.safelibraries.org ), last accessed sept. 1, 2006. http://www.safelibraries.org/statecipalaws.htm#political_flyers
28 . erin shea, " brading goes to court over flier; judge denies restraining order against friends for safer libraries but will hear case in near future ," the gresham outlook , aug. 30, 2006. http://www.theoutlookonline.com/news/story.php?story_id=115687490899537300
29 . jeff merkley, " rep. jeff merkley calls on karen minnis to end 'disgusting, false attacks' on rob brading and the multnomah county library board ," oregon house democrats blog, aug. 9, 2006. http://oregonhousedemocrats.blogs.com/blog/2006/08/rep_jeff_merkle.html
31 . monica alonzo-dunsmoor, " libraries ban 14 from using city computers ," the arizona republic , july 6, 2005. interestingly, a public library near rob brading's also noticed the phoenix public library's actions and acted accordingly. http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/local/articles/0706phxlibrary06.html
32 . " net filters, pro and con; teaneck councilman and library board member paul ostrow has it right when he says libraries should consider filtering the internet ," bergen record , nov. 14, 2005. http://www.plan2succeed.org/net_filters_pro_and_con20nov2005by_p2s.htm
using political fliers to defeat those endangering children by promoting ala policies has proven successful. the lawsuit filed against toni manning was dropped, and rob brading--one of those responsible for children viewing internet porn in the public library that sued to stop cipa--lost his political race. using fliers against such people is a success and should be emulated everywhere! for more information, see friends for safer libraries .
kleinman, dan. "libraries, children and value voters; ala says children and playboy magazine perfect together." new jersey family magazine (2007): 47-51.
worldnetdaily featured this page on january 18, 2007 :
column du jour
at the library
dan kleinman shows how to protect kids by combating american library association
--new jersey family magazine
illinois family institute featured this page on january 24, 2007 :
ala says children and playboy magazine perfect together
"i get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children," said judith krug , the de facto leader of the american library association [ala], in 2005 when citizens tried to restrict children's access to playboy by removing the magazine from a public library in illinois.  yet few people think children should have taxpayer-supported access to playboy magazine. 
"parents who would tell their children not to read playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore,'" krug claims. 
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