And censorship? The ALA has an "incoherent and self-serving" definition of the word, says the Annoyed Librarian. "The ALA's definition of censorship has no relationship whatsoever to what everyone else in the entire world understands by the word. It's incoherent and self-serving."
Read this right now! I've written about the Annoyed Librarian before, and this story is just more excellence from her. Enjoy:
"Celebrate 'Banned' Books Week!," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 30 September 2009.
As Dan Gerstein has said, "The ... elites have convinced themselves that they are taking a stand against cultural tyranny. .... [T]he reality is that it is those who cry 'Censorship!' the loudest who are the ones trying to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others."
Stifle free speech? The ALA does that. Let someone merely complain about a book, and that person is shouted down as a "censor." People are allowed to object. Libraries have policies in place to handle such objections. All final decisions come from the library. The library is presumably acting appropriately. It is simply wrong to attack people for filing objections in the manner libraries provide for filing those objections.
Okay, so some get the attention of the press. Hey, it's a free country. Free speech advocates are not suggesting people should self-censor, are they? It appears to me that the ALA argues people should be shut up or should decide to shut themselves up on their own. As former 40-year ALA leader Judith Krug said, "'What we're dealing with is a minority of people who are very vocal....' 'These people are small in number but they start screeching, and people start getting concerned.'"
There's the harm. The ALA attacking parents for "screeching" and "censoring" in an apparent effort to embarrass them into self-censoring themselves. It's a propaganda technique called jamming. Don't let the jamming stop you. Don't let Banned Books Week fool you.
We often hear, "Is it within the rights of one parent to demand that the other not be allowed to expose their children to certain ideas or issues?" No, but it's a straw man argument; that's not what is happening. Libraries make the final decisions. I have never heard of "screeching parents" making decisions in libraries. Have you?