Saturday, March 28, 2009

Truth Cuts Through ALA Propaganda and Changes Minds of Former Opponents At Town Meeting On West Bend Library Policy

WISSUP = WISCONSIN SPEAKS UP: West Bend Library Issue "Town Meeting"

THIS IS MUST READING FOR ANYONE ANYWHERE SEEKING TO CUT THROUGH AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION [ALA] PROPAGANDA. (I don't use ALL CAPS often. Believe me, you must read this. It's a road map for deprogramming people from ALA propaganda. I'll republish it below.)

This community had been misled by the library and the media to the point where some community members who sought to legally protect children from harm in public libraries were attacked as McCarthyites, homophobes, etc. But at a public meeting attracting 137 community members, those people changed their minds and supported community efforts to protect children from inappropriate material in public libraries!!!! Even children supported this!

This is a powerful key to exposing the ALA propaganda for what it is in community after community nationwide.

Please read it below (emphasis in original)! Learn from it. Make it happen in your communities.

Friday, March 27, 2009

West Bend Library Issue "Town Meeting"

I said I'd blog about the meeting later...and,'s later. So here it is.

I'd like to correct the WB News' recollection of the attendance. I helped set up the chairs. There were 40 to a rack and we used four racks of chairs and had the largest middle section of bleachers pulled out. The head count (yes, we actually asked someone to do that) was 137, which included media. The News said 50. I didn't get that, unless it was a typo.

We began the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. (I'd like to make a side note here and then we'll get on with the issue at hand.) A gentleman in the bleachers refused to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance. He sat, kept his hat on, and refused. Just one guy. And he was one of those who spoke, it kinda makes you wonder...does he really believe in the freedoms that others paid the price for him to enjoy? Anyway, I better not get started on that....

We briefly explained the steps we had taken, then asked anyone 18 and under to leave for the short, 15-minute Power Point we had put together with photos of excerpts from some of the books we had discussed with the library. At first, we were met with strong opposition from some teens who had come to share their feelings at the meeting (and were more than welcomed to). Oddly, we had an adult join in the objection, though we had made it very clear that the materials we were showing were sexually explicit. It was our meeting, and we felt we would be doing the very same thing that we were asking the library NOT to do if we allowed the youth to remain, so we asked for ID if kids were staying. Three young men respectfully showed ID. The few that were under 18 got up angrily and stormed out. I thanked them for respecting our request, and let them know that their viewpoints were important and we would appreciate their return once the Power Point was finished. (More on this later - and it's worth the keep on).

We showed the Power Point that we had prepared with my husband (VERY uncomfortably) reading some of the excerpts out loud. The youth were invited back in to the meeting and we continued on...

I read some basic "rules of etiquette" for the meeting, i.e., no personal attacks, strong opinions are fine, but no foul language, etc. Most everyone played very, very fair. It was actually very interesting and should be done more often!

First speaker up is the lady that was on the front page of the WB News today. Now, this is a head scratcher. Christina (not sure of spelling) Smithers stood and did a radio interview with us at the cancelled board meeting stating her agreement with our position. Last night, she was shouting out about homosexuality and book banning. Oh well. We agreed that everyone would get three minutes, and she got hers.

We had a "non-heterosexual" youth (his words, not mine) stand up and give a passionate dissertation on his lifestyle, what gays endure and how gay kids need books like these, so please don't ban them.

Lots more homosexual speeches.

Then lots of Bible quoters.

More homosexual speeches.

More Bible quoters.

A couple people got it right.

A pastor from a local church addressed the crowd and got it back on track as to the "real" issue at hand. (glad someone "gets it")

A few other gentlemen dittoed the above further on in the meeting.

One lesbian woman (self-identified) said that she signed the petition in agreement, as she thought the materials in the books were much too graphic for children, and could not understand what all the ranting was about homosexuality. She was actually quite honest as to admitting that she had come prepared to defend her lifestyle, as she was "told" that this was what we were meeting about, only to find out that she actually agreed with our presentation and petition. (courageous and humble)

Two people that were especially profound representatives of their community were two life-long residents that spoke separately during the meeting; one was an 82-year-old gentleman, the other, an 80+ woman (not together). Each said that they had lived in West Bend all of their lives and would have never thought a discussion about materials such as these would be taking place, and how sad it made them, and how they could not understand why anyone would disagree. Not exact quotes there, but close enough.

A powerful testimony came from an area police officer who spoke at the end of the meeting. She testified as to the sad, difficult and terrible consequences she had seen in the lives of children who had been exposed to pornography. What was unfortunate is that the media had left half-way through the meeting (probably tired of the homosexual/Bible quote bantering, figuring that was all they were going to get). So that is what the media reported, and that is what the media played. Too bad.

My husband and I stood and patiently listened to each speaker. We did not comment. We did not rebut. This went on for about 2 hours or so.

When everyone had taken their turn at the mic, we took a last turn before closing the meeting.

I explained that this was not a meeting about homosexuality, book banning or book burning. It was about pornography, homosexual OR heterosexual, on shelves where kids had EASY access to. It was about RECLASSIFYING books and placing them in the ADULT section of the library. We gave the five requests below and explained them. We made sure that everyone was clear as to what we were going to present to the library after last night's meeting.

1. Reclassification of Youth-Targeted Pornographic Books into the adult section of the library.
2. Visual identification of explicit material with a parental advisory.
3. Restrict Library-generated Online Sexual Content.
4. Balanced Literature on Controversial Issues including homosexuality.
5. Children's Internet Protection – require the libraries to implement technology protection to protect minors from internet porn on public computers in accordance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act.

Again, too bad the media did not stay. This is what took place after the meeting.

One of the youth that I mentioned above, who began the meeting with strong statements about homosexuality, in a very adult-like manner, came up to me, shook my hand and APOLOGIZED. He was very respectful and said that he had no idea that the meeting was about shifting the books with graphic sexual language in them to the adult side of the library and actually AGREED that much of the materials were probably not appropriate for children. We had quite a nice conversation actually. We talked a bit about why I had to ask him to leave for the Power Point, and he completely agreed we did the right thing. That was pretty humble, in my opinion.

Most of the crowd, from my own observation, had come to sign the petition and lend support, but not necessarily speak, as they already understood the issue and agreed.

We garnered 120 signatures. Considering there were 137 in the crowd, I'd say that is a pretty decent representation of the group that attended. Does it represent the entire WB community? Maybe. At least we offered the opportunity.

Like I said, we should do this more often. Perhaps next time, though, we could have it end with an ice cream social.

NOTE: I am sure some will be unhappy that I used the term "Bible Quoters", but my point is that there was dialogue that was OFF TOPIC going on for most of the meeting, back and forth, without ever really addressing the issue. We had asked that people present their opinion about the requests we were making, and the above persons used the mic to discuss things other than the requested opinion we were looking for. Not that anyone did something horribly wrong. It just didn't answer the question we were asking.

We closed the meeting in prayer. And everyone stayed for it.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Wyoming Libraries and SafeLibraries Logos

Here is the new Wyoming Libraries logo of what looks like a Playboy bunny reading a book:

Here is the SafeLibraries logo/parody of the typical library street sign of an open book/reader, but having a Playboy bunny:

What do Wyoming libraries and SafeLibraries have in common? A sense of humor! "We are using bumper stickers in the libraries as a way to bring an element of humor to libraries and make them more interesting to residents who do not normally use the library." And the "favicon" for SafeLibraries, as enlarged above, is perfect for libraries that sing the American Library Association anthem.

I see the two logos as being near mirror images of each other, with both demonstrating a sense of humor. Way to go, Wyoming Libraries!

Wyoming residents, go get your free access to the ChiltonLibrary auto repair database. I'm jealous!

(Hat tip to James Taranto for bring this to my attention in "A Kerfuffle Over a Flap," James Taranto, Wall Street Journal - Best of the Web, 24 March 2009, citing to "Library's Mudflap Girl Campaign Turns Heads," by Matt Joyce (AP), Casper Star-Tribune, 23 March 2009.)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

NJ Libraries Oppose the ALA: "Libraries are a Safe Haven for Youth" and a "Safe Learning Environment"

New Jersey libraries oppose the American Library Association [ALA] on the issue of safe libraries. The NJ State Library has an advertising campaign to attract attention to NJ libraries. Here is a sign I saw on the Garden State Parkway:

The sign says, "NJ Libraries Transform Lives; Tell us your story;" Go to that site to see:


Filomena Pereira hopes that all the students at her town’s high school will be able to take advantage of the educational resources provided by their library.



This New Jersey family shares their love of the library.


So the NJ State Library is promoting NJ's safe libraries, among other things.

Compare that to the ALA's view of safe libraries:
So NJ promotes safe libraries and the ALA promotes the opposite, or so it appears. I think NJ libraries oppose the ALA on the issue of safe libraries. At least I hope they do.

What do you think?


Friday, March 20, 2009

West Bend Library Commits "Gross Error"; Refuses to Honor Materials Reconsideration Policy in Possibly Illegal Manner

The West Bend Community Memorial Library, West Bend, WI, has refused to honor its materials reconsideration policy in a possibly illegal manner. It agreed to review a citizen's complaint under that policy, the review was underway, then it stopped the review based on the recommendation of someone from the city government. The city attorney is not on the library board, yet the attorney claimed that certain statements made by the citizen outside the library were tantamount to a withdrawal of the request for reconsideration, and the library relied on that to stop the review midstream. The citizen asserts (see Citizen RESPONSE to WB Library) she has not withdrawn her request: "We insist on our appeal rights as we feel your withdrawal of our complaint is in gross error." Source: "Meeting on Gay-Themed Books Postponed; Library Board Asks That Complaint Be Further Clarified," by Dave Rank, West Bend Daily News, 21 March 2009, pA1.

The West Bend library may have effectively violated its community's trust. It holds out a policy to allow citizens redress, allows the process to get underway, then snatches it away in a possibly illegal manner. Remember, libraries are intentionally autonomous from political control, yet here the library allowed political control when it was convenient.

Offering the citizen the option of filing dozens of requests to replace the one stopped midstream does not cure the possibly illegal activity. Had the library wanted individual requests, it had the opportunity to say so before allowing the citizen to go through months of now useless activity.

Read how the library defers to the city attorney for yourselves, followed by today's newspaper story:

From: Michael Tyree <>
Sent: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 6:02 pm

Subject: Library Board

Dear Mr. & Mrs. Maziarka,

I spoke with our City Attorney this afternoon about the Request for Reconsideration of Library Materials form which you submitted on February 12, 2009. The original compaint [sic] objected to all books in the "Out of the Closet" category listed in the Young Adult section of the Library website. It did not object to specific books, only to the genre of books. Since the cancellation of the March 3, 2009 meeting, you have stated to the media, in blogs and to the City Attorney via email that you do not want to ban all of the books in the "Out of the Closet" category. The City Attorney interprets this to mean that your original complaint has been withdrawn. Ms. Schanning's analysis of what has been in the media, in blogs and what you have emailed to her is that you are now objecting to specific books within the genre.

For the Library Board to fully understand your Reconsideration Request to be addressed at the Board meeting, you will need to file individual requests about specific books that you object to and state reasons for your objection. These complaints will go through the normal reconsideration process which involves two meetings with Library staff before your requests can go before the Board. Thus, in order to provide time for the new Reconsideration Requests to proceed through the process, the Library Board meeting will not be rescheduled at this time. Instead, the Lib rary [sic] will wait for the complaints to move forward before the meeting is scheduled.

Regarding the other issues that you raised in your initial complaint (such as relocating books within the Library, adding books to the collection from the perspective of ex-gays and removing or password protecting the website link), the City Attorney stated these are issues that do not necessarily require action on the part of the Library Board. Under normal Library procedures, requests such as these are handled by the library staff and library director. We can meet again to discuss your concerns on these issues and I can report the outcome of these discussions to the Library Board. Should the Library Board wish to comment upon any of these subjects they can request that I have these issues added to a Board meeting agenda.
Essentially, what is being requested is that you clarify your complaint and work through the existing process regarding any specific books which you object to.

Personally, it's important that I contact you with this information before you heard it from any other person or source.


Michael Tyree

Michael Tyree, Library Director
West Bend Community Memorial Library
630 Poplar Street
West Bend, WI 53095
Voice: 262-335-5151, ext. 125
FAX: 262-335-5150

Publication: APD - West Bend Daily News;
Date: Mar 21, 2009;
Section: Front Page
Page Number: A1

Meeting on Gay-Themed Books Postponed; Library Board Asks That Complaint Be Further Clarified

By DAVE RANK Daily News Staff

A meeting to discuss a citizen complaint on the inclusion of gay-themed books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library is being postponed, the library director said Thursday, until the complainants clarify which books they object to.

On Feb. 12, Ginny and Jim Maziarka of West Bend filed a formal request for reconsideration of library materials complaint, objecting to all books in the Out of the Closet category listed in the Young Adult section of the library’s Web site.

A March 3 meeting of the Library Board at which the complaint was to be discussed was postponed at the request of the West Bend Fire Department because more people were in the City Hall’s Common Council Chamber than its 265-person capacity.

That meeting had been rescheduled from the library to City Hall in an effort to accommodate an anticipated larger crowd.

The library was looking for a larger facility to hold the meeting.

In an exchange of e-mails Thursday and Friday also sent to the Daily News, Library Director Michael Tyree, following consultation with City Attorney Mary Schanning, informed the Maziarkas that public statements they made since filing their original complaint indicated they wanted certain books banned, not the entire category.

Because of that, Tyree wrote, the Maziarkas “will need to file individual requests about specific books that they object to and state reasons for their objection. These complaints will go through the normal reconsideration process which involves two meetings with library staff before their requests can go before the (Library) Board.”

“Essentially, what is being requested is that the Maziarkas clarify their complaint and work through the existing process regarding any specific books which they object to,” Tyree told the Daily News.

In their responding e-mail Friday morning, the Maziarkas called Tyree’s decision “the library board’s attempts to unilaterally withdraw our appeal without our permission and duck the issue that has now garnered much public attention so as to maneuver the issue out of the public eye and scrutiny with delay and the use of more private meetings with staff.”

“They know what is in these books and they know they will be shamed by any public airing of it,” Ginny Maziarka wrote to the Daily News.

“We would like to clarify that our original request stands,” the Maziarkas wrote to Tyree.

The Maziarkas said they initially sent a letter protesting the inclusion of “homosexual materials in the library as well as on the (library’s) web site.” They complied when Tyree told them they needed to fill out the formal request for reconsideration of library materials and discuss it with Young Adult librarian Kristin Pekoll before the Library Board could act on it. They then followed library procedures and talked to Tyree, after which the complaint was added to the Library Board agenda.

The letter and the formal complaint should be sufficient to trigger a hearing, the Maziarkas wrote in their e-mail. “We have been through this process once now and we have not withdrawn anything. All we have done is respond to your requests for clarification and more specifics, which we have done carefully and thoroughly.

“We insist on our appeal rights as we feel your withdrawal of our complaint is in gross error. We wish to proceed with the staff decisions that have already been fully discussed.”

The Maziarkas wrote that they feel “there is no point in breaking up the request into sub requests” and starting the process all over.

Tyree said the Maziarkas’ original complaint objected to all books in the Out of the Closet category and not to specific books.

“Since the cancellation of the March 3, 2009 meeting, Mr. and Mrs. Maziarka have stated to the media, in blogs and to the City Attorney via email that they do not want to ban all of the books in the ‘Out of the Closet’ category. The City Attorney interprets this to mean that their original complaint has been withdrawn. The Attorney’s analysis of what has been in the media, in their blogs and what the Maziarkas e-mailed to her is that they are now objecting to specific books within the genre.”

Library Board meeting is normally are held on the first Tuesday of the month but that will not happen next month. Tuesday, April 7 is the spring general election.

Tyree said he is still working on putting together a meeting in front of the Library Board.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jailed Cuban Librarians the ALA Ignores; What You Can Do to Try to Help Since the ALA Will Not

The American Library Association [ALA] continues to ignore Cuban librarians. Having written on this before, I now provide the names of the jailed Cuban librarians with information about how you can help. The ALA won't, so you have to do this yourselves. They were jailed in violation of their intellectual freedoms, but the ALA's "Office For Intellectual Freedom" only wishes they would "drown."

The following message is based on "EU Envoy Urged to Seek Release of Jailed Cubans," by Louis Michel, Committee to Protect Journalists, 17 March 2009. It can be found at "Quarterly Appeal for Cuban Library Prisoners, and Progress Report," by Steve Marquardt, PhD, Cuba451Letters, 19 March 2009:

Please send the following message, or your own variation thereof, on the occasion of the sixth anniversary of the crackdown in independent library owners in Cuba. This appeal is based upon an appeal posted this month by the Committee to Protect Journalists, at

I learned of this CPJ appeal only yesterday, March 18, but because there will be subsequent communications between the EU and the Cuban government, don’t let the date of the visit deter you from writing, and be sure to send a copy to Cuba’s new Foreign Minister (airmail 94 cents), so that Cuba hears from you directly.

If there is a “committee to protect LIBRARIANS,” it’s not within ALA or IFLA -- it's YOU, the people in my Cuba451Letters group receiving this message – so I hope that you will act on this appeal. Progress is being made on these cases. Over the past six years, there have been 34 library owners in prison, but thanks to international pressure and releases for health reasons, now only half that number are behind bars. Thanks for your efforts!

Steve Marquardt, Ph.D.
South Dakota State University Dean of Libraries Emeritus
Amnesty International Legislative Coordinator for Minnesota
9383 123rd Avenue SE
Lake Lillian, Minnesota 56253-4700
(320) 664-4231


March 19, 2009

Mr. Louis Michel
European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid
Berlaymont 10 /165
1049 Brussels, Belgium

Via e-mail:

Dear Mr. Michel,

Your planned trip to Havana this week coincides with the sixth anniversary of Cuba's massive crackdown on independent library owners and dissidents. As a librarian, I call on you to urge Raúl Castro's government to release the following 17 independent library owners jailed in Cuban prisons and extend the internationally guaranteed right of free expression to all Cubans:

Ariel Sigler Amaya (General Pedro Betancourt Library, Matanzas)
Blas Giraldo Reyes Rodríguez (20th of May Library, Sancti Spiritus)
Fabio Prieto Llorente (Mir Francisco Mulets Library, Neuva Gerona, Isla de la Juventud)
Fidel Suárez Cruz (St. Paul Library, Pinar del Río)
Guido Sigler Amaya (General Pedro Betancourt Library, Matanzas)
Iván Hernández Carrill (Juan Gualberto Gómez Library, Branch II, Matanzas)
José Luis García Paneque (Carlos J. Finlay Library, Las Tunas)
José Miguel Martínez Hernández (General Juan Bruno Zayas Library, Havana Province)
José Ubaldo Izquierdo Hernández (Sebastián Arcos Library, Havana Province)
Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares (Bartolomé Masó Library, Santiago de Cuba)
Lester Gonzalez Pentón (Jorge Mas Canosa Independent Library, Santa Clara)
Librado Ricardo Linares García (Enrique José Varona Library, Camajuaní, Villa Clara province)
Luis Milán Fernández (11th of September Library, Santiago de Cuba)
Nelson Alberto Aguiar Ramirez (Eddy Chibás Independent Library, Havana)
Ricardo Severino Gonzales Alfonso (Jorge Mañach Library, Havana)
Victor Rolando Arroyo Carmona (Reyes Magos Library, Pinar del Río)
Pedro González Acosta (Martin Luther King Independent Library, San Juan y Martínez)

I also ask you to assess the Cuban government's compliance with human rights conditions that the European Union imposed in 2008 after lifting diplomatic sanctions.

According to reports in the international and Cuban press, you are visiting Havana on March 18 and 19 to attend a conference on renewed cooperation projects between Cuba and the European Union. During your trip, you are expected to meet with Cuban officials, including newly appointed Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez.

On March 18, 19, and 20, 2003, Cuban authorities orchestrated the arrest of 75 dissidents, including 25 independent library owners. The accused were tried in summary, closed-door hearings and sentenced to up to 26 years in prison. Amnesty International declared them prisoners of conscience, and the EU responded by imposing sanctions on Cuba, including a ban on high-ranking official visits by Cuban authorities to EU countries.

The EU Presidency has also called for the release of these prisoners of conscience on 26 March 2003 and 5 June 2003 (see and, as has the EU Council on 14 June 2004 and 17 June 2007 (see and

During the June 2008 meeting of the Council of the European Union in Brussels, the EU agreed to suspend the 2003 sanctions provided that Cuba improve its human rights record. The Cuban government should have unconditionally released all political prisoners, facilitated access of international humanitarian organizations to Cuban prisons, ratified and implemented the international covenants on human rights signed by Cuba, and granted freedom of expression and information, including through the Internet.

Over the past six years, Cuba has freed a small number of librarians and dissidents in exchange for international political concessions. However, 16 independent library owners another two jailed since 2003, remain in prison, making Cuba the world's leading jailer of librarians. Jailed librarians live in inhumane conditions, their health is deteriorating, and local authorities continue to harass their families.

To date, no international humanitarian organizations have visited any of the imprisoned Cuban librarians. Nor has the Cuban government ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides "the right to freedom of expression," or the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, both signed in February 2008 by then-Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque. In a country where the government has complete control of the media, independent librarians continue to be threatened and harassed by Cuba's secret police.

In 2008, the EU announced that its relations with Cuba would be renewed annually after an assessment of the progress and commitment made by the Cuban government on issues that included human rights. I urge you to take this opportunity to address these issues with Cuban leaders, ensure that the EU conditions for the improvement of human rights will be met, and call on the government to immediately and unconditionally release all librarians unjustly imprisoned for exercising their basic human right to freedom to read as stated in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.


Copy to:
Sr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla
Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores
Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores
Calzada No. 360, Vedado
La Habana, Cuba


Sunday, March 15, 2009

The ALA was FOR CPSIA Before They Were Against It

The Common Room: The ALA was FOR CPSIA Before They Were Against It

Click on the link above and read it and its many linked sources. As the first comment says:

"Wow. That would make the ALA the biggest supporters of censorship in American history.

"And possibly the biggest hypocrites, too."

I had already praised the ALA in "ALA Uses Common Sense on CPSIA Child Safety Issue; Congratulations to Emily Sheketoff and the ALA Washington Office." Now it looks as if that praise may have been at least partially unwarranted.

NOTE ADDED 13 May 2011:

Good news:  "Good News for Libraries, Bad News for Publishers in Proposed CPSIA Amendment," by Karen Raugust, Publishers Weekly, 13 May 2011.
A proposed bill that would amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 is giving hope to many of the industries affected by the Act, including children’s libraries and used booksellers. “It solves our problem,” says Emily Sheketoff, executive director of the American Library Association’s Washington Office.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Homeless Children and Banned Books

What do homeless children and banned books have in common? Homeless children are promoted by the National Center on Family Homelessness, "[a] group whose raison d'être is homelessness [and who] has an obvious interest in exaggerating the extent of the problem." See "Double Trouble? The Majority of 'Homeless' Children Live in Homes," by James Taranto, Wall Street Journal—Best of the Web, 10 March 2009.

Similarly, "banned books" are promoted by the American Library Association [ALA] whose "Office for Intellectual Freedom's" [OIF] raison d'être is ensuring children maintain access to inappropriate materials that may be kept from them legally. The OIF has "an obvious interest in exaggerating the extent of the problem." For example, one time the ALA claimed racism when parents attempted to "ban" a book that included bestiality from a public school. Why racism? Because, according to the ALA, the author was black and the parents were using bestiality as an excuse to remove a book by a black author.

It's worse. Sadly, there are actually homeless children in the USA, though vastly fewer than the media reports. Regarding "banned books," that stopped occurring in the USA many decades ago. In other words, books are no longer banned, and there's no further need for National Hogwash Week (a.k.a. Banned Books Week or BBW).

So what homeless children and "banned books" have in common is that they are both used for propaganda purposes by motivated organizations that use fancy language, twisted definitions, and statistics to hide the truth from the public.

Anyway, that's my observation upon reading the James Taranto article. Does anyone else see what I see?