Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Response to ALA President and OIF Director Regarding West Bend, WI, and Control of the Local Library

The following is my response to American Library Association [ALA] President Jim Rettig and the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom Acting Director Deborah Caldwell-Stone regarding the matter in West Bend, WI. It is so good I had to reprint it here. It is so easy to prove these people false, and no one should ever be intimidated by them or the ALA. The ALA only further marginalizes itself:

Yes, I'm Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries.

Queery, your blog post has become much more interesting because Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Acting Director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, has commented [t]here. I'm jealous and wish she would comment on my own blog.

Now I will respond to Ms. Caldwell-Stone, but let me first preface my response by saying she has been doing what she has been doing for a very long time and has made numerous statements on a variety of issues. Now nobody is a computer and is expected to remember everything they ever said. So when I point out a statement Ms. Caldwell-Stone made in the past and compare it to the current situation, please understand it is only to get at the issues, not to play gotcha. Pobody's nerfect. I make the following comments with all due respect to Ms. Caldwell-Stone.

I said only the following about Deborah Caldwell-Stone: "Further, the books will just be moved in the library. Even Deborah Caldwell-Stone has said that is appropriate in the appropriate circumstance."

To this Ms. Caldwell Stone responded, "For the record, Mr. Kleinman does not ... accurately portray my views or the views of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom."

However, in the past, Ms. Caldwell-Stone said, "There are times when a book might be moved, for example a young adult novel makes it into a fourth or fifth classroom and that's more appropriate for the high school library, and a committee can just say this was an inappropriate book to buy for this age group but it was an appropriate book to buy for this age category and it works for this high school library." Listen to the Deborah Caldwell-Stone say this in her own voice by clicking on the link located at "Deborah Caldwell-Stone Discusses Banned Books", by admin, American Library Association, 11 July 2008.

Now my reading of that tells me that there are times when a book might be moved for reasons of age appropriateness. Yes, the context was a public school library, but the same principle applies, and the speaker was Deborah Caldwell-Stone herself.

So when I said, "Further, the books will just be moved in the library. Even Deborah Caldwell-Stone has said that is appropriate in the appropriate circumstance," I have "Deborah Caldwell-Stone Discusses Banned Books" as my reliable source for that statement.

I try to provide accurate and truthful information, and I usually back it up with source material. Only this time I provided the source after I made the statement; how ironic the source I provided is the very person claiming I do not "accurately portray [her] views or the views of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom." Apparently, I do, at least in this instance.

On the other hand, it is Deborah Caldwell-Stone who herself is being misleading. She says, for instance, "The ALA opposes book banning and censorship in any form, including censorship that arises from disagreement with and disapproval of positive GLBT materials." While outwardly true, the whole truth is that no book has been banned for many decades in the USA. I'm talking about banned, not moved for reasons of age appropriateness. Bd of Educ. v. Pico says the parties stipulate that pervasively vulgar material may be removed from public schools immediately. US v. ALA, a big loss for the ALA and the ACLU, saw the Court say, "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." Did Ms. Caldwell-Stone tell you about that? Does the US Supreme Court make book banning and censorship the law of the land? No and no. See also "LISNews Disses Judith Krug Unwittingly" for how the ALA, indeed the very Office for Intellectual Freedom Caldwell-Stone leads, misleads the public on the issue of censorship just as she is doing here on this Queery blog post.

She misleads the public another way, but it may be innocently. Other than what she said about me that I proved was incorrect, the remainder of her comments addressed themselves not to the issues, but to a nonissue. The issue of "GLBT materials" is a nonissue because the proponent of the changes in the library has long ago (relatively speaking) dropped her claims regarding GLBT materials and has since requested only legal means for protecting children from inappropriate material in her own public library. That's the issue now. Legal means for protecting children. Deborah Caldwell-Stone did not address that issue. Why? My guess is that she knows they are legal and there actually are no arguments for not applying legal means to protect children. Hence the reliance on the out-of-date GLBT claims.

And I can see Ginny is really making her case well and convincing people to legally protect children in the public library and that the ALA knows this and knows this could set a dangerous precedent for libraries nationwide. How can I see this? Anyone can, actually. First, look at the misleading information provided by ALA acolytes at the UW-M: "UW-M Library School Misleads West Bend Citizens."

More to the point, however, is how uncharacteristically the top ALA leadership is getting directly involved in a local issue. The ALA is running scared. In the Queery blog we have the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom leader, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, making false statements, no matter how innocently.

And the ALA President himself has gotten directly involved. See the letter I have included below. He too, like Caldwell-Stone and like the UW-M, raises the out-of-date GLBT claim. But he also adds the false pornography issue. Pornography is not the issue. We can all agree no pornography is involved, but it is just not the issue. Material can be inappropriate for children and still not be pornography. The issue is inappropriate material for children, not pornography. Efforts to cast the issue as pornography are merely efforts to cleverly avoid the real issue.

Notice he also talks about, "we must preserve the intellectual freedom rights of the entire community," but his direct involvement in this matter is precisely the opposite, namely, to prevent the rights of the entire community and enforce the ALA's policies.

It's a public library, not an ALA library. It's West Bend's library, not Chicago's library. Do not be fooled by desperate people using false pornography and censorship claims or out-of-date GLBT claims. Notice how none of these people and organizations are discussing the actual issues, namely, the legal means for protecting children that is being sought in West Bend and successfully applied in other communities. Why is that?


On Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 4:20 PM, Nanette Perez wrote:

[ifaction] Statement from ALA President Regarding Library Controversy in West Bend, Wis.

The following is a statement issued by American Library Association President Jim Rettig regarding efforts to remove Library Board members and to restrict materials in the West Bend (Wisconsin) Community Memorial Library:

“Last week, the West Bend, Wisconsin Common Council voted to deny reappointment to four Library Board members, based on objections to these members’ ‘ideology’ and their adherence to library policy concerning challenges to materials in the library collection. This move appears to be motivated largely in response to an ongoing campaign that seeks to restrict access to books in the West Bend Community Memorial Library’s young adult collection of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender fiction and nonfiction.

“We are dismayed by and deeply concerned about these developments. Libraries connect people and ideas, by providing access to a diverse array of information to meet the needs of everyone in the community. Whatever their personal beliefs, library board members have an obligation to support this unique role of the public library. When individuals or groups attempt to block access to library materials in the name of their own particular beliefs, we must all oppose such efforts and we must preserve the intellectual freedom rights of the entire community.

“Fanning the flames of this controversy, opponents of open access in libraries have launched a campaign spreading fear and misinformation. Newspaper and radio ads call on the community to ‘protect our children,’ and have compared the removal of books from the library to buckling a child’s seat belt. A city Alderman has even gone so far as to compare the West Bend Community Memorial Library to a porn shop.

“The materials in question are not pornography. They include award-winning novels and acclaimed works of nonfiction. To advocate for the removal or restriction of these materials on the basis of partisan or doctrinal disapproval is censorship, pure and simple. Parents who believe a book is not appropriate for their own children are free to make that decision—for their children; they do not have the right nor the authority to make it for anyone else’s children.

"Because it supports intellectual freedom, the American Library Association (ALA) opposes book banning and censorship in any form, and supports librarians and library board members whenever they resist censorship in their libraries. Since our society is very diverse, libraries have a responsibility to provide materials that reflect the interests of all of their patrons.

“We stand in support of the librarians and Library Board members of the West Bend Community Memorial Library and the community members who defend intellectual freedom and open access to ideas. By resisting calls to censor potentially controversial materials, they promote and protect true education and learning, and uphold the cherished freedoms that we, as Americans, hold most dear.”

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Pro Gay Lobby" Violates Free Speech Rights with Threats to Businesses Hosting Petition Drive for Child Safety in Public Library in West Bend, WI

In West Bend, WI, there is an effort underway to improve child safety in the public library. The public library itself has reacted by refusing to address the issues, thereby leaving children exposed to dangers which the community may otherwise block using legally available means. The local government has responding by refusing to reappoint library board members responsible for failing to act in the interest of the local citizenry. And a petition drive is underway to implement legally available means to protect children in the West Bend Community Memorial Library. See the petition Protect Youth from Sexually Explicit Materials in the Library, and petition drive announcements here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Hear, hear! The petition drive is set to occur at various businesses in the surrounding area.

Along comes the "pro gay lobby," allegedly, according to one business owner, who is calling the businesses offering space for the petition drives. At least one business has backed out, according to that business owner, but he himself "will not be intimidated by the pro gay lobby":



If my small allowance for "democracy" in my parking lot "stirs the pot" with the intolerant gay lobby, so be it! I do not want my children exposed to this material while innocently looking for random library material!

.... I will be opening ... at 8 AM, 2 hours early, and any "troublemaking" elements interfering with your great exercise of democracy, via petition for redress of grievances, will be asked to leave.

I will gladly sign your petition in the A.M.

Source: "This BUSINESS OWNER is NOT AFRAID," by West Bend Citizen Advocate, WISSUP - WISCONSIN SPEAKS UP, 24 April 2009.

If the above is accurate, isn't is sad when those claiming a violation of freedom of speech occurs when children are legally restricted from inappropriate material use their own freedom of speech violations as a means to their ends?

Isn't it wrong when "intolerance," or anything for that matter, is used to suppress free speech?

Isn't it great when people are not intimidated by these kind of tactics?

One has to wonder what is so bad about legal means to keep children from inappropriate material that people have to violate the free speech rights of others to suppress citizens from hearing different viewpoints so as to decide for themselves what's right and what's wrong.

Think about this. Without knowing what an issue is about at all, I would side with those being denied their freedom of speech by a vocal minority using threats and intimidation to shut them up. That in itself indicates to me the intimidators know they are wrong and have no legitimate argument to support what they seek.

Indeed, in this West Bend controversy or anywhere, there is no legitimate argument to support ignoring legal means to protect children from inappropriate material in the public library. None. And refusing to even consider the question is even worse. Forcibly shutting people up may even be criminal. Without knowing it, the efforts to suppress the free speech rights of West Bend and area citizens will only result in increasing support for their efforts to protect children in the public library.

See "This BUSINESS OWNER is NOT AFRAID," by West Bend Citizen Advocate, WISSUP - WISCONSIN SPEAKS UP, 24 April 2009.

[ADDED COMMENT 25 APRIL 2009:] Apparently, the opponents of free speech do believe in free inappropriate speech for children: "Opposers drove through Hobby Lobby parking lot and screamed obscenities at us and the children who were volunteering today. Some of the words were appalling..... (but pretty sure they could be found in many, if not most, of the books we are protesting). No child should be harassed in that manner. No adult should either, for that matter. They flipped us the middle finger." See "Intimidation Tactics Fail on Productive Day for Signature Drive.....," by West Bend Citizen Advocate, WISSUP - WISCONSIN SPEAKS UP, 25 April 2009. Just see the first comment below for more of this.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Teacher Bullies Student Publicly to Send Message that No One Should Challenge Inappropriate Material; Legal Assistance Needed

Read that blog post. See the teacher refuse to allow a child to read "The Giver." See the mother claim censorship and discrimination.

But it's worse. Far worse. Far, far worse.

Very soon I will be presenting this story in full detail. I will show you a family bullied by an entire school system for daring to challenge a public school book. Children ostracized and ridiculed by a teacher, beaten and bullied by students, and the school does nothing to assist—indeed it is part of the problem.

This single mother needs legal assistance immediately. In a subsequent post I will lay out detailed information exposing to the sunlight the tolerance crowd's chronic attacks on a conservative single mother and her children. I have information right now that I will not reveal until my next post, but I think you will find this to be a very sad story that may have resulted in permanent damage to the children.

I am certain this story will attain national attention. I am certain the mother will obtain effective, pro bono counsel. I am certain the school will ultimately lose. I am not certain the damage has not already been done or that the hurt will ever go away.

As the school bullies her children to intimidate her so as to send the message to others not to complain, I am certain good people will not allow such propagandistic jamming to stop them from acting to protect children. I am certain the school's bullying days will soon be coming to an end.

Stay tuned for another post with all the details. I have so much information, it'll take a few days to write it up.


Monday, April 20, 2009

LISNews Disses Judith Krug Unwittingly

LISNews is an excellent news source for those interested in libraries. In addition to its daily activities, it podcasts weekly on library issues. Unwittingly, but justifiably, it mocked the American Library Association's [ALA] former de facto leader in the very publication dedicated to that leader.

The most recent podcast was "dedicated to recently departed freedom crusader Judith Krug." See "LISTen: An Podcast -- Episode #68," by Stephen Michael Kellat, LISNews, 19 April 2009.

Judith Krug was the de facto leader of the ALA for about 40 years. Thanks in part to her ACLU heritage, she single-handedly changed libraries so they no longer protect children from inappropriate material like they used to.

For example, she alone created "Banned Books Week," ostensibly to decry censorship, even though no books have been banned in the USA for half a century and it is nearly impossible to do so now for reasons that have nothing to do with the ALA. Supposedly, according to Banned Books Week material, "Censorship by librarians of constitutionally protected speech, whether for protection or for any other reason, violates the First Amendment." More ominously, "Private groups and public authorities in various parts of the country are working to remove or limit access to reading materials, to censor content in schools, to label 'controversial' views, to distribute lists of 'objectionable' books or authors, and to purge libraries. .... The problem is not only one of actual censorship."

I say ostensibly because "actual censorship" by librarians, citizens, and local governments is impossible by definition; the real goal is different. The real goal is to ensure children retain access to inappropriate material by making false and scary claims about censorship. As one former ALA Councilor Jessamyn West rightly noted, "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."

By calling efforts of some librarians, citizens, and local government officials to keep children from inappropriate material "censorship," the ALA is misleading the entire nation. And in light of US v. ALA, which the ALA lost big in 2003 in the US Supreme Court, the ALA's actions to mislead are evidently intentional, unless the Court itself is also censorious: "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."

The ALA does not agree; protecting children from inappropriate material is "censorship," according to the ALA. Now what is more authoritative, the ALA or the US Supreme Court?

Did you know that US Supreme Court case that allows Internet filters in public libraries to protect children (hence, Children's Internet Protection Act) was Judith Krug's biggest disappointment in life? The only means the ALA is forced to allow to effectively protect children is her biggest disappointment? Is it any wonder why the ALA intentionally misleads the public and the media? (And Judith Krug "'invented what they now call media training,' said Art Plotnik, former editor of American Libraries.")

Perhaps her greatest disappointment was the 2003 Supreme Court ruling that the Children's Internet Protection Act was constitutional, ending a battle over internet [sic] filtering that cost ALA over a million dollars. Adults, the court decided, could ask that filters be turned off for unrestricted access and Congress could require libraries to install filtering in exchange for funding. It was a decision that Krug had fought hard.

Source: "A Tribute to Judith Krug," by Leonard Kniffel, AL Inside Scoop, 21 April 2009.

But I digress.

Censorship has nothing to do with keeping inappropriate material from children. Nothing. Protecting children from such material is common sense, and it is legal. It is not censorship. The US Supreme Court already addressed that issue. Why does the ALA continue to raise it? Why does the ALA continue to misled local media, communities, and those who guide local communities? Why do people think the ALA is authoritative anymore?

So what is censorship?
Cries of censorship rang out over a relatively small, minor situation. .... [I]t is called censorship when a selection of LGBT materials becomes harder to access within Amazon's catalog. While the English word "censorship" might be at the core in the Amazon story and others, it might be better to term such "inference of intended suppression." Censorship more properly involves a government using its coercive powers to dictate what can be said, written, printed, or shown in a media form.

As Dan Gerstein 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." Does that not perfectly describe the false claims of the ALA? (Speaking of stifling speech, get a load of a public library in West Bend, WI, refusing to hear a citizen complaint: "West Bend Library Board Shuns Public Hearing Over Porn.")

So censorship defined "more properly" has nothing to do with what the ALA is claiming, what Banned Books Week is espousing, what Judith Krug has created. As Thomas Sowell put it, Banned Books Week should be called "National Hogwash Week."

The definition of censorship given above about a government using coercive powers is relatively accurate, but who said it? Who defined censorship in a way that is truthful and in total contradiction with the ALA's claims as promulgated by Judith Krug's creations? Believe it or not, it is the very source that dedicated the podcast to Judith Krug. It was LISNews! It was Stephen Michael Kellat! Listen for yourself. I'll have to add him to my "Good Librarians" page along with Jessamyn West, who's already there with others.

That's right, LISNews has dedicated a podcast to Judith Krug, then went on to define censorship accurately in a manner that total refutes Judith Krug's life work to mislead people about censorship. (She even made racist statements when parents in Howell, MI, who attempted to keep public school children from reading school books containing bestiality.) An "inference of intended suppression" is twisted by the ALA into "censorship" in a effort to ensure children retain access to inappropriate material. But the two are "totally different," as Jessamyn West said.

Thank you, LISNews, for justifiably producing a podcast that contains such truth, such delicious irony. By defining censorship accurately as you have, you have struck a silver stake in the heart of Banned Books Week, in the very podcast dedicated to its creator, even while praising her. That is what I mean by the title of this post. Truly outstanding.

For the record, I am sad to hear of Judith Krug's death and particularly her illness. No one will ever replace her at the ALA. I looked forward to speaking with her; she never responded to my emails. I have such respect for her effectiveness in creating and promoting ALA policy vis-a-vis children that I applied to take classes on library law directly from her, among others. I wanted to meet her, to ask questions, to exercise my intellectual freedom. Alas, her Office for Intellectual Freedom refused me access repeatedly in a fashion that illustrates the ALA's hypocrisy perfectly and may have violated court rules. Apparently, some animals are more equal than others. I'll apply again for admittance to those classes, but they just won't be the same without Judith Krug.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

One Child Assaulted Per Month in Libraries Without Internet Filters; Suit Should Be Brought Against the American Library Association

A lack of Internet filters on public library computers results in non-stop crimes against children. "One child is assaulted per month in a public library in this country because predators can trade their filth on public computers that often lack filters."

Think. The American Library Association [ALA] advises libraries not to use filters. The ALA was sued on this and it won, but that was before US v. ALA in 2003. It's time someone again brought suit against the ALA for complicity in crimes against children assaulted in public libraries. While reading this, remember, the porn industry funds the ALA and the ALA whitewashed child rape in a public library.

Addiction to Porn Damaging to Society, by John Loudon, News-Leader, 18 April 2009:

John LoudonProtecting children from predators occupied a large portion of my legislative activity beginning in 2005, when Bill O'Reilly labeled Missouri weak on predators. Now Missouri is such a dangerous state for predators that two people I know personally have been caught in the web of laws I put in place. The tragedy of the Scott Muschany trial is not what may have happened with a 14-year-old, it is that most of us are missing a serious problem with staggering consequences.

To understand, it is helpful to know who Scott Muschany is. Scott is a loving father and husband of one of the more attractive and gracious women I know. He is a successful businessman, active churchgoer and philanthropist. He is also someone who harbored a dark secret. Other public figures ... include a parade of clergy, the former chief of staff of a state office holder and Sen. Larry Craig. In each case we have an apparently normal, public servant called to be in a giving profession. Dismissing these people as hypocrites is an oversimplification that misses the point.

So I began to research the scope of the problem to ascertain the prevalence of sexual predators. Over 22,000 Missouri IP addresses have been used to download known child porn images. Missouri police arrested over 100 men attempting to meet up with underage children for sex in 2007. The number of arrests doubled to over 200 in 2008. One child is assaulted per month in a public library in this country because predators can trade their filth on public computers that often lack filters. The porn industry revenues run in the billions of dollars annually in the U.S. Americans spend more on porn than on professional baseball, football and basketball combined.

The National Coalition for the Protection of Children cites statistics that up to 50 percent of church-going men struggle with pornography addiction. The accessibility of porn on the Internet and now cell phones, means men, women and children are being exposed to more porn and harder core porn than ever in history. We are just beginning to see the manifestations of the damage, and it is hard to predict how many children will be victimized and become the next victimizers.

So while it was tragic that a fine man put himself in the position he did, the greater tragedy is that so many in glass houses will be casting the stones of dispersion. They will scream "hypocrite" when they really need to look deep inside their own sphere of influence. Have you talked to your child about "sexting?" Do you have an addiction of your own? Have you asked your pastor to host a meeting on the problem that inevitably exists in your own church? Have you filtered your own computer?

John Loudon is a former state senator. He lives in Chesterfield.

Editor's note: Former Rep. Scott Muschany from St. Louis County was acquitted in March of sex charges involving a minor.

Reprinted under Section 107 Fair Use.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

UW-M Library School Misleads West Bend Citizens

The School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has made a public statement to the citizens of West Bend, WI. "The School shall contribute locally ... in information-related education, ... and service," says the "SOIS Vision." However, the "contribution" in West Bend is to mislead the community into giving up legal means to protect children from harm. And by this means the American Library Association [ALA], which accredited SOIS and whitewashes child rape in public libraries, again pressures another community to keep the ALA's "anything goes" policies.

Here is my response to "UW-M School of Information Studies Statement of Support for the West Bend Library," by Dr. Joyce Latham, School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, April 14, 2009:

Dear Dr. Joyce Latham,

"In recent weeks, two citizens of West Bend, Wisconsin have petitioned the West Bend Community Memorial Library to remove gay-themed books...." Yes, but they are no longer seeking that goal and implying they are can only be misleading. Issues should be fought on the issues, not on false implications. Besides, after refining their goals, those two citizens have grown to hundreds. A fair report would have included that information.

"They further demand that the books be labeled with a warning about their content, arguing that they are obscene and pornographic." Perhaps, but that's not the real issue. And if someone does not articulate the real issue well, that does not mean the real issue should be ignored. The real issue is not pornography, rather it is material that may be legally treated differently from other material for reasons of age inappropriateness.

Or, if we don't want to recognize the differential status of the material in question, then shouldn't it be treated like all other holdings, with its subject matter properly identified? This is similar to the argument that indicating that the book is about sex or violence is considered "labeling," which carries a bad connotation. Yet if we label a book about "wood carving" as being about wood carving, that is okay. If the subject matter is neutral, then it's called "cataloging," yet if the subject matter is controversial, then it's considered "labeling."

And I love the way Dr. Latham makes it appear such a request is some out of this world idea. I suppose it would not help to further mislead people to disclose that other communities have already been successful in this regard. And look at this: "Missouri SB 450 - Requires public libraries to adopt policies on the placement of books and other materials that are obscene or pornographic for minors." Dr. Latham only discloses one side of the picture, and a distorted view at that.

"The books are from major publishers, sold in general bookstores, and are available in public and high school libraries throughout the state." True, but again this is misleading. For example, possibly the most liberal city in the USA, New York City, removed one of those books from hundreds of its schools because of its inappropriateness for children. Yet Dr. Latham makes no mention of that, choosing instead to mislead the public. Again. A pattern is starting to be established. Further, bookstores are private businesses, not public entities supported by taxpaying citizens.

"Throughout the history of the American public library, special interest groups have attempted to exert a disproportionate degree of influence on the development of a community wide resource." True, but the implication is citizens seeking redress under existing library policies are in the wrong, yet Dr. Latham does not address that the "special interest group ... exert[ing] a disproportionate degree of influence on the development of a community wide resource" may be the American Library Association [ALA] and its local acolytes.

"The public library was developed to be the anchor of free inquiry in our democracy." True, but tell me where "free inquiry" allows children access to inappropriate materials despite the law and common sense?

Does "free inquiry" for children include the following: "Lara unbuttoned my pants and pulled my boxers down a little and pulled out my penis. .... And then she wrapped her hand around it and put it into her mouth." The ALA awarded that book the top book of the year for children 12 and up, and with no notice as to the contents other than how wonderful was the book. I personally got the author to admit he would not even give his own award-winning book to his own 12 year old if he had one. Is providing publicly funded access to such material for children despite the law and common sense an "anchor of free inquiry in our democracy"?

"Over 15,000 public library branches throughout the United States maintain access to quality materials collected and arranged according to national standards developed by thoughtful and committed information professionals." Right, but Dr. Latham fails to disclose how the US Supreme Court allows certain materials to be kept from children despite this. For example, from US v. ALA, "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." Why does Dr. Latham exclude that? Such a stance is consistent with America's long history of aged-based laws designed to protect its youth.

"The education of these professionals is rigorous and expansive, demanding sophisticated skills in assessment, development and leadership; it ensures their preparedness to take the lead in developing and delivering information resources to their communities." So she says, apparently to explain why common sense, community values, and US Supreme Court decisions do not compare to "sophisticated" professionals. The Annoyed Librarian would disagree with Dr. Latham: "A library school by any other name would still be irrelevant to the concerns of actual librarians." And again, Dr. Latham fails to disclose that all such education must be ALA approved and thereby based on ALA policy.

"We, the faculty and teaching academic staff at the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, along with the SOIS Graduate Student Organization, commend the West Bend Community Memorial Library Board of Trustees, administration, and staff for their support of the principle of intellectual freedom in the face of pressure to abandon their professional and communal commitments." Excuse me? A legitimate filing of a request to reconsider material under an existing library policy is "pressure to abandon their professional and communal commitments"? The ALA said despite US v. ALA, its policies will remain unchanged and children will still have access to inappropriate materials. Are those the "professional commitments" the library is being "pressured to abandon"?

Furthermore, why would the library even have a policy of "material reconsideration" if the very act of "material reconsideration" is perceived as a threat or inconsistent with their philosophy. Many libraries maintain such policies, but often when someone wants to exercise the policy, it becomes a threat and the person is labeled a "censor." Maybe they just need to nix this policy, so no one bothers to ask in the future.

In summary, the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has totally misled the community. Then it recommended support for a policy made up by an out-of-state organization that continues to act despite a ruling against it in the US Supreme Court and that whitewashes library crimes. As a result, the West Bend community is being misled into voluntarily giving up legally available means for protecting children from harm in public venues.

I certainly hope the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is not receiving taxpayer funding to mislead those same taxpayers into allowing their children to become sexualized or otherwise endangered by "special interest groups" like the ALA despite the law and common sense.

Why do I have to make this statement? Large organizations array themselves against local communities, but they usually can't force the locals to act. Instead, they mislead the local communities to think like they think so the people will act like they would act. It's a propaganda technique called conversion. Voices like mine are few and far between, and our resources do not measure up to those of, say, the ALA's, which partly come with backing from George Soros and Playboy Enterprises:

Playboy's own sex and violence agenda long funded The American Library Association 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.

Source: "The Toxic American Public Library: Violating Children with 'Harmful Matter'; 'A Clear & Present Danger,'" by Dr. Judith Reisman, The Institute for Media Education, 4 April 2000, footnote omitted.

Along comes the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. It basically tells West Bend residents to oppose "pressure to abandon their professional and communal commitments." It does so by flat out misleading the public. Based on that false information, the community is suppose to act the way the library school and the ALA would want it to act, namely, ignore the law and common sense and leave the children exposed to harm.

Just look at the false and misleading "information" the "School of Information" provided. Certainly the great and powerful "School of Information" could not be wrong. Certainly we must oppose the "pressure to abandon professional and communal commitments." Small voices like mine, like Ginny Maziarka's, we are little bugs to be squashed by the great and powerful ALA-accredited "School of Information" and the Playboy-funded ALA. They know better. The library board knows better. We little people are too unsophisticated (I was actually told this by a library board). After all, that's why there's a library board in the first place, right?

Nothing happened here in West Bend. Move along. Children remain exposed to harm, so what, at least the citizens fought off the pressure to abandon professional commitments to ensure children have access to anything and everything despite the law and common sense. Who cares anyway, it's happening everywhere, there's bigger fish to fry. As Judith Krug, the 40 year de facto leader of the ALA and former ACLU-IL Board member said, "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.'" She's right; Ginny's wrong. Move along, nothing to see here. As Krug would say, "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."

So that's why I had to make this statement. Someone has to stand up and support the children against the powerful interests. I'm doing it, Ginny's doing it in West Bend, and a few others nationwide are doing it, but we just don't have the machine the powerful interests have. So if you are reading this, this may be your only chance to hear another side of the story. Try to put the ALA propaganda out of your heads, think for yourselves, and protect your children as you are legally allowed to do.

If I were the UW-M School of Information Studies, I'd be embarrassed by Dr. Latham's one-sided, misleading attempt to influence West Bend citizens. The "SOIS Vision" is a distant vision right now.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

ALA Whitewashes Rape and Blames Child; Removes Discussion of ALA's Possible Culpability for Rape

Shockingly, or perhaps not, the American Library Association [ALA] has whitewashed a rape in a public library, then blamed the child victim calling him "intimidated." (This matter involves the rape in the New Bedford, MA, public library. There are other library rapes.)

In "Man Gets Life for Molesting Child in a Library," by the ALA, American Libraries, 3 April 2009, [INSERTION DATED 12 APRIL 2009: source is Google cache dated 4 April 2009,][INSERTION DATED 15 APRIL 2009: Google's cache is now dated 9 April and shows the updated article including rape, so I'm again finding a way to display the original article.] the ALA refuses to say what actually happened, namely, the little boy was raped. [INSERTION DATED 12 APRIL 2009: The article was edited by the ALA on 8 April 2009 and is now entitled, "Man Gets Life for Raping Child in a Library," by the ALA, American Libraries, 8 April 2009 as amended to remove molestation and add rape from original publication on 3 April 2009.] Instead, the much softer term, "molestation," was used. It's not only softer, it can be less serious. A molestation could be something as simple as an unwanted touching.

Compare the ALA's coverage of the "molestation" with other media reports:

That last link is by a library director who said, "Frankly, I'm almost surprised that [the ALA] mentioned it at all!" So am I. The ALA routinely ignores what it does not want people to hear.

And look how the ALA partially blamed the six year old victim:
"During the time of the attack, the boy’s mother was sitting at a computer terminal some 20 feet away from her child, who was apparently intimidated into keeping silent."

Gee, if only the boy didn't keep silent while he was being raped. Oh, I'm sorry, molested.

None of those media sources said anything about the boy being "intimidated." That was made up out of thin air by the ALA in an apparent effort to help excuse what happened and perhaps try to deflect people from thinking the ALA might somehow have been responsible.

The library itself and its adherence to ALA policies may have been partially responsible for the rape. I raised this possibility in an ALA forum over a year ago, but that forum has just recently been removed, deleted! All that appears now is this:

Here is a backup link I found that may or may not still work: "Response to Mass. Library Revisits Security after Child Rape," and here is what the forum used to say before the ALA deleted it from its original link:

I have a response to "Massachusetts Library Revisits Security after Child Molested," by the ALA, American Libraries, 8 February 2008.

I'm the person from mentioned in the article. I give credit to American Libraries for being the first media report raising the filtering issue, at least that I've noticed.

Regarding Fulchino's statement regarding the existing filtering software being bypassed by the criminal, there are several problems. First, his library's web site states that it does not filter: "The Library cannot control and is not able to monitor any information on the Internet for either content or accuracy." The word "filter" does not even appear on that page ( ). If filtering is being used, it is not mentioned on the library's web site.

Second, the criminal has been described as having a low IQ. One article said he, "has been diagnosed as developmentally disabled and suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder." If a "developmentally disabled" person with a low IQ can "bypass the settings," then it is obvious the filtering software being used, if indeed it is, is not the latest or is not being administered in an effective manner.

Whichever way you look at it, Fulchino's statements indicate a potential serious problem at the library, as if the rape and the "anything goes" Internet policy have not already made that obvious.

Thank you to American Libraries for bring his statements to the public's attention. Existing security measures including video cameras were a failure, as Fulchino admits. Should his advice to taken seriously again? If I were a citizen of New Bedford, I would demand a full and public investigation by a disinterested party based on the facts including Fulchino's admissions. The seriousness of the allegations and potential for future harm outweigh the perceived gains of possible coverups.

Now for anyone's interest, here is the letter I sent to the community:
Dear City Council President Jane L. Gonsalves,

The library rape of a six year old children is criminal. At this time, all efforts are concentrated on the victim and the criminal. But you are the city's leader. You have a responsibility to see the bigger picture. In this case, the bigger picture is this type of incident might happen again and again as a direct result of the library's "anything goes" Internet use policy.

Was the criminal using the Internet before the rape to view child p*rnography? The media did not address this. If he did, did the library attempt to stop him? The media did not address this. If not, why not? The media did not address this, but the answer is on the library's own web site, "The New Bedford Free Public Library only provides access to the Internet. The Library cannot control and is not able to monitor any information on the Internet for either content or accuracy."

Did you know that is false? Did you know communities may filter all computers and the US Supreme Court has already found that constitutional? Did you know the ACLU and the courts have found filters so effective that they no longer block out health related web sites?

Worse, it is possible your library's policy has exposed it, its employees, and New Bedford to liability for failure to take action that might have prevented the child rape in the first place. A simple reading of the library policy tells me the child's rape was likely partially the responsibility of the library for having an anything goes policy and the community for failure to control its own library in the legal manner in which it may control its library. Indeed, I urge any legal action brought by the parents to include counts against the library and especially against the city for, among other things, a likely failure to enforce the library's enabling statute that I am sure does not say anything goes. Indeed I will actively attempt to contact the family's attorneys and advise them to consider the theory of liability I have outlined generally.

I thought you should consider this. You have the power to prevent future such instances by using every means possible to get your local library to apply filters to all Internet computers. Warning, the American Library Association is responsible for these anything goes policies, is specifically named by your library as its source for library policy, and will be sure to bring the full weight of its misinformation campaign to you if you do decide to protect your community's children instead of the ALA's policies.

Articles I am reading show the city is obviously thinking of ways to prevent this in the future, but all I see are methods of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. For example, "privacy screens" do not function as claimed. Internet filters are the most effective means to resolve the situation, and that is precisely why the ALA attempts to convince people not to use them.

I will be happy to explain and source every statement I have made here. You have the legal means to remove the negative influence of the ALA from your library. It's a PUBLIC library, not an ALA library. Please let me know if I may assist.
_________________ - Are Children Safe in Public Libraries
SafeLibraries Blog -
Lastly, notice what I predicted in my letter to the Mayor of New Bedford has come true. I said, "Articles I am reading show the city is obviously thinking of ways to prevent this in the future, but all I see are methods of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic." The ALA article says, without criticism of any kind:
As a result of the attack, library trustees have modified NBPL’s patron behavior policy to prohibit adults from speaking to a minor inside the library “unless the adult is a parent, other close relative, or caregiver of the minor.” Officials also reconfigured the room in which the assault took place to maximize unobstructed sight lines.

Is that moving deck chairs on the Titanic or is that moving deck chairs? Did the ALA critically comment on the likely uselessness of those solutions at all or perhaps suggest Internet filters? Of course not. Besides, it's only a molestation that some intimidated kid invited on himself. No biggie.

Once again, the ALA has proven it is no longer authoritative and it cannot be trusted for truthful information.