Friday, June 25, 2010

ALA Enters the Outer Limits; Local Libraries Told How to Respond to Fox News and to Report Contacts to the ALA

The American Library Association [ALA] has entered The Outer Limits.  Remember?

There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are controlling transmission. If we wish to make it louder, we will bring up the volume. If we wish to make it softer, we will tune it to a whisper. We will control the horizontal. We will control the vertical. We can roll the image, make it flutter. We can change the focus to a soft blur or sharpen it to crystal clarity. For the next hour, sit quietly and we will control all that you see and hear. We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure. You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the inner mind to... The Outer Limits.

Well now it is the ALA's turn:

There is nothing wrong with your local library.  Do not attempt to adjust library policy.  We are controlling transmission.  If we wish to make it anything goes, we will make it anything goes.  If we wish to tell your library what to say, we will provide that message.  We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your local library.  You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the ALA in Chicago to... your local library.

Case in point Macey Morales, the ALA's Public Information Office's Media Relations Manager, acting in her official capacity, tells local libraries what to say when Fox News Network calls.  Then the local libraries are ordered, even if politely, to inform the ALA of the contact.  No, I am not making this up:

reply to
    Macey Morales (
Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 2:59 PM
[prtalk] FOX Network
Hello all,

I've just learned that the FOX Network [sic] has sent a topic query out to all of it's [sic] Owned and Opperated [sic] stations to pursue stories that highlight the reasons why funding should not be cut for public libraries in the age of Google/Internet.

Just in case you are contacted I thought it may be helpful to have messaging on the value of libraries.

Attached are talking points - if needed.


reply to
    Macey Morales (
Fri, Jun 25, 2010 at 3:24 PM
[prtalk] RE: FOX Network

Also, please let us know if you are contacted.  We would love to post your story to the news section of the ALA Web site.


A six page list of bullet points entitled "WHY WE NEED LIBRARIES; Talking Points" is included with the first email.  Here is a sample of one credibility-stretching claim:  "Return on investment examples:  Seattle, WA – Visits to the new public library have increased King County tourism.  Increased tourism of one percent yields $1 billion in new economic activity statewide over 25 years."  No, I did not make that up either.

What exactly is wrong if the media calls a local library and gets a response from that local library that is based on local experiences?  Why does the ALA feel the need to "be helpful" by telling local libraries what to say?  Do libraries increase tourism?  What if local librarians all gave the same answers as provided by the ALA?  Do local librarians represent local communities or do they represent the ALA?  Who is reporting to the ALA what Fox News is doing, and why?

Where does the ALA even get the idea in the first place that it can tell local librarians what to say?  If the ALA values local control and privacy so much, why is it ordering the local librarians to report all media contacts to the ALA?  Where does the ALA even get the idea in the first place that it can tell local librarians to report to the ALA any media contacts?

I understand the ALA's action may be typical organizational behavior, but local libraries are not part of the ALA organization.

Tell me if this does not sound weird:  I've just learned that the ALA has sent a topic query out to all local libraries to respond to the media with ALA-generated answers, then report to the ALA on those media contacts.  Just in case you are contacted, I thought it may be helpful to have messaging on how the ALA controls local community libraries.  Please let SafeLibraries know if you are contacted.  We would love to post your story on the SafeLibraries blog.

I can't tell if the ALA is in The Outer Limits or The Twilight Zone.  Certainly its leadership evidences the ALA uses its position to request local libraries to do what the ALA suggests.  "There is nothing wrong with your local library.  Do not attempt to adjust library policy.  We are controlling transmission.  We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your local library.  You are about to experience the awe and mystery which reaches from the ALA in Chicago to... your local library."


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Delaware Expands CIPA to WiFi; Governor Markell Enhances Library Internet Protection for Children

Governor Jack Markell of Delaware has expanded the state's CIPA law to include WiFi or wireless Internet access in public libraries.  Now WiFi will be filtered as well as the usual means of Internet access.  This was done to help protect children from harm.

SafeLibraries urges other states to consider similar legislation.  Be aware of loopholes (like reliance on "acceptable use policies" that never stop criminal activity) that should be closed in other states, but I'll set those aside for now and offer my services in drafting legislation or advising about options.

Here are sources of information on this significant expansion of state CIPA rights:
Hats off to State Librarian Anne C. Norman who, judging by the photo of her and the Governor and Representative Atkins together, must have helped to pass the new law.  This is especially impressive as she is a "Library Advocacy Day State Coordinator" for the "anything goes" American Library Association [ALA].  The ALA is an organization that:
Brava, Ms. Norman, for going against the ALA by protecting the children in your state.  Now that is true local control.

Did you see that picture of the Great Seal of the State of Delaware?  Look closely.  It says "LIBERTY AND INDEPENDENCE."  In this case it is liberty and independence from the grip of the ALA.  How refreshing.

SPONSOR:Rep. Atkins & Sen. Venables
Reps. Bennett, Carson, Jaques, Q. Johnson, Kowalko,
Mitchell, Schooley, Schwartzkopf, Scott, Walls, Wilson




           Section 1.  Amend § 6605C, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by striking the existing subsection (b) in its entirety and substituting a new subsection "(b)" in lieu thereof as follows:

           "(b) Use of any computer or mobile device at a library shall be governed by the library's acceptable use policy.  All libraries shall post notification to patrons advising them to use personal mobile and computing devices in conformity with the library's acceptable use policy when at such library and to place appropriate controls on any devices which may be used by minors for whom they are responsible.  All users of library-owned computers must be registered library cardholders.".

           Section 2.  Amend § 6605C, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by striking the existing subsection (d) in its entirety and substituting a new subsection "(d)" in lieu thereof as follows:

           "(d) Libraries shall implement an Internet access management system which provides parents and guardians with choices for their minor’s use of library-owned computers.   In order for a library card to be issued to a minor, a parent or guardian of the minor must accompany the minor to the library to apply for the card and sign a form indicating whether the minor may have access to the Internet on the library's computers and, if so, the level of access.  Subject to the library's acceptable use policy, a parent or guardian may allow the minor to have unrestricted Internet access or may limit such access to content appropriate for minors.  Limited access options may include, but need not be limited to, the use of dedicated computers for minors which are filtered or provide access solely to age-appropriate electronic library collections.".

           Section 3.   Amend § 6606C, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by striking the section in its entirety.

           Section 4.   This Act shall take effect 90 days after enactment.


           This Act enables Delaware's public libraries to respond to expanding demand for and use of wireless and mobile technologies while clarifying that the use of such devices is subject to the Delaware Children's Internet Protection Act.  The Act furthers the goal of protecting minors from viewing obscene materials on the Internet by requiring libraries to post notices advising patrons to follow acceptable use policies and place appropriate controls on personal mobile and computing devices.  The Act also gives parents and guardians choices as to the level of their minor child's access to the Internet on library computers.  Finally, the Act enables public libraries to keep pace with evolving technologies by improving upon the current database system and allowing libraries to offer dedicated computers for use by minors with appropriate filters.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Foolproof Porn Filter

Get a load of this from the Swiss Army Librarian's blog post called "Foolproof Porn Filter," by Brian Herzog, Swiss Army Librarian, 15 June 2010:

While discussing Brian Herzog, see how he handled a report of porn viewing from a patron using a cell phone to call in the ongoing offense by another patron.  "Hmm - maybe we should just install a hotline in the study room for people to report porn offenders."


Monday, June 14, 2010

ALA Personally Attacks ALA Councilor Who As a Conservative Christian Sometimes Stood Alone Against 180 ALA Councilors Debating Non-Library Issues; Young ALA Members Urged to Stand Against the ALA When It Takes on World Issues Having Nothing To Do with Librarianship

American Library Association [ALA] Councilor Susan Pieper is a conservative Christian who sometimes stands alone against all other 180 ALA Councilors.  She believes the ALA should address issues of librarianship, not world issues and opposition to the United States government.  As a result, she gets personally attacked by people in the ALA, an organization that arrogates to itself a lead role in First Amendment rights and intellectual freedom.  Obviously not.  So she is urging new ALA Councilors to be brave and strong in opposing the vocal ones claiming to right some world injustice and use the ALA to do it.

Just look at my blog for examples of what Susan Pieper is saying, but enough of me.  Hear it directly from Susan Pieper:

On Mon, Jun 14, 2010 at 1:04 PM, Susan Pieper wrote:

Subject:  [alacoun] Farewell Missive

Hello friends and colleagues:

I want to take a moment out of my day to express what an honor and privilege it has been to serve the membership of the American Library Association and to work alongside such an interesting and diverse group of councilors. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will be unable to attend ALA in Washington. My term ends after this convention. This will be the first time I have missed council sessions. I will miss all the new friends I have made and hope someday in the future my situation will change so that I might run for council again. Meanwhile, I offer a few words to those new councilors who might be lurking. (I would have visited with you during orientation and shared this advice, but now I do so unsolicited.)

I was nominated and urged to run for ALA councilor-at-large by an ultra-conservative librarian. This gentleman was aware of my stance on conservative ideals and values. He knew that I had written a small piece in American Libraries magazine regarding being a librarian who was “right of center” and had presented a conference session at a PLA convention in Boston on that same subject. He asked me to run because he knew I would represent a group of librarians who were often silent and felt their voice was not represented on council. When I ran for council, it was no secret that I was a strong Christian with conservative values. I made it clear that I would represent a conservative voice. And, there were enough voters who wanted my voice to be heard.

Now, that being said, the road has not been easy. From the very beginning, I was personally attacked and flamed both privately and publically via e-mail. But, I stood up and expressed my beliefs on different subjects. My voting record stands on the conservative values I brought to the table. There were times when – out of over 130 councilors – I was the only no vote with my hand raised.

I feel that Council many times crosses a blurred line and spends much time debating issues  of war, civil unrest and anti-US government/military involvement around the world. There seems to be a vocal segment of Council who feel the focus of ALA should be against a world issue or situation. In my opinion, Council should be spending time focusing on how to advocate for adequate and secure funding for all libraries in the U.S. We must keep our libraries open. A recent secondary advocacy role has been to provide an avenue of assistance and support for libraries destroyed by natural disaster (Haiti). This is great.

Please remember – unless this policy has changed – that every council-approved resolution is widely distributed throughout the country. What message do you want our government officials, and those who hold the purse strings to hear? I would rather them be constantly bombarded with the message of the value of America’s libraries and the need to keep them open and well-funded (all library types). In my opinion, the foundation of Democracy is the individuals’ right to access to free and authoritative information. The foundation of Democracy is the library.

So, my advice is to be brave and be strong. If you honestly do not agree with what is being proposed, then stand up to the microphone and professionally deliver your argument. You might be quivering in your boots and nervous as can be. Your voice might be shaky, but I promise you will be heard, and your words will be typed on the screens in front of the room. Your opinion matters. Although we might not agree with each other, for the most part, councilors are professional and respectful. All I know is that I never had any regrets with my vote. Your one vote counts.

On the other hand, listen to the arguments being made in support and against an issue. Your mind might be changed. It is possible to have firm convictions while at the same time be willing to listen to others’ points of views.

Those councilors who know me have probably not read this far in my missive. But, to those of you who have, I will miss seeing your faces. Be nice to the new guys and be kind to each other. We all share the same passion. Please do not ever forget that.

God bless you all and I pray the best for you always,
Library Blog:
Susan Hill Pieper, Director/Editor
Paulding County Carnegie Library
Rural Library Services Newsletter
205 S Main St, Paulding, Ohio 45879
419-399-2032 voice 419-3999-2114 fax
ALA Councilor-at-Large
PLA Executive Board
ARSL Ex-Officio Board Member

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Senate Candidate a Library Criminal?

Is this possible, a US Senate candidate is a library criminal?  Did the Democratic Party's nominee in South Carolina, Alvin Greene, display porn to and possibly molest a college student in a college library at the University of South Carolina?  If so, if the obscenity charge is proven, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), Greene's opponent, will likely be easily reelected, and I'd like to know exactly how did library security fail.

Here are some articles and direct quotes on the topic:
Now it comes to pass that Greene faces obscenity charges based on allegations that he showed a young girl pornography on his library computer screen and made lewd comments to her.
She seems credible, which fills me with heart-ache.  Can "America's candidate" really be a dirty, dirty lech?  Watch to the end or you'll miss her mom describing where, precisely, the incident happened.  Initially I thought she and Greene were attending the same college and had a chance encounter in the computer lab.  Not quite, not quite.
Greene, who has yet to enter a plea or be indicted, was arrested in November and charged with "disseminating, procuring or promoting obscenity" in Richland County, S.C., and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.

The U.S. Senate candidate was captured on video surveillance Nov. 4 trying to show "obscene photographs from a website" to a female victim on the University of South Carolina campus and go to her room without her consent, according to the affidavit.
Added 15 Jun 2010:  Also see, including the court documents linked therein, "Expert: Obscenity Charge Brought Against Alvin Greene Extremely Rare (VIDEO)," by Justin Elliot, TPMMuckraker, 14 June 2010.

Alvin Greene received 28% of the vote or 358,276 votes.  See "South Carolina Election Results 2010: Jim Demint Wins Another Senate Term," by Staff Writers, The Washington Post, 3 November 2010.


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Scott Savage Savaged

Scott Savage savaged.  How else do you describe an academic librarian being harassed for recommending a balance of books for incoming freshmen at Ohio State University, being forced out of his job for suggesting a book comprising that balance, suing, then having a single judge decide "Scott Savage couldn't show that the university made his working conditions intolerable enough to resign."  I wonder how intolerable it has to be.  I guess a little intolerable is okay, if you are a Christian.  Besides, not even the American Library Association [ALA] came to Scott Savage's aid for advocating for intellectual freedom and diversity.


See my previous posts on this topic:

Hat tip LISNews (again on this matter):  "Former OSU Librarian's Discrimination Suit Rejected," by birdie, LISNews, 8 June 2010.

"Intolerable enough"?  "In Monday's ruling, Bertelsman said professors who criticized Savage weren't in a position to discipline him and that the librarian had his supervisors' support."  So it is open season on Scott Savage because his supervisor supported him?  Might his Christianity have had something to do with this?

Is "The Marketing of Evil" itself so evil that an academic librarian should be harassed then censored for recommending it?  And the ALA will not help, even actively aiding in the censorship?  Remember, the ALA does not want any librarians making any judgments about book content when it comes to sexually inappropriate material for children.

Consider that the ALA's Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) claims it is "dedicated to enhancing the ability of academic library and information professionals to serve the information needs of the higher education community and to improve learning, teaching, and research."  Obviously not, if you promote something the ALA opposes.  The ACRL statement vis-a-vis the fate of Scott Savage evidences another ALA double standard, and it is just more ALA propaganda.

I urge Scott Savage to consider an appeal.  Please comment below.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Have You Got Problems?

Have you got problems?  Paul McCartney, in an appearance with President Barack Obama, mocked President George Bush about libraries:

Upon concluding his performance, McCartney aimed a bolt of sarcasm at Obama’s predecessor.  “After the last eight years,” he quipped, “it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is.”  The audience erupted in laughter.   
Source: "Paul McCartney's Cheap Shot at President Bush," by Charles Lane, The Washington Post, 3 June 2010.

"The audience erupted in laughter."  Consider the following:

  1. The President has not yet withdrawn his nomination of former failed American Library Association [ALA] President Carla D. Hayden to be on the National Museum and Library Service [IMLS] Board.  As ALA President, Ms. Hayden promised to help libraries comply with US v. ALA.  Since the ALA advises how libraries can avoid using filters or how to use them in a manner not compliant with US v. ALA while still claiming compliance so as to gain federal money, her promise was either false or she never followed through as the advice provided included how to skirt the law, thereby defrauding the public—and notice the cute legal CYA caveat at the end.  So Ms. Hayden is either incompetent or fraudulent.  In either case, her nomination for a position related to libraries should be withdrawn.  But Paul McCartney made no mention of that while he was on the subject of libraries and presidents.  For more on this topic, see "Obama Nominee Carla Hayden is Unfit for Administration Post; Dionne Mack-Harvin May Go to Jail for Following Hayden's E-Rate Advice."

  2. Second, carefully consider the words of a song written by Paul McCartney and his brother Michael McGear entitled, "Have You Got Problems?":

(Paul McCartney / Michael McGear)
Mike McGear

You wake up, you sip hot tea,
mindless music, radio free.
You see blue skies and think of sea.
How are you doing?
Then later on, switch on TV.
They give me un-news,
they give half truths to me.
They give us whys, they feed us lies.
How are we doing? (yeah, yeah, yeah)
To educate, they fabricate,
and we sit back till it's too late.

Have you got problems?
What are your problems?
Mike McGear Poster Paul McCartney BrotherBring all your problems straight to me.
Trust in me now,
'cause I'm your leader,
don't hesitate now, I'll put you straight.

Think of all the promises made to you.
Think of all the lies that we're going through.
I am the light in your darkest hour.
Through any crisis I will be your power.

Don't believe, don't believe, don't believe
all you're told, all you read, all you're taught,
all you see, don't believe, don't believe,
all you're told, all you read, all you're taught,
all you see, don't believe.

Do what you want.  Do what you do.
What do you want?  Do what you like.
Do what you want.  Do what you do.
What do you want?  Do what you like (all your life).

Have you got problems?

Ironic, no?  Read it again, slowly.

That said, Paul McCartney is a musical genius, and I love this song.  And for those who missed the Mike McGear album named "McGear," if you like Paul McCartney and Wings, you will love this album.  Here's a link to buy it: McGear.

As usual, all of this is my opinion.  Now I ask you.  Have you got problems?  Please comment below.