Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Most Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools Says Harris Poll

A Harris Poll shows, "A majority of Americans say ... that books with explicit language should not be available to children in school libraries (62%)."  Source: "Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books; Large Majorities, Including Most African Americans, Oppose Changing 'Nigger' to 'Slave' in 'Huckleberry Finn'," by Samantha Braverman, The Harris Poll® #47, 12 April 2011.

Short URL for this page:
http://tinyurl.com/MostOpposeExplicitBooks



Harris Poll Shows Most People Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools

The Harris Poll tested "2,379 adults (aged 18 and over)" and showed that most people oppose banning books.  No kidding.  That is not the most interesting part of the poll since no books have been banned in the USA for about half a century, the last being Fanny Hill.

The most important information revealed by the poll was in response to the question, "Do you think that children should or should not be able to get the following books, or types of books, from school libraries?"  On average, 62% percent opposed "books with explicit language."  No other category rated higher.

Here is an interesting breakdown that shows, among other things, opposition to explicit books in public schools rises to 74% in certain groups:

TABLE 1B
BOOKS CHILDREN SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET FROM SCHOOL LIBRARIES
"Do you think that children should or should not be able to get the following books, or types of books, from school libraries?"

Summary of those saying "probably should not" or "definitely should not"

Base: All adults

TotalGenerationGender
Echo Boomers (18-34)Gen X (35-46)Baby Boomers (47-65)Matures (66+)MaleFemale
%%%%%%%
Books with explicit language62486168745767

TotalEducationPolitical Philosophy
H.S. or lessSome collegeCollege gradPost gradCons.Mod.Lib.
%%%%%%%%
Books with explicit language6265625853746142

That evidences that the majority of the public opposes school library books having explicit language.  See Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853 (1982), allowing for the immediate removal of such books from public schools.


Importance of Harris Poll Results to Communities

Why is this Harris Poll important to communities?  The ALA, the National Coalition Against Censorship [NCAC], and the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] actively work to convince communities to ignore community standards so as to get communities to decide for themselves to allow their own public school children access to explicit material in public school libraries.  The Harris Poll, on the other hand, shows the majority of people oppose explicit material in public school.  So that will enable communities to gauge what are the community standards, provide a solid basis for that support, then apply those standards even when the ALA / NCAC / ACLU say the opposite.


ALA and NCAC Awards Librarians Who Oppose Community Standards

The ALA and the NCAC, for example, award school librarians when they reflexively report to them and support allowing public school children access to explicit material.  See, for example, "School Media Specialist Passes Sexual Content Review to Students; Dee Venuto Says It Is Discrimination to Keep Children From Material Including Lengthy, Vivid Descriptions of a Ménage a Trois."  One of the books that public school librarian Dee Venuto supported for children included the following depiction:



The Harris Poll now makes clear that most people do not want explicit material in public school libraries.  That graphic shows two boys watching two men doing something explicit.  That's the type of material most people do not want children to have in public schools.  That's part of the material for which librarian Dee Venuto won awards from the ALA and the NCAC.


Harris Poll Used By Library Community for Propaganda

The Harris Poll itself has been used by the library community for propaganda purposes.  By leaving out the information that most people oppose explicit material for children in public schools, the poll takes on a misleading light.  Read this for yourselves and see if you agree, and notice the information about the explicit books is completely missing:  "Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books," by North Dakota Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Blog, 14 April 2011.

That is copied wholesale, by the way, from the Harris Poll without attribution, in other words it was plagiarized, but by itself it presents an incomplete story, therefore it is misleading.  By contract, here is a media source that gives the whole story along with proper attribution:  "Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books; Large Majorities, Including Most African Americans, Oppose Changing 'Nigger' to 'Slave' in 'Huckleberry Finn,'" by Harris Interactive, The Sacramento Bee, 12 April 2011.  Being honest and truthful is not that hard to do.  I have noticed the ALA makes a practice of plagiarism.  See also, "Most Americans Opposed to Banning Any Books?," by Rob, The "C" Word, 18 April 2011.


ALA Silence on Harris Poll Shows It Hurts ALA Efforts

The ALA itself has not addressed this particular Harris Poll.  It is my experience the ALA never reports on anything that does not favor its viewpoint unless forced to do so, such as its loss in US v. ALA.  This confirms to me that the ALA sees the results of this Harris Poll to be a threat to its efforts to convince the public not to protect their own children.  That's why I am broadcasting this threat to the ALA—because it helps communities to protect their children.  Remember, the ALA mocks protecting children, then attacks those who attempt to do so.


Examples of Common Sense and Community Standards

Lastly, here are some refreshing applications of common sense and community standards in public schools:

Natasha Friend, the
award-winning author
of PERFECT, LUSH,
BOUNCE, and FOR KEEPS

These people didn't let the ALA / NCAC / ACLU fool them into allowing explicit material in public schools.  You shouldn't either.  And now you have the Harris Poll for further support.


NOTE ADDED 13 JUNE 2011:

The ALA has finally commented on the topic!!!  See:
Here is the comment I added:

MOST OPPOSE EXPLICIT BOOKS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS SAYS HARRIS POLL

Gordon Flagg, I am happy to see the ALA finally addressing the Harris poll. I see it somewhat differently than you do, however, and I ask you to see “Most Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools Says Harris Poll” for my view.
Basically, since no books have been banned in the USA for about half a century, the most interesting and useful part of the poll is that most people oppose explicit books in public schools. As you say, “Respondents were somewhat less keen on unfettered access when it comes to making materials available to children in school libraries. …. [A] strong majority (62%) say that school libraries should not offer books with explicit language.”
That’s the real takeaway of the poll. We already know people oppose banning books—that’s why there’s been no book banning in the USA for about half a century. The new material revealed by the poll is that most people do not want explicit books in public schools. That is highly relevant as the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom would have people believe they are censors for believing that. The nation comprises 62% censors, if the OIF was to be believed.
When I advise people who ask me about explicit books in public schools, I advise them the Harris poll shows most people agree with them, and that may indicate community standards. I give them a short URL to emphasize the point:tinyurl.com/MostOpposeExplicitBooks.
I am happy you mentioned that most oppose explicit books in schools. Too bad the OIF will continue to oppose communities trying to implement the common sense/community standard expressed in the Harris poll. I will not only advise people of the Harris poll, but now I’ll point to your article to show the ALA is aware that most people oppose explicit books in public schools. Yet the OIF will continue to oppose communities. I think people should know that when considering how much weight to give to the ALA’s censorship claims.
Thank you very much.
.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Porn Fist Fight in Library; The Brooklyn Public Library May Be At Fault, Perhaps the ALA As Well

Porn—summarizes the Brooklyn
Public Library perfectly, no?
There was a fist fight over porn on the Internet computers in the Brooklyn Public Library [BPL]. Two guys were charged.

The real culprits?  The library itself that allows the porn while violating the law in exchange for millions of dollars fraudulently obtained, and the American Library Association [ALA] that advises libraries including the BPL how to sidestep the law.

It is more than likely the incident would not have occurred if the library actually complied with the law it claimed to follow on paper but not in practice.  And the library knew this was a problem, only making its culpability worse, and right from the start as well.  My guess is this fraud and the attention brought to it is why former BPL Director Dionne Mack-Harvin quit for greener pastures in El Paso, TX.

So one guy punching out another over porn in a library?  This library may be at least partially at fault, and perhaps even the ALA.

I will happily assist legal counsel for both fight participants—a library with millions of dollars in ill-gotten gains sounds like deep pockets to me.

Now here is the news and the ridicule—it seems everyone but the library realizes the library is wrong:
  • "Porn Punch-Up in B'klyn Library," by Jamie Schram, New York Post, 20 April 2011.
    A man traded blows with a porn-loving patron at the Brooklyn Public Library and was slapped with assault charges -- while the sex addict got off easy, police sources said.
  • "Library Porn Lover Punched Out By Vigilante," by Sam Biddle, Gizmodo, 21 April 2011. (Note: photo credit goes to this Gizmodo story—it summarizes the Brooklyn Public Library perfectly.)
    Man, sometimes all you want is to just settle in at the library, fire up some internet porn, and have yourself a time.
  • "Brooklyn Public Library No Place To Watch Porn...But Great For Fist Fights!," by Ben Yakas, Gothamist, 20 April 2011. (Cites to a story that called me a "library watchdog.")
    All of the city's libraries, including the Brooklyn Public Library (BPL), have a rich and storied history of creepy dudes checking out porn on their computers.... Obviously, we've been doing something very wrong by masturbating in the comfort, safety and relative anonymity of our own homes.
  • "Brooklyn Library Patrons Exchange Blows Over Porn, Library Computer Use," by Jen Doll, The Village Voice, 20 April 2011.
    It is apparently 'okay'... to watch porn in the Brooklyn Public Library, on the Brooklyn Library computer. What is not okay is becoming impatient while waiting to use the library computer, probably because you have to update your resume or something actually kind of important, while it is being used by someone who is leisurely just watching porn. What is not okay is then 'becoming irate,' and exchanging 'blows' (the fist kind) with that person.
Please comment below on what you think about my opinions and the sources I have linked.

.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Michigan Libraries at Risk of Massive E-Rate Fraud; Michigan Library Privacy Act May Need Amending

Michigan libraries are at risk, but it is not for the reasons claimed by the "information activist librarian," linked below.  Read on to see an email I sent to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder about the potential for massive E-Rate fraud by Michigan libraries and the possible need to amend the Michigan Library Privacy Act.

I call for an investigation by the Michigan government and/or media.  That's my money that may have been fraudulently obtained.

Dear Michigan Governor Rick Snyder,

Having spoken today with one of your legislative aides, I submit the following information regarding Michigan libraries.

I am aware some library advocates are urging those in the library community to contact your office to pressure you to act as they wish.  For example, see "Michigan Libraries At Risk," by Anthony Molaro, The Information Activist Librarian, 15 April 2011.

I am writing to inform you that some Michigan libraries may be defrauding the federal government of millions of dollars.  This information may be of value to you as you consider the matter of library funding.

In a nutshell, some Michigan libraries are getting federal funding under the E-Rate program for Internet access (as opposed to telecom access) that is available only after certifying all library computers are filtered.  However, a Michigan state law requires all libraries that filter to have at least one unfiltered computer.  Even one unfiltered computer eliminates access to federal E-Rate funding for Internet access.  No Michigan library should be getting funding for Internet access due to that state law, yet many do, and for years.  They must have certified they filter all computers.  But they know they do not due to compliance with state law.  Libraries are a great community resource, but they should not obtain funding fraudulently.  Worse, they should not demand more money on top of the money fraudulently obtained as first the fraudulently obtained money needs to be returned to the federal government.

It is the Michigan Library Privacy Act that requires one computer to remain unfiltered.  397.606: "By reserving, to individuals 18 years of age or older or minors who are accompanied by their parent or guardian, 1 or more terminals that are not restricted from receiving any material."
Of course, I could be wrong.  But it is likely a simple matter to research.  If it is true, Michigan libraries may have fraudulently obtaining millions.  Should people/organizations with unclean hands now have their financial demands rewarded?  Governmental leaders or the media should perform an investigation.  This is a starting point for research on what library received what, how much, and when: http://www.universalservice.org/sl/tools/search-tools/search-commitments/  (To me, any funding received in 2004 and beyond is relevant as US v. ALA finding CIPA constitutional was decided in 2003.) 

Perhaps consideration should be given to changing that state law.

I have been examining this issue for years and have already reported three libraries (non-Michigan) to the FCC.  If I may assist in any way, please let me know.  In particular, if you obtain contradictory information from a library source, contact me for additional information as such information is often merely "dogma." 

Thank you.

Respectfully submitted,

Dan Kleinman

Email:             SafeLibraries@gmail.com
Blog:               http://SafeLibraries.blogspot.com/
Web:               http://www.SafeLibraries.org/
Library News:   http://delicious.com/plan2succeed


NOTE ADDED 20 APRIL 2011:

It seems my call for changing the state law to avoid CIPA fraud is engendering a call for statewide filtering.  And I appreciate receiving and am happy to add an opinion of the Michigan Attorney General:


Gmail Safe Libraries

Attorney General says ALL library computers can lawfully be filtered

AFA-Michigan Mon, Apr 18, 2011 at 7:02 PM
Reply-To: AFA-Michigan
To: "SafeLibraries.org", Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov, couraudg@mlcnet.org, info@highwoodlibrary.org, HCWhistleblower@usac.org
The Michigan attorney general's office last year issued an opinion (see attached) affirming that a local library board can -- in compliance with state law -- require that all public access computers in a public library install and use pornography-filtering software.

Michigan law should be amended to require that all public libraries in the state do so.

Gary Glenn, President


DOC_4_19_2010_9_11_35 AM.pdf
193K



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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Molested Children in Los Angeles Libraries May Be Direct Result of Governmental Malfeasance; Los Angeles Times Interview of SafeLibraries Reveals Government Was Warned Against Employing Privacy Screens

Privacy screens do not stop
child molestation in public libraries
Molested children in Los Angeles public libraries may be a direct result of governmental malfeasance.  The government was warned about the failure of "privacy screens" to protect children from harm, provided with incontrovertible evidence, but the government choose to use privacy screens anyway.  When in the future a child gets molested in the Los Angeles Public Library, it may be the result of someone viewing porn behind a worthless privacy screen.  The city may be exposed to significant legal liability, especially where it was warned ahead of time of the likelihood of that very crime.  I did the most recent warning.  And past media reports also provided warning.  Future litigants should contact me for assistance.

Having sent a letter to the Los Angeles City Council, I published it in a comment at the well-respected LibraryStuff blog that made it visible to many.  Possibly as a result, I was contacted by the Los Angeles Times for information relating to this matter.  The next day, the following was published:

A 2003 Supreme Court decision said public libraries that receive federal money have the authority to install filters that block pornography and other obscene material that may be harmful to children until a patron asks for it to be unblocked.

Dan Kleinman, who runs the website SafeLibraries.org, said in a letter to city officials that such filters are necessary to keep library visitors safe.  Privacy screens aren't enough, he said.

In an interview, Kleinman, who lives in New Jersey, pointed out that libraries already have book selection policies and should have similar guidelines that determine what people can view online.

Excerpt source:  "Los Angeles Libraries Grapple with Online Pornography; After a Recent Outcry About Online Pornography at a Chinatown Branch Library, Los Angeles has been Working to Protect Bystanders While Not Infringing on Computer Users' 1st Amendment Rights," by Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, 13 April 2011, p.AA-3, hyperlink in original.

Look at that sentence, "Privacy screens aren't enough, he said."  That's right.  And I was far more specific in the letter to the city, even including a hyperlink to a news story of an investigation of privacy screens in a nearby library and the many children molested there:

And "privacy screens" are useless, except as political cover to make an excuse for why filters should not be used.  Here’s a story from the San Francisco Bay area that may convince you, and watch what happens when the library director gets caught in a lie: "Porn, Sex Crimes At Libraries; I-Team Investigation," KGO, 29 Nov 2006 ( http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=i_team&id=4808374 ).

Privacy screen on library computer showing how
ineffective the screen is for blocking what's displayed.
See what I wrote about this I-Team Investigation at my See For Yourself page:

Jane Light:
"Avert your eyes"
San Francisco Bay Area, CA:  "Porn, Sex Crimes At Libraries; I-Team Investigation," KGO, 29 Nov 2006,  "[T]he Martin Luther King Library has a problem with pornography.  They have no rule against viewing photographs or full-screen sex videos from Internet sites, even with children nearby.  Chief librarian Jane Light says it's a matter of free speech.  ....  ABC7's Dan Noyes: 'I've seen the [privacy] screens and I see how they work and the stuff is visible from behind.  You can see everything.' Jane Light...: 'So you can avert your eyes.'  ....  San Jose's police blotter over the past year lists several arrests for child porn at the library, at least ten cases of child molestation or other sex crimes involving kids and several cases of men viewing porn and performing a lewd act, right at the terminal.  ....  Sgt. John Laws, San Jose library police: 'It showed him sitting at the computer terminal and ... masturbating.'  ....  Marcia Stacke, Child Quest International: 'You know, sometimes I wonder if we're just too afraid to be, I don't know, sued in this country.  We've got to step out and protect our kids.  Enough is enough.'"

And look at what's directly below that:

Los Angeles, CA:  "Lawless Libraries?," CBS 2, 16 Nov 2006 (An anonymous library security officer warns, "I absolutely wouldn't send my kids to any branch in the city of L.A. because they are unsafe."  A librarian said, "I think that it's gonna take somebody getting killed before management really pays attention.  That's how bad it has gotten."  "[T]he library wants to keep this information under wraps.  'The management wants to cover this up because they don't want people to think the libraries are unsafe but all you have to do is talk to any library staff member and they'll tell you how safe it is,' the anonymous officer says.")

Now given the specific warnings the government was given, given the warnings contained incidents of child molestation, given even the librarians themselves spoke out against crimes, in LA itself, no less, it seems to me the government has opened the door to significant liability for deciding to allow pornography in public libraries claiming fear of litigation while at the same time choosing known ineffective means that are falsely named privacy screens and ignoring the litigation threat from molested children and the like.

I checked the law that created the library to see if it contained language that would indicate the provision of unlimited pornography was outside that law (ultra vires).  The Reference Services of the LA Law Library informed me as follows:


The establishment of the Los Angeles City Public Library rests on the Los Angeles City Charter, Article V Departments, beginning at section 530.  This can be found on the Internet through the web site of American Legal Publishing (http://www.amlegal.com/library/ca/losangeles.shtml) which provides editorial and distribution services under contract to the city.  You can also reach the same web site from the City of Los Angeles web site (http://www.cityofla.org/SubMenu/CityCharterRulesCodes/index.htm).

I checked that section and more.  The language, however, did not define the purposes for the library, so that was a dead end in this case.

Next I looked at library policy.  The "Mission Statement" says, "The Los Angeles Public Library provides free and easy access to information, ideas, books and technology that enrich, educate and empower every individual in our city's diverse communities."  Pornography of the kind viewed on the millions of the Internet's pornographic web sites is not "informative."  It contains ideas, but of the carnal nature, not those that "enrich, educate and empower every individual."  Allowing pornography exceeds the library's own mission as stated in its own words.

The government created the library.  Although the enabling law was silent, allowing the library to exceed its own stated mission may make the government vulnerable to liability for harm caused as a result of criminal acts occasioned by its permissive action.  If the government is so concerned about lawsuits, and it said it was concerned about First Amendment suits for failure to allow pornography, then perhaps the government ought to reconsider its decision to jettison filters in favor of privacy screens.  Privacy screens simply do not work, as the following graphic illustrates:

This public library patron is viewing pornography
on a computer having a "privacy screen" of the
very same kind as shown in a graphic above.
Notice how little the "privacy screen" blocks.
And let me add this.  The Los Angeles Times reaching out to me for my input on how some in the library community will mislead those in government is particularly noteworthy.  Why?  Because it was the Los Angeles Times itself who had already been misled by those in the library community, so my point was essentially already made.  You see, the American Library Association [ALA] used the Los Angeles Times to propagandize about a low quality map of "censorship" that it plagiarized, claiming the map as its own.  For specific details including the older Los Angeles Times story, see "How ALA Plagiarism Becomes Truth Through the Media Lens; SafeLibraries in USA Today."  (Months later, the ALA plagiarized that very USA Today story, see "SafeLibraries in ALA Media Again; Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom Plagiarizes Story ALA Planted in USA Today and Miller-McCune Magazine.")

Is Los Angeles exposed to litigation
risk for crimes in public libraries?
So tell me, in comments below, what you think of this opinion of mine.  Do you think the government has opened the door to serious litigation risks?  If a child is molested by a porn viewer using a worthless privacy screen, is the government in any way responsible for its decision to use such privacy screens given the knowledge it had of repeated and serious criminality, etc., and despite the library lying to the government by claiming privacy screens were effective ("Library officials told the committee that terminals have screens that are hard to view from angles....")?

This is an interesting matter, is it not?  Not to potential crime victims, of course.

Now, with due respect to US Copyright §107 Fair Use, to further the education of the readers, and due to the original link being no longer valid, I reproduce below relevant information.  Notice all the people speaking anonymously out of fear, including librarians.  Notice the library crimes remained hidden until CBS 2 News did an investigation and reported the results.

Remember I used the word "malfeasance"?  With a history of crime like shown by CBS 2 News, and with the other information at hand to the government, is it not malfeasance to allow unlimited pornography in public libraries that will likely produce more public library crime? 


Lawless Libraries?
by CBS 2 News
16 November 2006

(CBS) LOS ANGELES - Libraries are thought of as a safe haven where kids can escape into a world of books.  After school they're packed with children biding the time until their parents get out of work.  But take a look at who may be sitting next to them…


Our undercover camera caught this man using the library computer to view pornography—right out in the open!  And that's just the first chapter in a long list of crimes we found—along with a warning from this library security officer who wants to remain anonymous. 


"I absolutely wouldn't send my kids to any branch in the city of L.A. because they are unsafe," he said.


Hundreds of pages of reports obtained exclusively by CBS 2 News show what's going on in the L.A. city libraries. 


We found a threat to kill a 13-year-old student.  People carrying concealed weapons, which were confiscated at the library.  Stabbings.  Syringes.  And librarians being attacked. 


"It was the most horrible experience I've ever had in the workplace," said one librarian who also wanted to remain anonymous.  She says she was assaulted by a teenager and there was no one to stop it.


"There was no, no security.  No assistance when I needed it.  And it was very ugly."


"I think it's gonna take somebody getting killed before management really pays attention.  That's how bad it has gotten."


Wendy McPherson has worked as a librarian in the Los Angeles city system for eight years and she has seen it all. 


"There are some branches that have gotten so unsafe that there should be security there on all hours that it's open," McPherson said.


We also discovered libraries are havens for sex. We watched one man use the library computer to watch porn. 


Incident reports also detail consensual sex in the bathrooms—groping between the book aisles and lone sex at the computers.  Our security officer says the library wants to keep this information under wraps.


"The management wants to cover this up because they don't want people to think the libraries are unsafe but all you have to do is talk to any library staff member and they'll tell you how safe it is," the anonymous officer says.


Overall, we found incidents are going up. 683 incidents reported in 2005 and 646 already reported in just the first seven months of this year.
  The numbers break the myth—according to this librarian—that libraries are a safe place for kids.


"Parents need to understand that they need to accompany their children when they come to visit the library," the librarian says.


Ironically the plan was for safer libraries this year.  That's because in February library security was consolidated under the city's general services police department.  Hundreds of officers were added citywide.  But some librarians say security has actually gotten worse.


Unarmed library security officers—are now backed up by armed officers from the office of public safety.  But besides answering library calls, these armed officers answer calls from 1,500 facilities citywide.  Critics say the two departments are spread so thin—there's actually less security. 


"How safe do you think the libraries are?"


Police Chief Gary Newton defends the consolidation. 


"I would say to a parent the libraries are safe.  Statistics show there are only about 25 incident reports generated per million visitors."


He claims incidents are actually down—although he doesn't have numbers to back it up.  But he candidly admits resources are stretched thin.


"In a perfect world, there would be more public safety staff to service our libraries but the reality is there's limited budget money within the city and we do the best we can with what we have," Newton says.


The chief is looking for more money.  But until then, L.A.'s youth looking to learn in the libraries may be getting an unwanted education on crime.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc.  All Rights Reserved.)


NOTE ADDED 16 APRIL 2011:

The decision to allow unfettered porn in public libraries by using the excuse of moving the computers and using useless privacy screens has become the butt of jokes.  As one said, the inmates are running the asylum:

Argus Hamilton
Argus Hamilton:

The L.A. Public Library moved its computers across the room so people watching porn aren't visible to children at the checkout desk.  City officials said people have a constitutional right to watch porn in a library.  Roman Polanski is starting to think it's safe to come home

This quote can also be found here:  "Column: L.A. Library Policy has Polanski Excited," by Argus Hamilton, The Daily Courier, 13 April 2011.

Banned Library:

I really have nothing to say about this.  Simply another case of the inmates running the asylum.  Why not just put up a little red curtain to the adult computer lab?  Hell, we already check IDs at the door in some way or another.  I only have one question:  When do we get to have liquor licenses?


NOTE ADDED 17 APRIL 2011:

For appearing in the Los Angeles Times article, I have come under withering ad hominem attack.  See: "Safe Libraries dot Org?," by Russell Smith, The Hollywood Librarian, 17 April 2011.  I have left the following response that is, as of this writing, not visible due to normal comment moderation:

I have a response. 

You said, "They believe that libraries should install filters that will block out pornographic material." 

That is incorrect.  My "beliefs" are irrelevant.  Instead, SafeLibraries provides accurate information to communities and their leaders so that they can make informed decisions.  The information provided by some is false.  This is not just my opinion.  The information is so false that even library directors specifically call out the "dogma" of those who seek to mislead communities.  See, for example, "Library Porn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal Porn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma" at http://tinyurl.com/ALAdogma or see "Librarians are Guardians of a Trust, by Jo Ellen Ringer, Notus Public Library Director and Guest Writer" at http://tinyurl.com/JoEllenRinger

You said, "The head of this organization is a man named Dan Klineman. The LA Times reports that he wrote a letter to 'city officials.' In this letter he said that 'privacy screens are not enough,' and that 'filters are necessary to keep library visitors safe.' I must confess that Mr. Klineman needs the services of a librarian to make his website more user friendly. It's really a mess. Nowhere on the website was I able to discern if Mr. Klineman has a library degree." 

Setting aside the misspelling of my name, my appearance in the LA Times is discussed, then your very first reaction is an ad hominem one to attack me personally for having an ugly web site and for lacking a library degree.  People who make personal attacks broadcast that they have no substantive argument on which to stand.  Indeed several paragraphs are devoted just to ridiculing me.

You said, "For instance, a google search on 'breast cancer' might filter out the majority of the information." 

As it turns out, that is part of the dogma exposed by the library community as false.  Even an ACLU expert now admits modern filters no longer block health related information.  And note, I back up my statements with facts, not personal attacks.  See, for example, "ACLU v. Gonzales, E.D. Pa., March 2007."  http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/07D0346P.pdf

You said, "Mr. Klineman compared book selection, or collection management as it is sometimes called, to Internet policing and said they were basically the same thing. When I read this in Ms. Linthicum’s story, I was aghast." 

I am not surprised to hear of this claimed surprise.  Perhaps you should read or reread US v. ALA.  Here's the URL for anyone to see what the Court said about this, and it aligns: http://laws.findlaw.com/us/539/194.html  It also aligns with what Eugene Volokh said, "However, Volokh said the city could have a plausible argument for banning pornography in its public libraries. 'Clearly the city is entitled to decide what books to buy for libraries,' Volokh said."  http://www.bhcourier.com/article/Local/Local/Los_Angeles_Council_To_Consider_Porn_In_City_Libraries/75621 

You said, "If you go to Safe Libraries dot Org's homepage, you are greeted in big, bright, blue lettering with a question, 'Are Children Safe in Public Libraries?' Then directly below this question, in smaller print is the answer, Children Are Not Safe in Public Libraries. In my opinion, before somebody starts to tell someone how to run a library, that somebody should have a degree in Library Sciences." 

Interesting opinion.  Fortunately, the ALA's former 40 year de facto leader, Judith Krug, has a library degree.  She's the one who said, "I get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children.  I am adult.  I want available what I need to see."  http://www.safelibraries.org/oak_lawn_library_vows_to_keep_playboy_on_shelf23jun2005by_jo_napolitano.htm  I feel assured that I would have the full backing of the 40 year de facto leader who held a library degree to say children are not safe in public libraries.  Claiming I need a library degree to make that statement that the ALA's own former leader would make is just another ad hominem attack due to a lack of a substantive basis for why people should follow ALA dogma instead of legal precedent allowing a community to protect its own children from harm.

That said, thank you for writing about me.

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Monday, April 11, 2011

SafeLibraries in ALA Media Again; Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom Plagiarizes Story ALA Planted in USA Today and Miller-McCune Magazine

ALA's Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom Logo
What is it called when two substantially similar stories appear in separate media sources authored by different people at about the same time for something not necessarily newsworthy?  What is is called when content is substantially copied then claimed as one's own?

The American Library Association [ALA] has caused false flag stories to be published in two major media sources.  It then plagiarized one of the stories.  Precisely because of the apparent deception by the ALA, both media sources should be held harmless.

Here are the stories, and I'll ignore for now the false information the ALA caused to be contained therein.  Notice the substantial similarities:


This comes to my attention now as a result of the ALA writing about me, SafeLibraries, again, this time in the March 2011 edition of the ALA's Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom [NIF] (a subscription to NIF costs $70/year despite the "intellectual freedom"):


The ALA itself has apparently substantially plagiarized the USA Today story.  Compare the two.  It is interesting to see the differences. 

For example:
  • USA Today: "The number of reported challenges in the past 30 years has hovered between about 400 or 500 each year, says Deborah Caldwell-Stone, an attorney with the American Library Association."
  • NIF: "The number of reported challenges in the past 30 years has hovered between about 400 or 500 each year, according to Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Associate Director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom."  

I find the removal of the reference to being "an attorney with the [ALA]" to be telling, particularly where the attorney has possibly committed unethical and/or illegal acts that I will bring to the attention of her state's board of legal examiners for further disposition as befits the facts. 

Note also the claim to copyright by the ALA of the story it changed from the USA Today original.  I find the ALA is making plagiarism a regular part of its practice.

Excerpt of SafeLibraries in the ALA's Newsletter on Intellectual Freedom, March 2011
Will someone tell me why the ALA that plants media stories and plagiarizes, including the planted stories, should be taken seriously?  Please comment below.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Librarians are Guardians of a Trust, by Jo Ellen Ringer, Notus Public Library Director and Guest Writer

Librarians are Guardians of a Trust
by
Jo Ellen Ringer
Library Director, Notus Public Library, Notus, ID
8 April 2011

In rural communities like the one I serve, all computers are usually in one spot because of the amount of electric wires needed.  So the person viewing porn on one computer is sitting next to a child playing a game or doing homework on the next computer.  It is very easy for that child to view what the adult is viewing.

How the Nampa, ID, library handled that was to put privacy screens on their computers.  Rural libraries do not have the money, nor often the desire to do so.  If computers are in the middle of the library, people are less likely to pursue questionable topics on the Internet, especially since other library users are walking by.

The Notus, ID, library uses an online filter that blocks violent, racist and pornographic sites.  I did not think that those extra categories were necessary but it came with the filter.  Then I discovered, through teens complaining the Internet wasn't "working," that they were trying to access brutal gang fights and decapitation of dogs.  I was sickened.  I explained we had a filter to block online violence so they would have to go elsewhere to access these videos.

Another rural librarian had a convicted felon in her library using the computer.  She decided to walk by his computer several times and saw that he was studying information on arson.  He had formerly fire bombed a public building in her town.  She made the decision to report him to the authorities.  She brought up this issue in a librarians meeting and asked what others would have done.  The consensus was they would not have reported him.

What would the result of her silence been?  Another fire bomb with perhaps human deaths this time.  We are guardians of a trust that few public workers have.  That librarian did honor the trust of her community.

There are two issues here: "proper" (based on local standards, not ALA standards) expenditure of public tax dollars in our communities, and using the trust given to librarians in wise ways.  Education and information are the twin missions of any library.  Are we meeting those goals?  Pornography, violence, bomb-making are not for the public good, nor do most taxpayers wish to support this with their taxes.

I would add a third mission for rural libraries, caring for the children.  Latchkey kids are seen in all rural libraries after school.  We watch over them until parents get home from work.  In the summer it becomes a full-time job for rural libraries.  Parents are trusting us.  Let's be worthy of that.

Parents presume we are keeping their children safe and occupied in educational activities.  No parent assumes that "educational" means access to porn and violence for violence's sake.  To be clear, I am not speaking of works that portray the horrors of war or racism: books or films on war or genocide.  Deadly gang fight videos do not qualify as "educational" in my opinion, nor in the opinion of the community I serve.  Let's earn the trust our communities have invested in us.

Jo Ellen Ringer, Notus Public Library Director


###   30   ###


NOTE FROM SAFELIBRARIES:

Libraries are not well served by blind adherence to the anything-goes attitude of the American Library Association [ALA].  And the ALA will not publish, let alone entertain, the works of conservative librarians.  Scott Savage comes to mind.  Therefore, SafeLibraries has presented the above excellent guest blog post by Jo Ellen Ringer.  She is the library director for the Notus Public Library in Notus, ID, where she has been since 2003.  All graphics and hyperlinks were obtained and inserted by SafeLibraries.  All guest bloggers are welcome.

By the way, legal pornography may be legally removed from public libraries, privacy screens are demonstrably ineffective, and even rearranging furniture does little to stop porn viewing in public libraries.

Note that Jo Ellen Ringer has appeared prominently in one of my blog posts on the Idaho Public Libraries Internet Filter Act, specifically this one:


© 2011 Jo Ellen Ringer; published by SafeLibraries with permission.

JO ELLEN RINGER WILL BE HAPPY TO RESPOND TO YOUR QUESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!!  Enjoy!

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

Idaho Library Assoc Fools Public, Negates Library Filtering Legislation by Successfully Lobbying to Make Idaho 2011 HB205 Worthless, and Provides Example of Effective Propaganda Not to Allow in Legislative Filtering Efforts

The Idaho Library Association [ILA] has fooled the public and negated filtering legislation by successfully lobbying to make Idaho 2011 HB205 worthless.  It is an example of effective propaganda not to allow in your own statewide library computer filtering legislation efforts.  I am forced to announce I am available for hire to help prevent such debacles.

Here is the key.  After fooling the public, the ILA wanted no one to misunderstand that the legislation now ready for the Governor's signature is worthless.  Here are the facts upon which I make this observation—see if you agree with me and comment below:


  • House Bill 205
  • HB 205 in its original form
  • Amendments to HB 205 that change "shall" to "may" and remove the need for "bona fide research", thereby allowing for anything legal, including pornography
  • HB 205 as amended and ready for the Governor's signature
  • "Librarians and the Legislature - Idaho Librarians Meet with Gov. Otter, Idaho Legislators," by Ben Hunter, Idaho Library Association, 1 February 2011
  • "[libidaho - ILA] ILA Position on Internet Filtering," by Natalie Nation and Becca Stroebel, ILA Legislative Committee Co-Chairs, Idaho Library Association, 8 April 2011, discussing "recent misrepresentations of the Idaho Library Association’s position on internet filtering" by clarifying that, "According to the bill, all Idaho public libraries ... are given the choice to decide whether or not to filter for adults," and note the inclusion of an article about a Pastor (of all possible examples to use this one about the religious leader 1] smacks of Christian bashing, 2] is a double standard to use for evidence filters fail when the ILA would claim sentences out of context cannot be used to keep inappropriate material from children, 3] is a disingenuous example of the efficacy of librarian monitoring since the ILA has no intention of using the filters as described in the article about the Mississippi library and doesn't monitor behavior such as masturbation, and 4] smacks of Christian bashing again because it is an inapposite example to use for the reasons asserted):
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Natalie Nation
Date: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 4:42 PM
Subject: [libidaho - ILA] ILA Position on Internet Filtering
To: libidaho@ala.org

In response to recent misrepresentations of the Idaho Library Association’s position on internet filtering,  we are posting our position to the Idaho Library Association Legislative webpage and are including the official position statement below:

ILA's Position on Internet Filtering

The Idaho Library Association believes that individual public libraries and their governing boards are best equipped to set an internet policy regulating appropriate use at their library.  Public libraries and their governing boards create and adopt internet policies that reflect local values and these policies are revised in response to input from local citizens at open board meetings.  The Idaho Library Association acknowledges that filters are imperfect and may not block inappropriate content as well as block legitimate content.   We believe that individual Idaho public libraries are best equipped to develop and set internet policies that will best serve their communities.

The Idaho Library Association was happy to reach a compromise with the Idaho Legislature regarding House Bill 205 – Public Libraries Internet Filtering Bill.  According to the bill, all Idaho public libraries will be required to utilize internet filtering for minors’ internet access, but public libraries retain the ability to disable the filters for lawful internet use and are given the choice to decide whether or not to filter for adults.  We believe that this compromise has presented a workable solution for most Idaho public libraries and allowed us to retain local control over the decision to filter for adults as well as flexibility when assisting children.

In closing, I would like to share the following recent article about a Pastor caught bypassing library filters to view child porn.  This article affirms both the inefficacy of filtering software and efficacy of library staff in catching and resolving situations as they occur:

http://www.wreg.com/news/library-porn-folo040511,0,6522370.story

Sincerely,

Natalie Nation and Becca Stroebel

Natalie Nation
Branch Manager - Silverstone Branch
Meridian Library District
www.mld.org
natalie@mld.org

LibIdaho is brought to you as a service of the Idaho Library Association.  http://www.idaholibraries.org/
Become a member today!
The ILA has pulled the wool over somebody's eyes, perhaps the whole state of Idaho.  That's no "compromise," it's an evisceration. "The bill does not define the term 'bona fide research'"?  Come on.  How weak is that?  Is "public library" defined?

The Governor should NOT sign the bill.  He should send it back until it is restored to its original form or rewritten.  The bill is worthless otherwise, except to make people feel good and to set an example for the value of propaganda.

The intent of the bill was to require "all Idaho public libraries to maintain Internet filters on their computers to protect children from viewing illegal pornography."  The amendments the ILA lobbied and the subsequent statement by the ILA show filtering is not required; children will not be protected from the porn they see on the computers used by adults or the crimes committed by the adults using unfiltered computers.  It is a major defeat for state mandated filtering and a poor example for other states to copy.

I gave credit to the ILA for compromising.  I now see, in light of the ILA statement of 8 April 2011, I spoke prematurely.  The ILA cleverly and effectively negated the legislation.  A lobbying job well done.  As the crimes against children continue rolling in, consideration should be given to the ILA's complicity.

How about deleting "Idaho Library Association" and inserting "community standards" since communities are concerned about their children while the ILA is "trained to refrain from judging the appropriateness of patron's selections"?  As the US Supreme Court said, "The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."  And that Court approved filters on all computers, for bona fide research, not just on those intended for children, like HB 205, for anything legal, like pornography.

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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Librarian Strongly Supports Filtering Legislation; Notus Public Library Director Jo Ellen Ringer Tells It Like It Is

Notus Public Library Director Jo Ellen Ringer strongly supports filtering legislation and exposes that "[e]very librarian knows full well that non-filtered computers are used for pornographic purposes."  And, "Is porn information?  NO!"  Heresy!

In a comment to a recent post of mine she wrote:

J.Ringer said...

I am probably the only librarian in Idaho that totally supported the filtering legislation.  I made my legislators aware of my career and my backing of the bill.



Every librarian knows full well that non-filtered computers are used for pornographic purposes.  No one denies it.  I have yet to encounter the person who is doing breast cancer research, thus needs filter turned off.



Why should public tax dollars go to support porn addicts?  That is the bottom line, not freedom of information.  Is porn information?  NO!

I have seen men publicly masturbating while viewing porn on library computers.  When I reported this to my supervisor (at Nampa, ID library), I was told it was none of my business.  I wondered if it became "our" business if he sexually assaulted some child in the library bathroom after this viewing.

I expressed my views to the Idaho Library Association and was quite disappointed that they chose to fight filtering.  All filters can be turned off NOW for legitimate research.



Jo Ellen Ringer, Notus Public Library, Notus, ID

Thu Apr 07, 04:28:00 PM 2011

Brava Jo Ellen Ringer!  She now joins other librarians and library directors willing to speak out about the "dogma," like Dean Marney.  See, "Library Porn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal Porn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma."  Or like Will Manley; see, "The Anything Goes ALA is Out of the Mainstream by Defending the Right of Children to Access Pornography in Public Libraries."

Maybe it is time that librarians and library directors rise up and speak out about what they know to be true.  I will make that happen as best I can.  For example, here's an open invitation to guest post on this SafeLibraries blog.  You are not alone.  The American Library Association's anthem need no longer be "Smut!" if enough people speak out.

And thank you, Jo Ellen Ringer, for commenting on my blog post and getting this ball rolling.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Idaho House Votes 69-0 for Filters in Public Libraries; HB205 Goes to Governor for Signature

"Idaho Legislation to Safeguard Internet Use at Public Libraries Wins Final Lawmaker Approval," by The Associated Press, The Republic, 5 April 2011, reprinted under §107 Fair Use:

BOISE, Idaho — Legislation to require library computers to use filtering software to block content deemed offensive to minors has cleared the Idaho Legislature.

The Idaho House voted 69-0 to approve the bill on Tuesday, sending it to the governor's desk.

The measure was amended since first introduced in the 2011 session and now gives more libraries flexibility in blocking content and deciding when filters should be turned off.  The measure would also not go into effect until October 2012, giving libraries time to make all necessary changes or upgrade filtering software.

Republican Rep. Mack Shirley of Rexburg says the changes to his bill emerged from discussions with the Idaho Library Association.

A previous version of bill would have withheld public funding for libraries that didn't comply with the new rules.

Congratulations to Citizens for Decency and all citizens of Idaho.  69-0!  Outstanding!

Congratulations go as well to the Idaho Library Association.  A state library association working with its local community is a positive example other state library associations could emulate.

My previous post on this topic was:
    Click for further information on HB205, the 2011 Idaho Public Libraries Internet Filter Act, now ready for the governor's signature.

    Hat tip: Library Stuff.

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