Sunday, July 24, 2011

Porn and Sex Abuse In Our Public Libraries: Public Library Porn Harms Children, Patrons, Librarians, and Porn Industry Actors

Ladies and gentleman, welcome to this evening's webinar entitled, "Porn and Sex Abuse In Our Public Libraries: Public Library Porn Harms Children, Patrons, Librarians, and Porn Industry Actors."  It is being presented by Morality In Media as part of its series on Pornography Harms and its new Safe Library Project.

Your tour guide this evening is me, Dan Kleinman, from an independent organization called SafeLibraries, and it is easy to follow me on Twitter @SafeLibraries or email

Here is the actual nationwide broadcast; after introductory meandering, the speech begins at the 7:15 mark:

Watch live streaming video from pornographyharms at Speech starts @ 7:15 mark.

Down To The Wire

I have been involved with public library and public school library issues for about a decade.  I am grateful to have been asked to be your guide on this webinar.  After all these years, it is down to the wire for me to organize what I have learned and present it to you so you can learn about the issues and act within your own communities, if you wish.

Hopefully you will learn that porn and sex abuse in our public libraries exists in the first place, what are the issues involved, then what can be done to restore community standards to your own public libraries.  I can't be in 500 places at once.  I need you to act in your own communities to protect your own fellow citizens and thereby your own families.


I got started learning about these issues when my own family got burned by the effects of the policies of the American Library Association, hereafter called the ALA.  You see, I had heard Dr. Laura say the ALA was pushing inappropriate material on children.  Ridiculous.  No way.  Then one day my child brought home a book to read from her fourth day in kindergarten.  I said this is it.  I have reached the top.  A house in the country.  A beautiful wife and child.  And now I have to read to my child like my mommy and daddy read to me.

Cover of Mangaboom
As I began to read I found I had to change the wording because it was entirely inappropriate.  Skinny dipping on a blind date with three guys.  Ohh la la, she said in a lusty voice.  And so on.  For the curious, the book is called Mangaboom.

I brought it to the principal's attention.  After a four day review, she informed me the book was twice as bad as what I reported and that it would be removed from the library.  I asked why the book was given to my child.  Because it was on an ALA list of books approved for kindergartners and the librarian was an ALA member.

Dr. Laura was right!

So I investigated my local public library and found it had a page called "Fun Sites for Kids and Teens."  On that page was an ALA-recommended web site about bestiality and how to have a better orgasm by strangling yourself, and so on.  The library director agreed the link was inappropriate and agreed to remove it, but it was never removed.

I went to the library board meeting and was told citizens are not sophisticated enough to make decisions—that why libraries have boards.  So I started a web site to get people in the town organized.  I suppose I'm a community organizer.  Anyway, that led to my being noticed nationally.

Mr. Soul—Heart of Gold

Mark Decker
Mark Decker of Oak Lawn, IL, contacted me about his public library making Playboy magazine available to children.  Children simply have to ask for a page range and it will be photocopied for them.  "Periodicals Desk staff will make a copy of a text article from Playboy for patrons under the age of 18 who have a specific citation for the article."

He was like Mr. Soul.  He had a heart of gold and thought it was wrong for children to have access to Playboy.  Imagine that.  The nerve of him.

Together, Mark and I created SafeLibraries.  He thought up the name.  Unfortunately, Mark died in a terrible car accident.  More here: "Man Who Fought Pornography in Oak Lawn Dies," by William Lee, Daily Southtown, 14 June 2007.  I continue working SafeLibraries in Mark's honor so that his zeal for protecting children will continue on.

Broken Arrow

Playboy cover
Mark Decker asked his local library to stop purchasing Playboy or otherwise stop making it available to children.

He was shot down by the library.  No, it would make no changes.  From the magazine pictured at right, read: "Check Us Out," by The Playboy Forum, Playboy Magazine, Nov 2005.

But he picked up that broken arrow and kept pushing.

Expecting to Fly

He put out notice in the local paper about the library's policy and asked for signed petitions.  He got hundreds.  Expecting to fly, he presented them to the library.

Again, the library would make no changes.

Sugar Mountain

Now he had a hill to climb.  Did that stop him?  No.  At a town summer fair, an independent pollster determined the townsfolk agreed that the Playboy subscription should be stopped and children should not access Playboy.  That was sweet, like being atop a sugar mountain.  Surely the library would do as its patrons wanted.

No.  The library refused to budge.

Exactly who was in charge of this library that it refused to comply with the wishes of its own patrons?  Are you seeing the case I am slowly building here?  I am in the middle of showing you the total control the ALA has over a public library.  You will hear the ALA say again and again that it has no such control.  So I'm taking you step by step through this so you can see through such misinformation.  Let's keep going.

I Am A Child

Mark Decker never lost sight of the goal.  Children are innocent, like in the Neil Young song, "I Am a Child" (hear excerpt).  Mark sought to protect that innocence, and he saw now that the library was apparently defying the will of the community.  So he kept pushing.

The Loner

It appeared to be a tactic of the library to make Mark appear like a loner, ridiculing him for wanted to force his will on the library, all the while the library was forcing its will on the community.  Mark was no loner.

His next move was to ask the government of the Village of Oak Lawn to take a stand.  It did.  It stood with Mark.  It stood with its citizens.  It unanimously requested the library drop its subscription to Playboy.

Can you believe?  The library refused.  See for yourself:

Did you see that?  The library will continue to allow children access to Playboy.  Children!

Heck, the library even advertised its Playboy subscription, but lied as to an age restriction, which is really unlimited.  See: "Check It Out; Newsletter of the Oak Lawn Public Library," Oak Lawn Public Library, 19:5, September/October 2005, bottom of page 2.

The Old Laughing Lady

The library director, James B. Casey, was himself a member of the ALA Council, a significant group within the ALA.  He got ALA top brass involved in the matter, including the old laughing lady, Judith Krug.  (Sorry, that's not an accurate description of her, but it is in keeping with the musical theme of consecutive song titles from a Neil Young album.)   Judith Krug was the Illinois state ACLU leader who joined the ALA, created the so-called "Office for Intellectual Freedom" and the "Freedom to Read Foundation," then single handedly changed how librarians would approach children.  No longer would librarians keep children from inappropriate material.  Now it is anything goes for children in public libraries and school libraries, and it is a direct result of the ACLU leader's changes within the ALA.  Now you know.

Anyway, the old laughing lady was laughing at Mark Decker and the entire Village of Oak Lawn.  Could you believe some unsophisticated local yokels would try to stop a Playboy subscription in their own public library?  As she put it:

"I get very concerned when we start hearing people who want to convert this country into a safe place for children," she said.  "I am adult.  I want available what I need to see."

But David Smith, senior policy analyst with the Illinois Family Institute, a conservative advocacy group based in Glen Ellyn, said Playboy is degrading to both men and women and that it has no place in a publicly funded library.

"It is not productive," he said.  "Why shouldn't taxpayers like Mark Decker have a say in what goes on the shelves?"

Source:  "Oak Lawn Library Vows to Keep Playboy on Shelf," by Jo Napolitano, Chicago Tribune, 23 June 2005 (alternate URL).

And with that, the ALA forced its will on the Village of Oak Lawn.  To this day Playboy remains available to children, to the best of my knowledge.  To this day, when the ALA feigns it has no influence over local communities, I'll know otherwise, and so will you.

To sum up, the library refused to act even after 1) a citizen complained, 2) a citizen presented hundreds of signatures, 3) a town survey showed most people wanted to stop the Playboy subscription, and 4) the village government unanimously requested the subscription be stopped.  No, the library was forced to do as the ALA demanded, with the ALA's top leader getting directly involved to sink the deal.

And it is amazing the library argued it cannot "be imposing our own personal tastes upon ... the taxpaying public" while imposing the ALA's personal tastes over the entire taxpaying public in the Village of Oak Lawn.  It is a breathtaking example of the double standards that basically define how the ALA operates on many issues too numerous to raise here.

Like a Hurricane

The Oak Lawn Public Library was so successful in defeating its own community that it provided guidance to another community on how to defeat the local population there.  Like a hurricane, the disaster moved from Oak Lawn to St. Louis.  Oak Lawn library director Jim Casey mocked the local community and SafeLibraries as "censors," for not wanting children to access Playboy magazine!  See: "Who's Controlling County Libraries: Taxpayers or the ALA? New Teen Sections at County Libraries Stocked with Sexually Explicit Materials," by Dan Kleinman, St. Louis MetroVoice, 21 August 2008.  The ALA itself calls anyone who complains about anything a censor.  You'll be called a censor.  Don't let it bother you—it's not true.

You have to know when the ALA or its acolytes are controlling your own community so you can stop it.

Why didn't the Mayor sue the library to remove Playboy after it refused the government's request, you might ask?  He was afraid of the ACLU drain on village resources.  Yes, the very same ACLU that used Judith Krug to create the very policy that forces inappropriate material on communities nationwide.  See how it works?  This might help:


But people like us are not helpless.  Hence SafeLibraries was born.  Hence you have come here to listen today about how public library porn harms children, patrons, librarians, and porn industry actors.  With this new knowledge, all backed up with reliable sources, you too can be aware of how ACLU engendered ALA policy is entrenched in your communities and what you can do about it.

Let's get started.


Before we get started, I hope you enjoyed my musical introduction with titles from Neil Young's Decade to warm things up.  "Ain't it funny how you feel when you're findin' out it's real."  It's real alright.

Yes, I still buy Neil Young albums.  I'm listening to Decade while writing this speech.  Anyone here like Neil Young too?

Public Library Porn Harms

Public library pornography harms a lot of people.  Some harm is direct.  Some is indirect.  Some harm isn't even to anyone in the library.  Some harm is nearly harmless.  Some remains forever.  Some harm is done after the fact, like when libraries coverup the harm.  Some harm occurs and libraries don't even know.  Some harm occurs only after you get home.

To help open your eyes to the possibilities of how pornography harms, I will categorize and list numerous instances.  Later I will specify why it happens and who or what is at fault.  That way you can be best informed so that you are not victimized in the first place or so you know how to react afterwards.

First Off, Most Library Visits Will Be Perfectly Safe

Let me say here and now that the vast majority of your library visits will be the positive ones we all expect them to be.  The chances of something untoward happening are slim.  But over time, something might happen, and you want to be prepared and head it off at the pass or minimize the effect.  So far as I know, no other such advice exists, so please pay attention.  And this speech will be available on the SafeLibraries blog so you can look at it again and again as the need arises.

Here we go.

Porn-Viewing Hooligans Beat Up Old Lady

Teenagers who viewed pornography on the Internet computers in a public library went on to viciously attack an old lady—it even made the cover—there she is on the ground:

"An elderly woman suffered a broken arm and jaw after she was thrown to the ground in a daytime mugging by three teen thugs yesterday.  ....  'They're just animals,' said one outraged cop.  'Put a big zoo around the city.'  ....  'People go to church for a funeral and there's gunshots, they go to the library and they're mugged,' Nunziata said.  'Where can you be safe?'  'It's disgusting,' she said.  'It just makes me sick.'  ....   
Police said the elderly victim had just left the Mount Dennis library branch at about the same time the three teens had also left after surfing porn sites on the library computers.  Police said staff had been keeping on eye on them because of what they were looking at, and the trio left.  ....  She described the trio as being around 14 and 15 years old." 
Source: 'Animal' Teens Attack Woman, 84; Victim Suffers Broken Jaw, Arm in Purse-Snatching Outside West-End Library, by Rob Lamberti and Rob Granatstein, Toronto Sun, 8 December 2005.

Public Library Porn Harms Children

Public library porn harms children.  Sometimes people do not even realize it.  Consider the case of a child molested in a public library bathroom and no one knew that it was the result of porn viewing!  I was the person who exposed the truth.  As a result of my work, the Iowa state legislature attempted to pass state library computer filtering legislation.  It would not have happened but for my involvement in that community.

Turns out the Des Moines Public Library refused to filter the Internet because it chose to follow the ALA instead of local interests.  As a result, a homeless sex offender molested a toddler in the restroom.  He was a regular viewer of porn on the computer closest to the bathroom where the toddler's life was changed forever, courtesy of the ALA indirectly enabling the sex offender.  And porn doesn't harm?  And the ALA is not partly responsible?

I'm not bragging.  The point is to show you there are things you can do to make a big difference.  You can do this.  For example, you can pick up a telephone and tell a reporter where you think he may have missed something.  You just have to be aware, and I'm helping you to become aware right now.  To learn more about my involvement in that matter, see "Media-Wake Up to Library Crime Source."

For other examples of children harmed by porn in public libraries, allow me to list some of my past writings on the topic, than come back to this page and view the information whenever you like:

Phew!  That was a long list, wasn't it!  Did I say something previously about library crime not being too frequent?

Think This Can't Happen to You?

Think this can't happen to you and your family in your own community library?  Think again.  This is from that case I uncovered in Des Moines, IA:

Justin Newman [has ...] seen news accounts of grown men arrested on charges that they preyed on children in municipal libraries.  ....  "You don't want to be too fearful," said Des Moines Police Sgt. Barry Arnold.  "But, doggone it, it's pretty bad when it happens in your own backyard."  ....   
Last week, Des Moines police charged registered sex offender [JE] Jr. with sexually assaulting a 20-month-old girl in a restroom at the downtown public library.  ....   
Then Monday, on the same day Des Moines city leaders voted to expand a 2,000-foot boundary law and eliminate the few remaining places where child molesters can live legally, another man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a pre-teen girl at an Ames library [- the man], a library regular, inappropriately touched the girl after he asked whether she would like to see a picture in a book.  ....   

"People think, 'It's Iowa.  It doesn't happen here,'" Lien said as he watched his 2-year-old grandson play on a slide.  "I don't think that makes any difference." 
Source:  "Child Predator Reports Scare Parents; Take a Deep Breath, Keep a Watchful Eye, Officials Say," by [unknown to me], The Des Moines Register, 11 October 2005.

Public Library Porn Harms Students

Library porn harms students too.  Students at Utah Valley University [formerly UVSC] appear to be awash in pornography in their school library.  And notice how illegality and acceptable use policies seem to make no difference, whereas Internet filters would have prevented the problem in the first place:

On average, the UVSC library staff catches at least one person a week viewing pornographic materials on the library computers, and the number of instances of people being caught rises as finals approach.  Twenty-five percent of total search engine requests are porn-related.  The top three searches being: sex, mp3 and hotmail, according to

All UVSC computer labs follow state law, which says: "Public Displays: Utah law (76-10-1228) prohibits public display (at any establishment frequented by minors, or where the minors are invited as a part of the general public, i.e. UVSC), any motion picture, or any still picture that consists of nude or partially denuded figures posed or presented in a manner to provoke or arouse lust or passion."  It is illegal to view pornography on UVSC campus.

All UVSC public computers are marked with a warning stating: "This computer may be monitored for inappropriate use," and computer lab employees have access to monitor what is being viewed on each computer in the facility.

But how often do staff members check it?  One Library employee said they don't check what the students are doing very often.  Usually they wait for someone to approach them with a complaint about another person using the computer to look at porn before they will actually check student computer activity.

The UVSC Library policy also states that persons caught looking at pornography for the first time will receive a warning.  If a repeat offender is caught, library staff is instructed to contact the UVSC Police Department immediately.

Source:  "Can't Look Away; Therapist Speaks on the Damage a Pornography Addiction Can Cause," by Ashley Robertson, NetXNews (Utah Valley State College), 12 March 2006.

Not all students are silent on the issue.  Get a gander at this:

And here's a graphic of students mocking a guy masturbating in a school library:

Public Library Porn Harms Patrons

Oh please.  There must be example after example of patrons harmed by porn in public libraries.  But this story is downright silly—porn viewing caused a fist fight in the Brooklyn Public Library, a library that allows unfettered porn viewing:  "Porn Fist Fight in Library; The Brooklyn Public Library May Be At Fault, Perhaps the ALA As Well."

But I have a scarier story, one that I know but have not yet published.  You see, people contact me when they have trouble in the library and no one will help them.  So what I am about to tell you is literally breaking news, breaking right here and right now.

In the Lincoln, NE, public library, a woman and her boy were in the children's section of the library when the mom saw a man viewing child porn on one of the computers in the children's section.  When she complained to him, he assaulted her, yelling at her an inch from her face and threatening her, frightening her and her child.  When she sought assistance from the library, it refused to act.  The police also refused to act, saying they already had experience with that library intentionally destroying computer records so they already knew there was nothing they could do.  Both the library's refusal to act and the library's destroying records are the result of ALA policy.  

So the mom and her son got the double whammy from the ALA that simple filters would have prevented.  To this day her son will duck down in the car each time they drive past the library.  Sad, isn't it?

Public Library Porn Harms Librarians

Would you believe porn harms librarians and library employees as well?  Worse, to my best recollection, I have never, ever seen the ALA come to the aid of a single one of these librarians.  Not one.  Not once.  Never.

Sometimes not even that very library's management will help.  Don't like getting sexually harassed?  Then leave!  Think I'm making that up?  I am not.  Look what library management told one harassed library employee:

The public library in Birmingham, AL, is a perfect example, and it occurred just last week—and two years ago!  The above picture is from that case.  Two separate library employees have been harassed so badly by patrons fueled up on unfiltered pornography that the employees had to bring suit and file EEOC complaints for sexual harassment on the job.  After the first incident two years ago, the library did absolutely nothing to stop it from happening again.  "If you don't like it leave."  See "Library Employee Harassment Continues As Second Suit for Unabated Porn is Filed in Birmingham Alabama."

Examples of harassment include that "patrons regularly engage in offensive sexual conduct such as masturbation in the presence of children" and that "management has failed to address the matter."

How about this—is this harassment?  Is this sex abuse?  "[S]ome patrons [were] openly viewing pornography on computers, groping her and performing lewd acts in front of staff or other patrons, including children."  Speak out please, how many of you have been groped on the job as a result of porn, then had your manager tell you to get out if you don't like it?

And again, the ALA never assists such people.  Contrast that with how the ALA awards other librarians who allow children to read books having explicit sexual activity.  Those are the kinds of librarians the ALA supports.  Right, Dee Venuto of Rancocas Valley Regional High School, Mt. Laurel, NJ?  See "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."

Here are more stories of librarians harmed by library policy allowing porn:

Public Library Porn Harms Porn Industry Actors

Some libraries are so concerned about the rights of patrons to view porn that they will even cover up instances of child pornography viewing.  See, for example:

Now while libraries bend over backwards to defend the claimed right to view porn in a public library, even though there is no such right according to US v. ALA, while libraries are so sensitive about peoples rights, they could care less about the rights of the porn actors.

That's right, porn actors have rights too.  Like the right not to be killed or abused or forced to be drugged and have sex with animals.  See the Pink Cross Foundation.

Do the librarians who push porn in their own libraries by ignoring the law and their communities care?  How about those who cover up for child pornography?  Do these rights-sensitive people care one iota about these porn actors?  Obviously not.

You need to see this sad video to get the picture of porn victims, men and women, who the rights-sensitive librarians could care less about when they allow porn viewing in the public library despite its being legal to exclude:

What You Can Do About Your Library Allowing Porn

There are a number of things you can do about your library allowing porn.  I have helped you through the first step, and that is becoming aware there may be a problem in the first place.  Once you become aware, once you learn to recognize the signs that your library is no longer under your community's local control, once you realize the harm done to so many by those defying the law to promote a political agenda, then you'll be in a position to start doing something to bring the library into compliance with local standards and local control.

Stay Informed

If you enjoyed this webinar by SafeLibraries, if you would like to see another on exactly what can be done to restore local control to your public library, then please thank Safe Library Project for having me speak today and ask them to invite me back for another webinar on steps needed to clean up local libraries.

What a pleasure it has been speaking with you today.  To keep up with the latest information, please subscribe to our blogs (SafeLibraries, Safe Library Project) and follow our Twitter feeds (@SafeLibraries, @Porn_Harms).  Information is power.

This webinar is available for replay online and embedded above.  The URL for this SafeLibraries blog post page is


Does anyone have any questions?


Goodnight, everyone, thank you all for attending, and thank you, Safe Library Project.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Library Employee Harassment Continues As Second Suit for Unabated Porn is Filed in Birmingham Alabama

The Birmingham Public Library [BPL] continues to support policy that effectively allows unfettered porn, so a second library employee, Karen Jackson, has sued for sexual harassment and other EEOC violations.  See for yourself:

The First Victim of the BPL was Barbara Ann Wilson—The Library Cared Less

I have written about the first library employee in Birmingham to sue, Barbara Ann Wilson: "Library Hostile Environment Lawsuits in St Cloud, MN, and Birmingham, AL, for Title VII Sexual Harassment; Wilson v. Birmingham Public Library Foundation; ALA May Be At Fault and Should Be Sued."  Read more there—see if the matter of CIPA fraud has even been addressed or if it continues unabated.  Anyone care, or is it assumed libraries are blameless?

Witness the power of porn that a library sued for sexual harassment due to its policies allowing unfettered porn cared nothing about its employees and did nothing to protect them.  The BPL simply let the problem fester until yet another library employee sues.  Will it ever end?

Porn May Be Removed and ALA Dogma May Be Ignored

Allow me to remind you that:
  1. Porn may be legally removed from public libraries and American Library Association [ALA] dogma is just that—dogma.
  2. Other librarians harassed as a result of another library flouting librarian and community interests in favor of obeisance to ALA diktat won the limits of the library's insurance coverage, $435,000.  See "Adamson v. Minneapolis Public Library."   Does your community wish to pay this, and more?

Local Governments Can Control Libraries That Act Outside the Law

The scourge of the community will not stop until it is cut off at the head.  Local governments needing the legal basis for reining in such libraries can use as guidance the advice I provided to the Roxbury, NJ, Township Committee on 28 June 2011.  Strap yourselves in for the false information high ranking people will give you to convince you that anything goes, as I explained.

Basically, where the library acts outside the law, the government can force it to act within the law without otherwise violating its autonomy.  And where library policy allows libraries to be open public fora where anything goes, since the US Supreme Court said libraries are only quasi public fora (US v. ALA, 539 U.S. 194 (2003)), then the library is acting outside the law.

I Offer Local Governments My Assistance On Ridding ALA Influence

I will provide guidance to any community that requests my assistance.  How long do you wish to allow the ALA to endanger your communities?  This Birmingham, AL, example shows it'll never get better on its own.  See: "Will Manley Outs Library Profession as the Only One in the World That Wants Children to Have Access to Pornography; Annoyed Librarian Says Some Librarians Sound Like Smut Peddlars."

The Issue is Not Pornography

And to be clear, the issue is not pornography.  The issue is public libraries acting outside the law to allow pornography it is perfectly legal to keep out of public libraries.  The ALA and local acolytes mislead communities to think otherwise.

Library Thumbs Its Nose At the Community

The library is thumbing its nose at the community.  "Library patrons are looking at pornography on the Internet and management is doing nothing about it."  That sound right to you?  Get a load of this from the library management, the library told the sexually-harassed employee, "If you don't like it leave":

Library tells sexually-harassed employee,
"If you don't like it leave."

It is the existing library (mis)management and ALA policy that needs to leave.  It's the community's library, not the ALA's library.

Advice for Adam Morel, Esq.:  Sue Birmingham

I have advice for the attorney for the two women, Adam Morel, Esq.  Sue the City of Birmingham.  It had fair notice of the condition the first time around.  Nothing was done.  It had fair notice that the library might even be defrauding the federal government under CIPA.  Again, nothing was done.  Treble damages might even be appropriate under the right circumstances.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Poo Poo Head Kicked Out of School; Another School Board Removes Another Inappropriate Book

What a pleasure it was to speak with Tammy Harris, a mother who stood up for her child and got another inappropriate book removed from another public school.   The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, by George Beard, Harold Hutchins , and Dav Pilkey is the book.  The Harvey S. Brown Elementary School of the Channelview TX ISD is the school.

I can say it is starting to become more and more common to see this, and I believe it may be the result of the American Library Association's [ALA] Office for Intellectual Freedom slowly losing its grip on the clouding of the minds of local communities.  You see, the school superintendent, assistant superintendent, and the school librarian opposed the removal of a book that prominently featured feces, but the school board, following proper procedure after an initial complaint by Tammy Harris, removed the book anyway.  I believe it was ruled educationally unsuitable and pervasively vulgar, so, under Board of Education v. Pico, its removal was perfectly legal.  And it was not banned, despite how often the ALA uses that term and the media repeat it.

Squish - Bathroom Humor Elementary School Book Graphic

Enough of that, let's get to the facts:

    In summary, the poo poo head got kicked out of school!  Goodbye, Mr. Hankey!

    NOTE ADDED 16 JULY 2011:

    Here's the latest story on the matter:

    Children's book containing ALA propaganda.
    Clearly the book has a sense of humor.  To the right is a graphic showing where the book says, "Insert subliminal messages:  Think For yourself.  Question Authority.  Read banned books!  Kids have the same constitutional rights as grown-ups!!!  Don't Forget to boycott standardized testing!!!"

    Ha, ha, ha, that's really funny.  Too bad it is not true.

    In a major propaganda coup for the ALA, the book merely repeats ALA propaganda it uses when promoting National Hogwash Week: "Read banned books!"  In reality, no books have been banned in the USA for about half a century.  Further, as to the constitutional rights of children being the same as adults, the US Supreme Court said, among other things, "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 apparently, Channelview ISD did just that and removed material inappropriate for children, including the ALA's propaganda.  Bye, bye, poo poo head!

    Sunday, July 10, 2011

    Some Teen Books Surprisingly X-Rated, Study Finds

    "Some Teen Books Surprisingly X-Rated, Study Finds," by Stephanie Pappas of LiveScience, FOXNews, 6 July 2011:

    Television, movies and video games aimed at kids and teens get lots of attention for their portrayals of violence and sex.  But a new study finds that popular teen books, too, can be surprisingly sexual, meaning that reading may not always be the wholesome activity that parents expect.

    In fact, researchers reported online June 8 in the Journal of Sex Research, books aimed at 12- and 13-year-olds were no less sexy than books aimed at readers ages 14 and up.  In addition, sex was rarely presented in a healthy light:  Contraceptives and practical consequences were almost never mentioned, said study researcher Sarah Coyne, a psychologist at Brigham Young University.  (Brigham Young University is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is the largest religious university in the United States.)

    "I would never argue for censorship," Coyne told LiveScience.  "But I do think we're missing something here."

    The "Gossip Girl" books and a vampire series "The Anna Strong Chronicles" were two series that were particularly focused on sex, Coyne said.

    Teens & books
    Electronic media consumption takes up a big chunk of kids' and teens' lives.  A 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study found that, by multitasking, 8- to 18-year-olds actually manage to squeeze almost 11 hours worth of media consumption into 7.5 hours a day.

    But kids still read, too.  The same study found that, on average, this age group spends 25 minutes a day reading books for pleasure.  And researchers say there's no reason to think that the messages in books don't sink in.

    "Teen readers are likely to be very involved or engaged or what we call 'transported' by the narrative," said Jane Brown, a professor of journalism and mass communication at the University of North Carolina.  Brown, who was not involved in the current study, said that tweens and teens often identify strongly with book characters — take, for example, the kids who dressed as wizards to camp out for "Harry Potter" book releases.

    "When that happens, what we know from other research is that [kids] are more likely to accept the story and find it persuasive," Brown told LiveScience.  "So we would expect that a teen reader who is transported by the narrative would be more likely to engage in the kind of behavior she is reading about."

    Several long-term studies have found that kids exposed to more sexual media early in life go on to engage in earlier sexual behavior than their peers, Brown said.  (Other surveys and lab studies turn up similar results.)  Some questions still remain about whether the sexy media causes the behavior or whether kids who are precociously interested in sex seek out sexier books and movies.

    Reader discretion advised
    Coyne and her colleagues culled the top 40 books for tweens and teens from a 2008 list of best-sellers published by The New York Times.  About half of the books were geared toward kids ages 9 to 11, 33 percent were aimed for 12- and 13-year-olds, and the rest were for kids ages 14 and up.

    Many of the books the researchers examined were free of age-inappropriate sexual content, Coyne said.  The "Harry Potter" books, for example, are fairly free of sex.  Of the 55 percent of books that did have sexual content, Coyne estimated that only a half-dozen or so had explicit or implicit references to sexual intercourse.

    "A lot of the books were just great," Coyne said.  "But other books had quite a bit, some quite graphic sexual content.  Some that I was actually really surprised that it was aimed at an adolescent audience."

    Like TV and movies, books rarely dealt with what Brown calls the "three Cs:" contraceptives, consequences and commitment.  About a third of the 56 incidences of sexual intercourse in the books took place between people not in relationships, Coyne found. And birth control was only mentioned four times.  [The History & Future of Birth Control]

    "Probably the books that are said to be for 12- to 13-year-olds are being read by about 10- to 11-year-olds," Brown said.  "And you may not want them reading about sexual intercourse, at least not how it's being depicted."

    The goal is not to censor books or discourage reading, Coyne said.  However, she said, parents should be aware that you can't always judge a teen book by its cover.  In some cases, she said, the content of a book aimed at a 12-year-old would earn it an R rating if it were a movie.

    "What I would love is more information on the back of the book about its content," Coyne said.  "That just empowers parents."

    See also:

    For more on the topic and authors willing to speak out about overly sexualized material for children such as Gossip Girl, see "False Censorship Claims Exposed by WSJ Author Attacked for Exposing Truth About Young Adult Books; Meghan Cox Gurdon Decries Incomplete and Uninformative Book Reviews," especially what Naomi Wolf wrote about Gossip Girl

    When the American Library Association [ALA] saw the success of Gossip Girl, it decided to use its tremendous influence to get more children to read similar books: "The books on this list are perfect for when your readers have finished with every 'Gossip Girl' title in your library and are clamoring for another book like the Gossip Girl," said YALSA President Pam Spencer Holley."

    To read about the ALA actively pushing pornography on children, start with this: "Will Manley Outs Library Profession as the Only One in the World That Wants Children to Have Access to Pornography; Annoyed Librarian Says Some Librarians Sound Like Smut Peddlars."

    The question is, will you allow the ALA to continue to push pornography on your children?  No, no one is really talking about pornography.  But you know what I mean, and so does the average citizen.

    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Is the ALA Harmful to Minors?

    The American Library Association [ALA] works hard to eliminate "harmful to minors" laws and legislation.  Why?  What does that have to do with libraries?

    The ALA Claims to Promote Libraries

    According to the ALA Constitution, "The object of the American Library Association shall be to promote library service and librarianship."

    According to the ALA Mission, the ALA is to "provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

    Where does eliminating "harmful to minors" laws fit into that?  

    The ALA's Top Mission Now is Defeating Harmful to Minors Laws

    FTRF Logo
    The ALA uses the organization it created called the Freedom to Read Foundation [FTRF] to oppose "harmful to minors" laws.  The FTRF just made opposing "harmful to minors" law its top priority.  See for yourself:

    2010–2011 ALA CD#22.1

    (2011 ALA Annual Conference)
    Freedom to Read Foundation
    2011 Annual Conference — New Orleans, Louisiana

    As President of the Freedom to Read Foundation, it is my privilege to report on the Foundation’s activities since the 2011 Midwinter Meeting:


    At the Midwinter Meeting in San Diego, the FTRF Board of Trustees began to set new priorities for the Freedom to Read Foundation, with the goal of firmly establishing FTRF as the premier legal advocate for intellectual freedom in libraries.  The trustees took a number of concrete steps toward that goal here in New Orleans, identifying key action areas and approving elements of a strategic plan that will secure FTRF’s financial future, expand its membership, and make it possible for FTRF to take the lead in litigation that protects the right to access information.  We look forward to concluding the strategic planning process at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.


    The Freedom to Read Foundation’s core mission remains the vindication of the public’s right to hear what is spoken and to read what is written, no matter how the message is communicated to the public.  Laws that aim to restrict publication of constitutionally protected materials—such as state laws that criminalize the distribution of legal materials deemed “harmful to minors” over the Internet—fall squarely within that mission.  FTRF is currently participating as a plaintiff in two different lawsuits that are intended to ensure our freedom to read information published via the Internet without restriction or government interference.

    The first lawsuit, Florence v. Shurtleff, is a long-standing challenge to Utah’s “harmful to minors” statute that would impair access to lawful Internet content and allow the state’s attorney general to create an Adult Content Registry that could sweep in any site the attorney general deems unacceptable.  For several months, counsel for the Freedom to Read Foundation sought to reach an agreement with the Utah attorney general that would restrict application of the “harmful to minors” law to those individuals who have one-on-one contact with a viewer and who subsequently disseminate “harmful to minors” materials to that viewer when the individual knows or believes the viewer is a minor.  These negotiations failed, and FTRF and its co-plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on June 8, 2011.

    The second lawsuit, ABFFE, et al. v. Burns, challenges Alaska’s newly adopted “harmful to minors” statute that criminalizes the distribution of certain material to minors under the age of 16.  Under the new law, a crime is committed if the material distributed fits within the law’s definition of “harmful to minors” and is distributed to a person under 16 years of age or to a person the distributor believes is under 16 years of age.

    As I reported earlier, the federal district court hearing the lawsuit issued a preliminary injunction in October 2010, forbidding enforcement of the Alaska statute during the pendency of the lawsuit.  Subsequently, FTRF and its co-plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment that sought a final declaration that the law violated the First Amendment.  The state attorney general responded by filing both a cross-motion for summary judgment and a motion asking that the lawsuit be certified to the Alaska Supreme Court for an interpretation of the statute.  On June 8, 2011, the Alaska Supreme Court declined the request for certification.  The case will now return to the district court for a decision on the motions for summary judgment filed by both parties.

    The Foundation continues to monitor with interest Sarah Bradburn et al v. North Central Library District, a suit filed by the ACLU of Washington against the North Central Library District on behalf of three library patrons and the Second Amendment Foundation.  The suit alleges that the library violated the plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights by refusing to disable Internet filters at the request of adult patrons, consistent with standards established in the opinion rendered by the U.S. Supreme Court in the Children’s Internet Protection Act case.  The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the North Central Library System policy and actions did not violate the state constitution.  We are currently awaiting a decision from the district court judge, who will decide whether the library’s policy and actions violates the U.S. Constitution.

    Finally, like many other First Amendment organizations, we are anxiously waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (formerly Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association).  FTRF joined an amicus brief in support of EMA arguing that there are no exceptions to First Amendment protection for depictions or descriptions of violence.  The brief also took the position that California’s statute is content-based, subjective, and relies on an extremely broad and unconstitutionally vague definition of violence.  The implications for library material content and access to currently constitutionally protected information, should the Supreme Court decide in California’s favor, are significant.  The last scheduled day for decisions from the Supreme Court this term is June 27, 2011; we will make a full report on the decision at the Midwinter Meeting in Dallas.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Kent Oliver

    President, Freedom to Read Foundation

    Look at all that time and effort and ALA member dues going into defeating "harmful to minors" laws.  Does the FTRF work as hard on any other issues?  How about on library issues, as opposed to "harmful to minors" laws?

    Evident Display by the FTRF of Disdain for Local Interests 

    And that one matter he mentioned about the Bradburn case?  That was a loser for the likes of the FTRF but a winner for communities.  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."

    Notice how the ALA interests were defeated in the state, so it is taking the case to the feds.  "The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the North Central Library System policy and actions did not violate the state constitution.  We are currently awaiting a decision from the district court judge, who will decide whether the library’s policy and actions violates the U.S. Constitution."  The disdain for local control over public libraries is evident.

    Alaska State Harmful to Minors Law Overturned and Librarians Gloat

    To be clear, protecting civil liberties vis-à-vis "harmful to minors" legislation is very important.  There are a number of organizations doing that.  But should library associations that claim to "promote library service and librarianship" "to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all" work to defeat "harmful to minors" legislation?  Then gloat about it?

    The FTRF and the Alaska Library Association [AkLA] were part of a lawsuit seeking to overturn a "harmful to minors" act in Alaska.  Indeed the law was invalidated:
    Then the Alaska Library Association celebrated with this email from the AkLA "Intellectual Freedom Committee" leader dated 1 July 2011:
    Greetings -

    You may remember that AkLA signed on to the lawsuit challenging the law that criminalized "indecent" speech on the Internet that minors might view.  I'm happy to announce that the Federal District Court agreed with us and found the law unconstitutional.  Here's the press announcement.

    An appropriate victory for free speech on July 4th weekend!

    June Pinnell-Stephens
    Sue Sherif
    To add to the gloating, Sue Sherif, the AkLA's ALA Representative and Alaska State Head of Library Development, added the following comment:
    Hooray for our court and their decision, although I have to say that when I read your subject line I had a little scare because it looked like the court had struck down an statute that was intended to protect First Amendment rights!  I hope I’m the only one who scanned it incorrectly.

    Yea, team!
    So we have an Alaska state government employee publicly gloating over the removal of an Alaska state "harmful to minors" law.  And what does that have to do with "promot[ing] library service and librarianship" "to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all"?

    Communities Must Weigh ALA Efforts to Oppose Harmful to Minors Laws

    When people evaluate whether to be guided by the diktat of the ALA in their own public libraries, there is now one more thing to consider, setting aside the evident disdain for local control over libraries—the ALA's FTRF has made defeating "harmful to minors" laws its top priority.

    I can see the ACLU doing that, and it does, but not a library association stepping outside the library world it defines for itself to take on yet another non-library issue, particularly one that may literally be harmful to minors.

    Is the ALA harmful to minors?  Since it exceeds its mission, that is a legitimate concern.