Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mom Exposes Breastfeeding Fiasco in Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

A mom has exposed her breastfeeding fiasco in a public library.  Below is the incident as played out on Twitter.  This involves mom Kelle Pressley @QCSuperMOM in the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library @CMLibrary.  Then I stepped in @SafeLibraries, responded to both the library and the mom, and encouraged the mom to write about the incident, which she did.  Basically, the library did not follow state law when it asked the mom to move, it sort of apologized, and the mom has commented on the apology.

Note:  I give the library credit for engaging with people as it did on Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere.  Contrast such honesty and openness with the silence from the Lancaster Public Library for censoring a book teaching children to recognize and report s3xual abuse because it has a Christian tone.

Be sure to read what the mom wrote about the incident—here's just an excerpt:
  • "Wednesday Wow!  Breastfeeding In the QC," by Kelle Pressley, qcsupermom, 22 August 2012:
    I thought this would be a quick visit, but it wasn't so I shift [my two month old baby] inside my white, thin, cotton shirt to feed him.  The only thing visible was his soft curly brown locks.  Seconds later a library volunteer approached me(twice),then the female security guard (twice), and finally the older female supervisor.  The message was consistent, plain and clear.  I cannot nurse at the computer.  I had to stop, get up and go into their 8x10ft nursing cellar.  I refused each time telling them I knew my rights and not only were they violating my rights as a library patron, but also as a breastfeeding mom.
"Wow!" is right!  Did you know many libraries allow pronography despite the law and sometimes when people complain, the complainer is asked to move?  One library even kicked out a mother for complaining about someone viewing child pronography!  Another library destroyed the evidence of the presence of someone viewing child pron.  And a breastfeeding mother is told to move despite the law allowing public breastfeeding?  Wow.

At least the library apologized, though it was one of those apologies that actually places the blame on the victim ("if you felt uncomfortable") and conveniently changes the facts ("simply to offer her the option"): "The Library apologized if she felt uncomfortable at any time during her visit to the Library....  The intention of Library staff in approaching her was simply to offer her the option of a private space, not to interfere with her ability to nurse her child."

Here's the library breastfeeding story as it unfolded on Twitter among the participates, in chronological order:
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QCSuperMOM
Shame On You for NOT knowing breastfeeding rights! Tune in TODAY to WBTV at 5pm! I will be dicussing recent... https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=1120538&l=c88b1fdf4c&id=119279381468720
8/17/12 1:31 PM-Friday, 17August2012
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QCSuperMOM
Boy do people have opinions......but guess where I am & what I'm doing RIGHT NOW! My super powers will not be shamed! https://www.facebook.com/TheQCSupermom/posts/452599234773367
8/17/12 2:51 PM-Friday, 17August2012
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WBTV_News
Breastfeeding mom asked to leave public library computer room http://www.wbtv.com/story/19307914/breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave-room-in-library #cltnews
8/19/12 5:29 PM-Sunday, 19August2012
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QCSuperMOM
Here's the video from the news station. Does it sound like an apology to you? http://www.wbtv.com/category/240205/video-landing-page?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7626292
8/20/12 12:36 PM-Monday, 20August2012
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SafeLibraries
#Porn okay in some #libraries but definitely not breast feeding moms @cmlibrary! http://www.wtsp.com/news/watercooler/article/269194/58/Breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave via @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 12:42 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries To confirm: breastfeeding moms are welcome, we even have a designated room @ specific location. ^jd @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 8:51 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries As story confirms, there was miscommunication, but situation was rectified. ^jd @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 8:52 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries In addition, your tweet gives the impression that we allow porn @ our branches; we do not. ^jd @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 9:03 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
Generally speaking, many #libraries do, let alone 50 Shades of Grey “@cmlibrary: ... we do not [allow porn]. ^jd @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA”
8/21/12 9:05 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries While you may be correct, your tweet gives the impression that you are speaking about us/to us. ^jd
8/21/12 9:09 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
I am. U have 50 Shades of Grey, e.g. “@cmlibrary:...your tweet gives the impression that you are speaking about us/to us. ^jd”
8/21/12 9:21 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
@CMlibrary: 50 Shades of Grey is porn + u have it: http://catalog.plcmc.org/?q=fifty+shades&searchType=catalog See: http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2012/06/ncac-pushes-porn-on-libraries-fifty.html @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 9:21 AM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries The aforementioned title is, indeed, in our collection. http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-is-hottest-book-in-Charlotte-151210475.html ^jd
8/21/12 4:58 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries So again, to confirm, mother was not asked to leave, and we do carry '50 Shades' titles.Thank you for dialogue. ^jd
8/21/12 5:00 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
Stand for something or fall for anything- Breastfeeding is what boobs are for! http://www.kltv.com/story/19331316/breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave-room-in-library
8/21/12 5:18 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
I was told to get up & go to the 12x12 non window having nursing room, during the last 23min. of my appointed computer time. @SafeLibraries
8/21/12 5:21 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
@QCSuperMOM I think u were treated unfairly. @CMLibrary has #porn http://www.wcnc.com/news/local/Fifty-Shades-of-Grey-is-hottest-book-in-Charlotte-151210475.html but you can't breastfeed discretely? @WTSP10News
8/21/12 5:25 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
@SafeLibraries @WTSP10News They stated that I was"notified about the nursing rm"...I guess it took 3 staff members to communicate it 2 me.
8/21/12 5:32 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
@QCSuperMOM Plz consider writing a guest blog post on my SafeLibraries blog. Sadly, ur story is not unique: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156658/Mother-thrown-Minnesota-library-breastfeeding-son.html @wtsp10news
8/21/12 5:36 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
@SafeLibraries @WTSP10News I will. See it by noon. Send your email.
8/21/12 5:48 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
SafeLibraries@gmail.com “@QCSuperMOM: @SafeLibraries @WTSP10News I will. See it by noon. Send your email.”
8/21/12 5:49 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
@socialmoms Have you see this?http://www.wbtv.com/story/19307914/breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave-room-in-library
8/21/12 5:54 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
Have you seen this article? It's happening way too much. What should we do about it? http://www.wbtv.com/story/19307914/breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave-room-in-library @5minutesformom
8/21/12 5:55 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
Public #library @CMlibrary "humiliates" breast feeding mom @QCSuperMOM: http://www.wbtv.com/story/19307914/breastfeeding-mom-asked-to-leave-room-in-library @WBTV_News @WTSP10News @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 6:26 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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cmlibrary
@safelibraries, @QCSuperMOM situation an awesome 'teachable moment' & reminder of NC statute. All staff have been reminded. Thank you. ^jd
8/21/12 6:47 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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SafeLibraries
@cmlibrary: Excellent response. Pobody's nerfect. #ALA is right to recommend regular policy review. @qcsupermom @ALA_PLA
8/21/12 6:50 PM-Tuesday, 21August2012
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QCSuperMOM
@SafeLibraries Here's the blog post. Thanks for the invite! http://qcsupermom.wordpress.com/?p=3307&preview=true
8/22/12 11:28 AM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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SafeLibraries
Breastfeeding mom on #library ordeal: MT @QCSuperMOM: "Here's the blog post: http://qcsupermom.wordpress.com/?p=3307&preview=true " @cmlibrary @wtsp10news @wbtv_news @OIF
8/22/12 11:45 AM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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QCSuperMOM
@cmlibrary @WTSP10News @WBTV_News @OIF Ignorance of the law excuses no man: ......... and no man can tell how to refute him.
8/22/12 11:55 AM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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cmlibrary
@QCSuperMOM @safelibraries Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s position on breastfeeding in locations ^jd #cmlibrary http://us.vocuspr.com/Newsroom/Query.aspx?SiteName=cmlibrary&Entity=PRAsset&SF_PRAsset_PRAssetID_EQ=80137&XSL=PressRelease&Cache=True
8/22/12 12:23 PM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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cmlibrary
@WTSP10News @WBTV_News @OIF Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s position on breastfeeding in locations ^jd #cmlibrary http://us.vocuspr.com/Newsroom/Query.aspx?SiteName=cmlibrary&Entity=PRAsset&SF_PRAsset_PRAssetID_EQ=80137&XSL=PressRelease&Cache=True
8/22/12 12:24 PM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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SafeLibraries
Here's the mom who was forced by a public library to breastfeed elsewhere despite the law. http://www.facebook.com/SafeLibraries/posts/348766555205397
8/22/12 10:19 PM-Wednesday, 22August2012
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NOTE ADDED LATER SAME DAY:

Clearly Kelle Pressley (a.k.a. Kelle Perkins) appreciates my assistance in this matter.  I say this because I offer to help anyone having any problems with public libraries.  Here's one of our conversations, depicted below:



I just found out it's NATIONAL BREASTFEEDING MONTH!  Nothing like getting treated rudely by a library for breastfeeding in a library during National Breastfeeding Month!


NOTE ADDED 4 SEPTEMBER 2012:

In response to a tweet of mine to #libchat so that librarians can discuss this breastfeeding harassment case, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library responded that it wanted to take part in that conversation, then it blocked my ability to follow it on Twitter.  1) What is it hiding, and 2) Why is it denying my free speech?

SafeLibraries
@nataliebinder #Libchat'll b during #DNC2012 @DemConvention Charlotte. Discuss @CMLibrary harassing #bfing @QCSuperMOM: http://t.co/EwWrSABw
9/2/12 10:08 PM-Sunday, 2September2012
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cmlibrary
@nataliebinder If chosen as a topic for #LibChat, we'd be happy to participate in dialogue. cc: @safelibraries ^jd
9/3/12 3:16 PM-Monday, 3September2012


I could tell I was blocked because I could no longer see its tweets and it simply said "Private Account."

Remarkably, while writing this note, and within minutes of my tweet minutes ago about having been blocked, the library has re-established my ability to follow and has followed me.  I'm willing to say this was an accidental block based on the library's tweet in response, unless "untrue" pertains to the issue of harassment, not to the block.
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SafeLibraries
@CMLibrary, which harassed #bfing @QCSuperMOM, has blocked me from reading its @Twitter feed! So much for #FreeSpeech! http://t.co/EwWrSABw
9/4/12 9:05 AM-Tuesday, 4September2012
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cmlibrary
@SafeLibraries Untrue. ^jd
9/4/12 9:10 AM-Tuesday, 4September2012
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SafeLibraries
Thx, @CMLibrary, for re-establishing my ability to follow u on @Twitter, and thx for following me. I now follow you.
9/4/12 9:11 AM-Tuesday, 4September2012



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