Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ahmed Khalifa: Library Employee of the Year

Hero Ahmed Khalifa - Source
Ahmed Khalifa is the library employee of the year, in my opinion.  This New York City high schooler has a story that reads like a Clark Kent superhero story.  "Khalifa said he was riding the Q home after working a shift at the public library near Grand Army Plaza."

Read the rest here:
His is obviously a safe library!

URL of this page: 
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/12/ahmed-khalifa-library-employee-of-year.html

On Twitter: 
@BKLYNlibrary @FlatbushShomrim

Monday, December 12, 2016

Librarians Guide to Defeating Parents By EveryLibrary

Responding to Opposition: Training Guide by EveryLibrary

So how do we stay on message in the face of our critics? You should realize that, no matter how great your campaign message, your library campaign is going to have its critics.  It doesn’t matter how much the library is loved, the anti-library groups will almost always have some voice in your community.

Responding to Opposition

There are most likely groups of people in your community with the opinion that the library isn’t needed.  There are people who will think that the library should be run by volunteers.  There are people who will believe that the library is doing something malicious with their money.  Finally, there are most likely groups of people who just plain and simply don’t want to pay more taxes no matter what for.

While you should expect to always have opposition, you shouldn’t always expect to have a fight on your hands.  There are ways to quiet the opposition enough that they don’t pose a risk for your campaign.  Remember, you don’t need them to be completely quiet, you don’t need them to love the library, you don’t even need them to vote for the library.  You just need them to not get in the way, vote against, or sabotage the campaign.  Your goal is only to turn them from an active opposition to a passive opposition.

Online or IRL?

Before we begin, I should point out that many of these techniques work for oppositional messages in the comments of blog posts or news articles as well as in real life.  It’s the way that you structure your response that is important and it works across media platforms.  In either case, I want to make sure to note that you should never directly attack your opposition by calling them out by name or specifically responding to just them. Instead of directly attacking your opponent, you should build a message that can be repeated often enough that their message simply gets buried.  You can have your supporters post variations of the same counter message or dozens of positive stories on a blog post until the negative comments are buried.  Whatever you do, don’t validate them or fuel their anger, mistrust, or hatred by attacking them.

Sources of Opposition

It’s extremely important to know who your opposition is and why they don’t support the library.  This is something that should ideally be done during the surfacing phase of your campaign but new opposition can show up at any time.  Luckily, in the case of libraries, you have something up your sleeve.  We at EveryLibrary have heard just about every possible opposition message to libraries, from the most ridiculous, to the most reasonable.  Here are some of the most heard opposition messages that we have heard;
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that (homeowners/small business owners/residents) can’t afford to pay.
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • We don’t need a new library
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • Libraries are irrelevant because I never use them
What you also need to recognize is that some people will never change their view or opinion no matter what you say or do.  Attempting to convince them otherwise will be a huge waste of resources and not something that your campaign can not afford to do.  It is far more important to go out and engage the people who are already on your side and get those voters to the polls in greater numbers than the opposition can. You can be much more effective talking to people who are on the fence than those who have already made up their mind.

The desire to respond to the opposition directly can be difficult to resist.  Instead there are ways that you can use the opposition to build your supporter base.  You can actually turn your opposition’s messages against them and use those messages to convince your supporters to get to the polls.  You can use the public debate to educate the public about the issues and build greater support.  This paper will outline how to do just that.

Listen

The first thing that you should always do when handling discussions from people who have concerns about library ballot measures is listen to them.  Since nearly all opposition stems from a place of fear, you need to handle their concerns with respect and show a concern and understanding about what they are afraid of.  Don’t directly oppose their position as that will give them a sense of validation and you will remain actively opposed.  Instead, you should listen and respect their opinion and don’t be afraid to ask meaningful questions.  Once you have their source of fear, you can alleviate it.

Repeat

Once you know what their fear is, the first thing you should do is repeat it.  You should not directly counter their argument with an opposing viewpoint since this will be perceived as combative and people will fight back until they feel that they won.  By repeating their concerns or fears you prove that you understand them and that you respect their ideals and the repetition will be almost immediately calming.
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners….
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information…
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high…
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provided to the community…
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion and our volunteers are very valuable…

Question

Sometimes the opposition is unclear about their messaging, or what they are saying doesn’t make sense.  If you can’t figure out what their fear is, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You can usually get to the root of the issue by kindly asking questions and addressing the root issue.  Most people will feel that you genuinely care if you are asking questions and you can help move them over from active to passive opposition.

Get back to the message

Here is where that message box comes in and where you can see how useful it is.  Since you should have already brainstormed and/or recorded as many of the opposition’s messages, you will be able to develop “and” statements to craft your counter message.  The “and” statement is what you use after repeating their concern.  This is how you are working to solve the same issue that they are concerned about.  This is how you show that you are actually on their side and that you both have the same concerns.  It is very important that you use an “and” statement and not a “but” or a “yes but” statement.  You should never use a “no” statement because you are not disagreeing with them.  You are trying to show that you agree and that you are both actually on the same side.
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners AND that’s why we provide so many resources that make being a small business owner easier
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information AND that’s why we want to increase the community’s access to it and add value to what you get from it.
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high AND that is why it’s so important to me to provide services to the community that help bring the cost of living down and the value of the community up.
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provides to the community AND that’s why it’s so important to us that we continue to provide the services of the old library and the kinds of services that you deserve in a modern age.
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion and we love our volunteers AND that’s why the library uses as many volunteers as we can to streamline our processes and free up our paid staff to provide the best services we possibly can

Reinforce Your Message

You can reinforce your message by using examples of how you’re achieving your “and” statement.  These examples should be concrete and provable.  You should never lie and say that your library provides something that it doesn’t or something that you can’t prove that it provides.  This is also where that message box comes back into play. You can use your opposition’s messages to research your examples so that you have them in mind before the discussion even begins.  It’s always best to give more than one example, but you should probably never offer more than three in order to avoid the appearance of “I gotcha.”
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners AND that’s why we provide so many resources that make being a small business owner easier. FOR EXAMPLE, we often have programming on hiring staff for small business owners and we offer patent and trademark classes to teach small business owners to protect their property.
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information AND that’s why we want to increase the community’s access to it and add value to what you get from it.  FOR EXAMPLE, we offer high speed internet access along with databases that provide a level of well researched and scientifically supported articles that you just can’t find for free on the internet.
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high AND that is why it’s so important to me to provide services to the community that help bring the cost of living down and the value of the community up. FOR EXAMPLE, we provide opportunities for teens and youth to volunteer and become engaged citizens and we provide storytimes for new parents to help the children with early literacy and get them ready for school.
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provides to the community AND that’s why it’s so important to us that we continue to provide the services of the old library and the kinds of services that you deserve in a modern age. FOR EXAMPLE, with a new library, we can provide for programming space to support our growing community and we can provide access to even more materials.
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion AND that’s why the library uses as many volunteers as we can to streamline our processes and free up our paid staff to provide the best services we possibly can.  FOR EXAMPLE, we love having our volunteers take on roles that free up staff to work on higher level tasks such as budgets, training, and working with high level technology issues.

Arm Your Campaign

These counter messages are your campaign’s weapons against the opposition so while these answers work well, they are not formatted for your community of voters and you will need the right weapon at the right time.  Everything that we have used here are simply common examples and you will need to do some opposition research and continuously revisit and use your message box with any of the opposition messages that you come across.  Most importantly, you need to practice with your weapons to get back on message.  This means taking some time with your campaign committee and volunteers and doing role playing games where one person plays the opposition and you respond to their claims by getting back to your message using the correct format.  Record some of the best responses, distribute them to your campaign members, and make sure that everyone has them memorized and is well trained on responding to the opposition.

The Opposition’s Outright Lies

Sometimes the opposition lies.  There is not a whole lot you can do about that.  We have seen it happen in a number of campaigns and the problem with lies is that because they are not based on fact, there is very little evidence to the contrary.  But there are a few things that you can do about it in order to simply pacify the opposition until the campaign is over.  Remember that you are simply trying to win the election and you don’t need to discredit or prove the liars wrong, you just need them to be quiet until the campaign is over.

One of the biggest lies that we have seen crop up around election time is that of porn in the library.  Often, these library detractors will try to use examples of porn issues in other libraries, a lack of filters on the computers, and language and content in YA materials to “prove” that the library WANTS to expose kids to porn.  Of course, we know that there is no truth to this ideology but there is typically very little you can do to disprove it.

Solutions for Opposition

While you’ll find that there are people in the community who are serious in their opposition to your library, there are a few things you can try to do to either get them to quiet down or get out of the way.  We are going to use the porn in the library discussion as our example in the these three solutions.
  1. One technique would be to simply use the same Agree, And, For Example format that we discussed earlier.  In the example of the individuals concerned about porn we can use this-
-Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we also want our children to be safe and secure while they are in the library so we take your claim very seriously AND we are going to do something about it. FOR EXAMPLE, we are going to look into a committee to seriously look into the exposure of porn to children in the community.
  1. You can invite them more into the campaign to be a part of the solution.  You can talk about how the library really needs the resources that the win for the library would bring in order to ensure that the library can protect the kids.  With the money you can purchase better filters and take staff time to look at the collection development policy or build a committee specifically to protect the children.  Of course, if you make these campaign promises, you will need to deliver on them if you win.
  2. Another solution is to side-step the campaign and form a committee to look into the issue.  In this case, you might even invite the detractor to be a part of the committee.  You can set the schedule of meetings and the timing of the outcomes of the committee to occur AFTER the Election Day.  This is a very common political ploy used often in campaigns that utilizes a diversion and delay technique to work around election days or long enough until the voters have forgotten about the issue.

Build Your Story

Sometimes you might find that you can build your story.  What this means is that you find people in your community who can tell the opposite story.  You will need to identify community members who can show up to meetings and tell a personal account of the opposite experience.  In the case of porn in the library, you can have community members show up to meetings and talk about how their kids are not exposed to adult material on the computers or that their kids found value in the books they read at the library and that they could then have a meaningful conversation about the issue with their children.  They can tell stories of being responsible parents who monitor their children in public spaces.  If you use this technique, never mention or directly oppose or attack the person making the original claim.  Simply bury their claim in great stories that tell a counter account of their experience.

Ignore Them

The last technique you can use is to simply ignore them.  Sometimes, if you ignore the lie it simply doesn’t gain enough momentum and traction and goes away.  This is risky, but if you know enough about the detractor or who they know in the community, you can make an informed guess as to whether or not they can get enough support of their claim to become a problem.  The detractor may simply go find something else to lie about somewhere else in the community.  This is usually because they are trying to build a name for themselves or play a “hero” role in the community and they won’t be able to gain that role if nobody steps up to be the villain.

One thing that you should never do is openly debate, criticize, or demean the person bringing up the lie.  They can use your open debate to validate themselves and their claim.  If you criticize or publicly demean them, they can make the claim that you are simply trying to put them down because they are close to “the truth.”  You will become the villain that they are looking for and they will make the case that they are the hero.



Source of above (except the title):
  • "Responding to Opposition: Training Guide," by Patrick Sweeney or Andrew Woodworth, EveryLibrary, 21 October 2015 (free subscription required to view; republished under Fair Use Copyright rules for educational, nonprofit purposes).
Note:  The title of this post, "Librarians Guide to Defeating Parents By EveryLibrary," was written by SafeLibraries.  The "guide" itself was written by EveryLibrary and labels parents as "biggest liars" and "detractors":
One of the biggest lies that we have seen crop up around election time is that of porn in the library.  Often, these library detractors will try to use examples of porn issues in other libraries, a lack of filters on the computers, and language and content in YA materials to “prove” that the library WANTS to expose kids to porn.  Of course, we know that there is no truth to this ideology but there is typically very little you can do to disprove it.
Previously, the American Library Association's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" labeled any parent who ever complained about anything as a "censor":
So whether parents are labeled as "liars," "detractors," or "censors," librarians as being trained, as this EveryLibrary "guide" proves again, to defeat parents.

By the way, ALA opposes labeling books—but labeling parents is a useful means for bullying, ridicule, and sending the message to other parents that they should not themselves dare challenge anything whatsoever.  It's a propaganda technique called "jamming."

The last section of the above "guide" called "Ignore Them" is about SafeLibraries as just months before one of the authors besmirched my efforts to stop the sexual harassment of librarians and convinced other librarians to ignore me.  He is an "ignore them" expert:
EveryLibrary even actively censors me to hide my exposing how ALA is involved in the sexual harassment of librarians, child pornography, and homophobia.  Yes, EveryLibrary deleted proof ALA hides its homophobia.  See 1) before, 2) after censorship.

EveryLibrary is a federally registered 501(c)(4) "Social Welfare Organization."  One wonders what attacking every single parent who complains about anything such as pornography in libraries has to do with "Social Welfare":

Source: EveryLibrary at YouTube:
https://youtu.be/4p9qcPmgrZk?t=3m50s
Indeed, since EveryLibrary assists in attacking parents who seek libraries that comply with the law and/or community standards instead of with ALA diktat, such as allowing Internet porn including child pornography in public libraries despite the law, then EveryLibrary may be in violation of 501(c)(4) "because planning and sponsoring illegal acts are in themselves inconsistent with charity and social welfare...."

If you are helping to spread Internet pornography and child pornography in public libraries and school libraries by organizing attacks on those seeking to end such things, where's the charity and social welfare in that?  Why should the public subsidize that?

SafeLibraries is happy to present EveryLibrary's "guide" for librarians on how to defeat parents.  Knowing the tricks of the librarians seeking to enable libraries to violate the law, the identity of the tricksters, and the potential for influence on local librarians may help parents who seek redress of their government in accordance with the law and despite the diktat of ALA or the organized bullying of EveryLibrary.