Saturday, January 21, 2017

Brave Librarian Speaks Out as ALA Facilitates CHILD Porn

Judith Krug defending child pornography in public libraries.
Former Illinois ACLU board member Judith Krug became American Library Association's greatest leader.  In the late Sixties, she personally set up the rules librarians nationwide follow to this day to the detriment of many communities.  One brave/anonymous librarian speaks out about her legacy of destruction, literally; his/her email is published for the first time anywhere below.

One of those rules from Judith Krug was that librarians are not to take action against child pornography viewers in public libraries:
"A librarian is not a legal process," Krug said. "There is not librarian in the country -- unless she or he is a lawyer -- who is in the position to determine what he or she is looking at is indeed child pornography."   
Source: "Libraries vs. Police in a Suit Sparked by Porn; Kent Case Centers on People's Rights and Protections," by Jeffrey M. Barker, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Reporter, 12 August 2002.
That statement of hers is an example of policy guidance she gave to public libraries nationwide:
Libraries and librarians are not in a position to make those decisions for library users or for citizens generally.  Only courts have constitutional authority to determine, in accordance with due process, what materials are obscenity, child pornography, or “harmful to minors.”
....
As for obscenity and child pornography, prosecutors and police have adequate tools to enforce criminal laws.  Libraries are not a component of law enforcement efforts naturally directed toward the source, i.e., the publishers, of such material. 
Source: "Guidelines and Considerations for Developing a Public Library Internet Use Policy," by Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, as archived 7 March 2016.
ALA "guidelines" for libraries to ignore child pornography.
Her policy to ignore child pornography in public libraries was followed by libraries:
Accordingly, even if the library employs a computer technician who could demonstrate that the patron was viewing child pornography on the computer, this is not a reportable criminal offense, the library’s computer technician is not under any statutory reporting obligation, and the Library’s Records Confidentiality Act may be violated if such a report is made. 
Source: "A Patron is Viewing What Appears to be Child Pornography On a Library Computer; What Should Be Done?," by Klein, Thorpe & Jenkins, LTD, Library Law, 27 April 2011.
Library removing ghost of Judith Krug as ALA
hides policy advising librarians to ignore child porn viewing.
Library directors even forced their own librarians to cover up child porn viewing:
Even library schools teach this dangerous ALA policy, e.g.:
Buy Shut Up! or
borrow from library.
Finally change has taken place—after decades—and after
  1. over a decade of my own work,
  2. the listing of the American Library Association on the annual Dirty Dozen List by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, and
  3. the publication of a book by public library child pornography whistleblowers Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan, the latter being my SafeLibraries co-author. 
Finally, the American Library Association removed from its "guidelines" the directive to ignore child pornography.  See:

Four years straight ALA has been on NCOSE's Dirty Dozen List
as a "Top Contributor to Sexual Exploitation."
Not only did ALA remove the directive to ignore child pornography, but it removed the entirety of the "guidelines"!  It basically censored itself!  The "guidelines" are still titled as such, but they now exist as a wholesale copy from another ALA policy that was not so prominently promoted previously.

And to cover up this debacle, ALA claimed the wholesale copying of a preexisting policy was merely an "excerpt," which is another in a long line of flat out lies to cover up its shameful and illegal activities, some of which can be seen in the brave/anonymous librarian letter published at the bottom.  Compare:
To the librarians who mock public library child pornography whistleblowers, we whistleblowers forced ALA to completely remove its publicly visible dangerous policy that facilitated child pornography in public libraries nationwide.

That said, the ALA policy still suffers from serious flaws.  For example, it still decries "censorship" although the US Supreme Court ruled blocking Internet porn in public libraries does not violate the First Amendment.

And in a hilarious instance of ridiculous diktat, it states that the safety of children using Internet computers in colleges and universities can only be assured by their own parents.  No college student ever brings his mommy into the college library to protect him from Internet porn.  Yet here's ALA providing guidance making that a requirement:
Academic libraries usually do not have the same censorship problems as public and school libraries. Most users of academic libraries are students (over 18 years old) and faculty. As a result, users in academic libraries can freely access Internet resources. It is important that parents are aware that their children can be exposed to information that may not be age-appropriate when their children use academic libraries. Parents need to be mindful that, as in any other public space, children need to have parental supervision.  
Source: "Libraries and the Internet Toolkit," by Office for Intellectual FreedomAmerican Library Association, 29 May 2007, accessed 17 December 2016.
But ALA has really topped itself in the area of child pornography facilitation in public libraries.  Remember I said ALA changed its policy as a result of child porn whistleblowers? Recall I said it not only changed the policy but removed it completely, replacing it will an older, preexisting policy?  It did, but it wasn't because of the obvious reason.

The obvious reason for ALA to delete its policy facilitating child pornography in public libraries after years of pressure is that it has seen the light and no longer supports its previous policy position created by Judith Krug of the ACLU/ALA almost half a century ago.

But that is not the reason ALA removed its child porn facilitation policy.

ALA removed its child pornography facilitation policy to take it out of the public's view.  It removed the policy so child porn whistleblowers could no longer point a finger at evidence of the policy.  ALA has essentially gone dark on its child porn facilitation policies.  It fully intends to continue to facilitate child porn in public libraries.

There are a number of ways to know ALA is continuing to facilitate child porn in libraries:
  1. It removed from public view its long standing policy to facilitate child pornography in public libraries, but only after long and determined effort by child porn whistleblowers, including the publication of a 600+ page book entitled, "Shut Up! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment."
  2. It did this silently.  It did not announce any new policy to report child pornography.  It simply deleted the policy, substituted another one and claimed it was an excerpt.  There was no announcement of any change.  Neither Library Journal nor ALA's own American Libraries ran any stories on the new policy.
  3. When one librarian (Karen Jensen) wrote in School Library Journal about how child porn should be reported in public libraries, she was basically ignored.  No one other than myself paid her any attention or retweeted her or commented on her writing.  She did not win any awards, like the "Intellectual Freedom Award" one library won for protecting child pornography.  It's just forgotten.  She's forgotten.  See: "Plan to Report Child Pornography in Public Libraries."
  4. ALA is keeping in place all other policies and practices that help facilitate child porn in libraries, as I've listed above.  If it were truly interested in stamping out child pornography facilitation in public libraries, it would not only change its policy but also make other changes to effectuate the new policy.  It simply has not done or said anything.  Silence.
  5. ALA whips up opposition to me and any child porn whistleblowers.  We are repeatedly attacked, even by the leader of ALA's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" who blocks me on Twitter, for example.  So much for intellectual freedom.  Libraries where I expose child porn facilitation also block me on Twitter.  ALA librarians are told to block me, and over a hundred do.  Now if you have a sincere change of heart about facilitating child porn in public libraries, you do not attack and silence the child porn whistleblowers, yet here is Jamie LaRue, leader of ALA's supposed intellectual freedom office, doing just that:
And here's a graphic in case he hides/deletes that evidence as well:


  1. ALA actively trains librarians to thwart child pornography whistleblowers.  Evidence of this training was obtained by FOIA requests, some of which can be viewed here: Hatefest, and some of which can be seen in the brave/anonymous librarian letter published for the first time below.  The name "Hatefest" comes from my cowriter Kevin DuJan who, for reporting child pornography in a library, was repeatedly attacked for being gay, including at the training provided byALA where his being gay was used to attack Megan Fox who is another child porn whistleblower.  More FOIA information could have been obtained but ALA ordered librarians to violate their state records retention laws and state open government laws to instead destroy evidence of the training.  See: "Deny, Delete, Defend; American Library Association Orders Public Librarians To Destroy Public Documents To Preclude Public Disclosure of its 'Exposure'."  But it's too little, too late, and you can see in the FOIA responses ALA ordering librarians to do absolutely anything to "defend" child pornography viewers in public libraries, like destroying records, not recording records in the first place, misleading the media, or suing child porn whistleblowers for up to $500,000 for defamation.  And lo and behold, I was sued, along with Kevin DuJan and Megan Fox, for defamation.  See: "Bittman v Fox: SafeLibraries Dismissed Second Time."  So as you read through these FOIA responses, remember librarians were being trained that the child porn whistleblowers were self-interested evil out of town authors and prudes who must be stopped at all costs: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByZ7htC3sJifdWpYSWk0OFAwOG8?usp=sharing
And there is yet more evidence of how ALA facilitates child porn in public libraries.

Below is never before published information.  It is a letter received in response to the FOIA requests mentioned above.

Read about the homophobia ("Blondie kept pointing out that he is gay"), the hate ("you should not be hanging out all day with a gay guy"), the directions to destroy evidence from ALA.  Read how ALA controls what local libraries do to mislead local government, media, and citizens.  Read how he/she was ordered to destroy evidence, and he/she did as he/she was ordered.

Read the fear in this librarian's voice that he/she should dare speak out against the high and mighty ALA, facilitator of child porn.

For more on "Blondie," see: "2014-07-08 = OPPL Spokesperson Commits Disorderly Conduct/Breach of Peace According to Ofc. Schmidt."  I was sued for linking to this so please watch what ALA tried to have censored; "Blondie" is in green:



These are the tactics of people perpetuating a system of child pornography facilitation in public libraries nationwide.  This is what ALA does, by any means possible including homophobia and ordering librarians to defy the law by destroying documents.

And here it is in the words of one very frightened yet brave librarian, published below for the first time anywhere.  "I've never been to a workshop like this where afterwards it was a big thing to collect all the notes and pretend like it never happened."

To the librarians attending ALA's MidWinter meeting, wake up.  You may be joining the "Women's March" in Atlanta today seeking social justice, but you have your own injustice in your own backyard.  Homophobia.  Child pornography facilitation.  Sexual harassment of librarians caused by Internet porn viewers.  And so on.  All caused by ALA's own policies and actions.  It's time to clean it up.  And you can read it in the words of your own brave/anonymous peer, right now, just below. 

It's sad that a brave/anonymous librarian has to speak out about how ALA facilitates child pornography in public libraries nationwide.  It's worse that she can only speak to the child porn whistleblowers themselves because she fears ALA  Will anyone else speak up?.



Note: [Text in square brackets] means slight changes made to protect anonymity and to prevent retaliatory job action.  Paragraph spacing added.  SafeLibraries welcomes and protects anonymous input and is indeed the only source concerned about the Sexual Harassment of Librarians that's caused by unfiltered Internet pornography due to ALA policy and despite the law.

Key: Acorn = the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) that was exposed as a massive voter fraud by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles of Project Veritas; ALA = American Library Association; FOIA = Freedom of Information Act; ILA = Illinois Library Association; Office for Intellectual Freedom = ALA’s so-called Office for Intellectual Freedom; Orland Park = Orland Park, IL;

People: Blondie = Bridget Bittman, Public Information employee of the Orland Park Public Library; Bob from the ILA = Robert P. Doyle, Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association; Director = Mary Weimar, Library Director of the Orland Park Public Library; Hillary Clinton = Hillary Clinton; Kevin = Kevin DuJan, whistleblower of child pornography at the Orland Park Public Library; Michelle Obama = Michelle Obama; Ms. Fox = Megan Fox, whistleblower of child pornography at the Orland Park Public Library; Sarah Palin = Sarah Palin; the ALA Woman = Deborah Caldwell-Stone of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom; the President = Barack Hussein Obama

To: Megan Fox

Ms. Fox,

Our [library] received your recent FOIA request related to the crisis workshop held December 17, 2013. I attended this event but have been told not to respond to you so I am doing this [after work] from a new email account. My job would be threatened if it were known I was telling you this so please do not try to ID me.

My notes from the workshop were taken from me [in the past] when a big brouhaha happened about this. Not sure what it was all about but my boss said [he/she] got a call that you were looking for things related to the workshop and depending on FOIA and so my notes from the workshop were taken at that time and I was told not to ask for them back. They are gone now.

I was told recently that you had used FOIA to ask for them again and that you will be told that no notes exist but that is not true. They were taken but they did exist.

What I can remember about the workshop is this. There were five speakers. Two from Orland Park. Two others were women from the ALA and there was a man from the ILA. Not sure on their names. The two Orland employees were one older with brown hair and glasses and one blonde younger woman. Not sure on their names. But the Director was the older woman and I think the younger woman was the Asst. Director. Not sure. The older woman was more measured and careful when she spoke but the younger one got emotional at times.

You and a friend of yours whose name I don't recall were featured as examples of two people from the tea party who are attacking libraries around the country as part of some plot. The ALA woman said that this is like what happened to Acorn but now the tea party is going after libraries. They really seemed to believe this but [where] I was at few people bought into that.

The Director said that you and your friend were paid operatives of the tea party and that you came to Orland Park in October looking for something to invent a complaint about. They said you made up a story and lied about seeing someone doing inappropriate things. Then you started filing FOIA requests about the library after that excuse. Blondie said that you were paid by the tea party to do this.

Then the Director and Blondie went into a big production about what they had been doing to stop you. The Director said that any library encountering the tea party should involve the police because there are good relationships with the police in towns and villages. The Director said that she has a personal friendship with the Orland police chief and that this was "instrumental" in handling you. I remember how she said the word "instrumental" and she said that the police and the village officials were working with the library on preventing you and your friend from getting any traction. The Director also said that the police should scare you away and have you move on with your lives soon. Blondie said that the police are good tools to use against attackers like you because no one wants the police visiting them and the police will side with the library against patrons especially when they are not even from town.

A big deal was made about how you and your friend do not live in Orland and you are outsiders and paid operatives.

Then it got more personal and they showed slides from your website and I guess your friend's website. I remember a picture of a big shark and also a picture of bees. There was a picture of your friend with Sarah Palin and another picture of him with Hillary Clinton shown. And there were pictures of you that looked like they were head shots taken for promotional purposes. The Director and Blondie said that the two of you were setting up a scheme for money and that this was all a stunt to either get attention for you or to write a book.

Blondie said that Orland was focusing only on you and ignoring your friend because he is gay and it gets messy to attack a gay guy. But they have plenty of examples of how to combat a mom who complains. Treat her like Sarah Palin and tell everyone she is dumb and just makes babies was the gist of that. This is when that photo of Sarah Palin and your friend was shown I think. This was a big section of their talk and it went on for a while about how you were painted as a liar and how Blondie looked at everything you said or wrote to find any inconsistencies. The Director said that as soon as an inconsistency was found that the media were alerted to it as proof that you could not be trusted.

Blondie also said it was necessary to say that you did not have children with you in the library because that further made you a liar. She said that since you had no videos or photos of your kids in the library that it was their word against yours and people automatically believe the library over regular people.

The ALA later picked up that thread and said it was a useful tool to use because people just believe what a library says and we need to take advantage of that. Who would believe that the library was doing anything wrong?

The Director and Blondie then talked about how they were documenting everything that you and your friend did and taking it to the police until a charge could be filed at some point. Once you crossed a line they would be able to neutralize you and get an order from a judge keeping you away from the meetings.

The plan was to ignore anything you wrote in social media as much as possible but counter it using the local media which promised they would put forward the library's defense against your claims.

The strategy was to use the police to get you to stop coming to meetings and to make the community members not believe you by making you look like a liar.

[I or someone] asked in the question answer period if what you were saying is true and if there were reports of things happening in the library and the Director said that unfortunately you had gotten ahold of old reports and were lifting them out of context.

The Director said that no more incident reports would be written on matters in the library and that instead communication would be verbal to avoid FOIA.

The ALA picked this up too and advised everyone to stop writing incident reports and to instead do them as voicemail round robins to be deleted every day. This way staff stays informed but there is no paper trail later.

The takeaways and learning experiences from this matter involved how to neutralize attackers like you and your friend and how to make people not believe them and how to use allies in the community such as the police to make people like you go away.

This was not the kind of workshop a lot of us thought we were signing up for and it [was a waste of everyone’s time]. I was upset that I had to listen to all this. Most of it seemed crazy to me because no one would answer the question on whether or not what you had said happened had happened and if the incident reports were true. It was all just a meeting about how to chase you and your friend away.

There was also a big thing where Blondie got upset and had to justify why she decided to go on some radio show. I forget which one but the ALA woman said that you should never go on a live show unless you are well acquainted with the host and know the questions in advance. She said that Blondie made the mistake of allowing the hosts of the show to put words in her mouth and that damaged the library from a PR perspective. Blondie said she would never do a live interview again and would instead stick to putting out the press releases that the ALA would proof for her.

The ALA and ILA said to never send emails but to call on the phone and the Office for Intellectual Freedom would help. They gave us the number and I remember writing it down. I remember writing down the phone numbers for the Director and Blondie too and the number for Bob from the ILA. No one wanted anything in writing just phone calls. Nothing important on voicemail either just say to call back. It was a big deal to keep saying to keep everything verbal and off email and not in writing.

I am trying to think if there is anything else.

You asked about a presentation that was given and we never received a copy of it but the Director and Blondie had pictures of you in a presentation. It had about 30 slides. They had pictures of you from online and pictures of your friend.

Blondie kept pointing out that he is gay and also that he attacks the President and that he also told everyone years ago that Michelle Obama made a "whitey tape". I didn't know what she was talking about but she really seemed to have a personal hatred of your friend because Blondie got most upset when talking about him.

The Director got most upset when talking about you however. She called you "Ms Fox" and never said the name Megan. Blondie said Megan and also said your friend's first name, I remember. But the Director kept saying "Ms, Fox" and her tea party colleague. She said that you live in Mokena and your friend lives in Chicago and you both have no business being in their library.

I also remember that a jab was made at you for being a homeschooler and for being tea party members and that you should not be hanging out all day with a gay guy with your kids anyway.

Why aren't you and him at work? Blondie asked that. Why don't you have jobs? And Blondie made a crack about maybe you should be at home taking care of your kids and not harassing the library.

It was a very strange workshop. No one I know who went had a positive response to it.

Then afterwards it was pretty much forgotten until March when the brouhaha happened and my boss came racing around telling me that I had to get rid of everything from the workshop. That's when my notes were taken.

And now we are back at this again for some reason and I'm being asked if I got rid of all my notes because you are emailing about this again and everyone wants to make sure. My boss said [he/she] got a call about this to make sure. I don't know who the call was from. But I thought you should know because I've never been to a workshop like this where afterwards it was a big thing to collect all the notes and pretend like it never happened.

And I never was at a conference where people talked so personally about patrons like you and your friend. That has never happened before and I thought you should know.

I do not want any trouble so do not try to contact me or find me. This is the only contact I am going to have with you and I hope you understand and it is the only help I can give you.


URL of this page: 
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2017/01/brave-librarian-speaks-out.html

On Twitter:
@ALALibrary @HillBuzz @jaslar +Megan Fox +Megan Fox @MeganFoxWriter @OIF

Sunday, January 8, 2017

RIP Nat Hentoff: He Exposed the Shame of the American Library Association

RIP Nat Hentoff.  He is a "[r]enowned anti-censorship authorit[y]."
Below are articles written by Nat Hentoff about the "bizarre" and "shameful" American Library Association [ALA].  In one he revealed he reached out to Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, for his help defending jailed Cuban librarians. Ray Bradbury responded by publicly "plead[ing] with Castro and his government to take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison...."

But ALA would do no such thing.  It's de facto leader, Judith Krug of the "Office for Intellectual Freedom" [ALA OIF], "said at an ALA meeting about supporters of the caged librarians, 'I've dug in my heels ... I refuse to be governed by people with an agenda.' The Cuba issue, she continued, 'wouldn't die,' though she'd like to 'drown it.'"  It's why Nat Hentoff said ALA should be ashamed.

Yet just the day before Nat Hentoff died, ALA OIF published a blog post:
This blog post touts "Operation 451" that is specifically named in honor of Ray Bradbury who authored Fahrenheit 451.

So ALA OIF ignores Ray Bradbury when it comes to his call to free jailed Cuban librarians, but uses Ray Bradbury to falsely promote itself and its false claims of "age" discrimination (that's the 5 in "Operation 451") and "censorship" or "book banning" for keeping kids from inappropriate material.

"Operation 451" is written by two vitriolic librarians who work for ALA OIF here and there.  Sarah Houghton is ALA OIF's library filtering expert who lies about filters not working, whereas the FCC's Lisa Hone said filters work well and libraries should reconsider opposition to them, and Carla Hayden testified before Congress to become Librarian of Congress and said filters work well and libraries should block Internet pornography.

Sarah Houghton also lied about a male librarian being a "sexual predator."  The two other members of "#TeamHarpy" who all faked sexual harassment claims apologized for the lies but only after about a year and a half and only after the destruction of the man's career.

Sarah Houghton, however, has never apologized.  That would damage her perceived credibility as a library filtering expert for ALA OIF.  Instead, ALA OIF is now touting her "Operation 451" effort in its blog post—even where it totally went against the wishes of Ray Bradbury vis-├á-vis the jailed Cuban librarians and true censorship.

Andy Woodworth is the other librarian who works directly with ALA OIF.  He helped ALA OIF to mislead teachers and parents by way of the "Banned Books Week" hoax.  His previous contribution before this latest "Operation 451" hoax is to guide librarians on how to defeat parents trying to keep children from reading inappropriately sexualized material.  Advice includes, "simply pacify the opposition until the campaign is over," "get them to quiet down or get out of the way," use "a diversion and delay technique,""[s]imply bury their claim in great stories...."  He adds, specifically with respect to people complaining about Internet pornography in libraries despite the law, "The last technique you can use is to simply ignore them.  ....  One thing that you should never do is openly debate, criticize, or demean the person bringing up the lie."

So Sarah Houghton and Andy Woodworth, both major players in ALA OIF's misleading of parents and teachers, are used to promote "Operation 451" in honor of Ray Bradbury.  But ALA OIF ignored Ray Bradbury when he called for Cuba to release jailed Cuban librarians and stop its censorship.

You see, ALA OIF is concerned about the "censorship" of parents parenting and teachers teaching, but not real censorship.  Real censorship is of no concern to them.  And they use Ray Bradbury's name to promote themselves, via two librarians who actively work to mislead as many people as possible, including one would destroyed a man's career with false claims of sexual harassment.

So with the passing of Nat Hentoff goes the memory of just how shameful is ALA OIF, and I didn't want that to happen.  Since ALA controls via bullying/peer pressure so many public libraries and school libraries, people should know they are being intentionally misled by people who abuse Ray Bradbury's memory to promote themselves and their efforts to spread harm as far and as wide as people will allow out of ignorance of ALA OIF's true intentions and actions.  ALA ignored Ray Bradbury in the past on real censorship issues, so using his memory now to promote false "censorship" issues is truly grotesque.  ALA really is just as "bizarre" and "shameful" as Nat Hentoff says it is.

Stay tuned as I write about ALA's facilitation of child pornography in public libraries and how, after I and a few others caught them at it, ALA has dug in its heels and made the problem worse by, among other things, moving to destroy evidence of its child porn facilitation.

Here are my favorite Nat Hentoff stories about the American Library Association:
In April 2003, the security police of Fidel Castro arrested and imprisoned 75 journalists, members of opposition parties and owners of independent libraries. The charge: “crimes against national sovereignty.” The librarians had been making available to Cubans books that were banned in the state’s libraries for containing “terrorist” material. Among them were a biography of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (a document for all human beings).
During the one-day trial, Castro’s judges ordered that all printed volumes confiscated during the raids of the libraries be burned. I obtained copies of those incendiary court rulings that then, and now, characterize the Cuban “revolution.” Immediately, Amnesty International designated all the 75 inmates “prisoners of conscience.” There continues to be more of them — some, as always, in dire need of medical attention they have yet to receive.
At first, I had expected immediate protests about the caged independent librarians from the American Library Association. The core credo of this largest national library association in the world has been “the freedom to read” — for everyone everywhere.
Why should you care? Because banning books and imprisoning librarians mean banning literature, ideas — thought — and critically wounding freedoms that should be as essential as oxygen to citizens and a society.
In the many columns I’ve written since about the abandoned Cuban librarians, I’ve cited the ALA’s refusal to demand the release of these librarians. In June 2003, for one of many examples, Michael Dowling, then director of the ALA’s International Relations Office, said: “There has been no definitive evidence that books are banned and librarians harassed.” There had been international press on the raids.
As my documented stories on these and future imprisonments went on, I was targeted by the director of Cuba’s National Library, Eliades Acosta: “What does Mr. Hentoff know of the real Cuba?”
My public reply: “I know that if I were a Cuban, I’d be in prison.”
Polish and Latvian library associations did call for the release of the prisoners of conscience. But in 2005, the state library association of Cuba stingingly replied to the Latvian protest resolution: “it is too late … to attempt to trick the world in this manner.”
The ALA, annoyed by the continued criticism, occasionally expressed “deep concern” about the allegations but declined to mention the silenced freedom-to-read librarians in Castroland.
Also, in 1995, as a longtime admirer of Ray Bradbury, including his classic novel of censorship by fire, Fahrenheit 451, I sent him some of my columns and the burning Castro court rulings that Bradbury’s novel had prophesied. Publicly, Bradbury then said:
I plead with Castro and his government to take their hands off the independent librarians and release all those librarians in prison, and to send them back into Cuban culture to inform the people.
No comment from Fidel or the ALA. Last year, on May 19, the Mario Chanes de Armas Independent Library was raided by Cuban State Security police, who confiscated 360 books I do not know the whereabouts of the director of that purified library, who had telephoned this news under the regime of Raul Castro.
But, in yet another appeal to the ALA on March 11 last year, the American-based Friends of Cuban Libraries sent a letter to then-president of the ALA Camila Alire, “asking for your urgent and compassionate aid in saving the life of a fellow library worker, Guillermo Farinas (director of the Dr. Roberto Avalos library).
“Mr. Farinas has refused to consume food or fluids since he began a hunger strike” at his home in Santa Clara for the release of 26 Cuban prisoners in poor health, including “Ricardo Gonzalez, the director of the Jorge Manach Library, and Ariel Sigler Amaya, who was condemned to a long prison term for, among other alleged crimes, gathering books for a library collection.” Both have been named prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.
As for this hunger striker, Guillermo Farinas, he “is growing weaker, and Cuba’s official newspaper Granma has indicated that the government will make no effort to save his life after his health declines to the point of unconsciousness.”
Therefore, “on an urgent basis, we ask you to please contact the Cuban Minister of Foreign Relations, Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, to request that efforts be made to save the life of Guillermo Farinas. The e-mail address of the Foreign Ministry is: cubaminrex@minrex.gov.cu.”
The Parliament of the European Union recently passed a resolution expressing concern for Mr. Farinas: “We hope the American Library Association will rapidly join the worldwide effort to help in saving his life.”
This plea for the life of Guillermo Farinas was ignored by the American Library Association.
Next week: What happened to the acute discomfort of the Castro government and the American Library Association after — on Oct. 1, 2010, the BBC reported: “The European Parliament has awarded the Sakharov human rights prize to Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas. In July, Mr. Farinas, 48, ended a hunger strike after Cuba’s communist government announced it was freeing 52 political prisoners.” (But the EU and Farinas are aware that more remain in the Castros’ prisons and that the raids on independent libraries continue.)
The prize is named after the late, brave Soviet dissident Andrei Sakharov. Those who nominated Farinas called him “a beacon of hope for dozens of journalists and activists who are currently in prison.”
And the prizewinner dedicated the human-rights award to the people of Cuba. He said they struggle for “an end to the dictatorship.”
The people of Cuba should be reminded that on April 26, 2005, Canek Sanchez Guevara — the grandson of the murderous Che Guevara, still a hero to Fidelists around the world and in the United States — spoke in Stockholm of “the obsession (in Cuba) with surveillance, control, repression, etc. And freedom is something entirely different.”
The American Library Association should invite Che Guevara’s grandson to address one of its conferences to enlighten its governing council on how to end its obsession with ignoring the persistently persecuted Cuban independent librarians.

The American Library Association - the largest organization of librarians in the world - continually declares that it fights for everyone's "Freedom to Read!" and its Library Bill of Rights requires its members to "challenge censorship." Yet the leadership of the ALA - not the rank and file - insistently refuses to call for the immediate release of the independent librarians in Cuba - designated as "prisoners of conscience" by Amnesty International. They are serving very long prison terms because they do believe in the freedom to read - especially in a dictatorship.
Among the many organizations demanding that Fidel Castro and his successors release these courageous Cubans - who have opened their homes and libraries to offer books censored in the Cuban state libraries - are such groups as the library associations of the Czech Republic, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. All these librarians, finally freed from Communism, agree with their colleagues in the Polish Library Association, who say in their declaration, "The actions of the Cuban authorities relate to the worst traditions of repressing the freedom of thought and expression."
Also calling for the liberation of Castro's many prisoners of conscience, including the librarians, are the Organization of American States, Amnesty International and Freedom House.
However, the top officials of the American Library Association - as well as the majority of its Governing Council - speak derisively of these "so-called librarians" in Castro's gulags.
It's true that these prisoners, many brutalized and in failing health, in their cells, don't have master's degrees in Library Science; but as poet-novelist-educator Andrei Codrescu told last year's ALA Midwinter Conference: "These people have been imprisoned for BEING librarians!" Why dismiss them "as 'so-called librarians' when clearly there is no one (in that dictatorship) to certify them."
So bizarre is the ALA leadership, along with a cadre of Castro admirers on the Governing Council - in its abandonment of their fellow librarians - it refuses to post on its "Book Burning in the 21st Century" Web site the extensive, documented court transcripts of the "trials" that sent the librarians to prison. Those judges ordered the "incineration" of the prisoners' libraries, including works by Martin Luther King Jr. and George Orwell's "Animal Farm."
But these sentencing documents are verified on the Web sites of Amnesty International, the organization of American States, and Florida State University's Center for the Advancement of Human Rights. Officials of the ALA - conjuring up a fake conspiracy by the Bush administration to overthrow Castro by using the independent librarians - disdain this verification of the book burnings. They insist, for example, that the Florida State University Web site is funded by grants from the U.S. government.
Yet, that Rule of Law and Cuba Web site project doesn't get a dime from the U.S. government. Says director Mark Schlakman: "We place a premium on our independence."
Recently, I left a long, non-adversarial, detailed message for the president of the ALA, Leslie Burger, director of the Princeton, N.J., public library. I asked for her reasons and the ALA's for this refusal of support for the imprisoned librarians. (Some are in cage-like enclosures.) I have received no response from her; but, indicating she will not speak to me, Michael Dowling, director of ALA's International Relations Office, fielded my call by referring me to the ALA's 2004 expression of "deep concern" for Castro's prisoners, which carefully omitted any mention of the independent librarians among them.
But, acting out of "a moral obligation," the small Vermillion, S.D., public library has made the independent Dulce Maria Loynaz Library in Havana a sister library - sending books to it, including a collection of freedom writer Mark Twain. (Other libraries and readers around the world send books to the independent libraries.)
As for rank-and-file American librarians: In January 2006, American Libraries Direct - an online newsletter of the ALA's own magazine, American Libraries - published a poll of its members in which 70 percent answered "Yes" to the question: "Should ALA Council pass a resolution condemning the Cuban government for its imprisonment of dissident 'independent librarians'?"
A key ALA official, Judith Krug, heads its office of Intellectual Freedom. In my many years of reporting on the ALA's sterling record of protecting American librarians from censorship, I often quoted her in admiration. But now, she said at an ALA meeting about supporters of the caged librarians, "I've dug in my heels ... I refuse to be governed by people with an agenda." The Cuba issue, she continued, "wouldn't die," though she'd like to "drown it."
The agenda, Ms. Krug, is freedom. "Every burned book," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, "illuminates the world." But ALA's leadership refuses to bring light to the cages of these Cuban prisoners of conscience. The ALA's membership booklet proclaims "the public's right (everywhere) to explore in their libraries many points of view on all questions and issues facing them."
An issue facing all members of the ALA is their leaders' shameful exception of the Cuban people's freedom to read.
RIP, Nat Hentoff.


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