Saturday, February 28, 2009

SafeLibraries Loves Authors and Opposes Censorship; Please Visit Brent Hartinger's New Fantasy Venture:

SafeLibraries firmly opposes censorship and supports authors. My efforts to educate the public about how the American Library Association [ALA] misleads local communities into allowing children access to inappropriate material leads my opponents to claim otherwise.

These "intellectual freedom" people call me all sorts of names like Hitler, the Taliban, an un-American censor, a Christian nut, a right-wing commentator, a pro-filter activist, an anti-porn activist, you name it. The Holy Bible is frequently a target as well, like one person calling it a "salaciously smutty, pornographically perverted tome." That's okay, my friends like Know Your Library (St. Louis, MO) thank me and cases like US v. ALA are my support.

Be that as it may, I have the pleasure of corresponding with a number of authors. Really, this is part of the fun I have running SafeLibraries. Here are some of the authors, in alphabetical order, whom I now consider my email friends:
Sometimes the authors themselves question me even as I support them, like when Arthur Slade said:
Thanks for recommending our books to readers. Though I assume you don't mean to recommend the ones with swear words and sex in them.
to which I responded, evidencing total consistency in my message and my joy in corresponding with authors, in this case KL Going:
As to recommending your books, parents should check some of them out first, but I'm not the judge or censor people claim I am so as to defend the ALA's propaganda. I do know you authors are genuinely interested in writing interesting and relevant material, and that is yet another reason why it is so interesting to have this conversation with you.

KL Going's book, "Fat Kid Rules the World," for example. I would not give that book to my kid, but certain children are really reached by that book, and parents will know if the book is right for their children. But it should not be shotgunned out on all children without warning by public institutions. I think even KL Going believes that, and I have corresponded with her on this. It's on her own web blog. She, like the rest of you, is a really fine author reaching out to many children. None of this would even be happening if you folks weren't writing good books. Keep it up.
Anyway, I enjoy what I do and I'm happy to have corresponded with a number of authors whom I now consider my friends and with whom I occasionally correspond.

Speaking of my support for authors, allow me to highlight the efforts of Brent Hartinger. Brent has just begun a new venture and it's very interesting. He has created:
a brand spanking new website,, devoted entirely to fantasy: movies, TV, games, theater, books, web series, graphic novels, etc. I'm the editor, and we will have daily-updated reporting of fantasy-related news, commentary, interviews, and reviews in both text and video format.
Please go visit TheTorchOnline now, right now, and subscribe to get the latest fantasy news, etc. And check out Brent's new book, Project Sweet Life.

Thank you to all authors for helping make life so interesting for so many. Please don't let my efforts to balance the ALA's misinformation in local communities let you think I do not support you 100%, no matter what you write.


1 comment:

  1. SafeLibraries agrees, except the word "censor" is a little over the top--I would have used "impugn."

    "Providing Diverse Books, Ideas," by Gary and Karen Christianson, owners of Fireside Books and Gifts in West Bend, WI:

    We are the owners of Fireside Books and Gifts. The shelves of our bookstore hold a wide variety of titles containing ideas as diverse as the world in which we live. We believe that it is in the best interest of our community and our democratic society for ideas of all kinds to be available to interested individuals, regardless of what our own tastes or beliefs may be. In that spirit, we believe that attempts at censorship, whether by individuals or special interest groups, damages our society.

    For 26 years we have attempted to serve our community by providing author events featuring local and Wisconsin authors on a wide variety of subjects. We feel debate is essential in a free society and we take seriously our responsibility to offer a forum for ideas, including those we might personally oppose.

    We do this in a variety of ways – by researching and suggesting titles to customers who are looking for books on particular subjects, recommending books for reading groups and announcing new releases in the store and through our newsletter.

    Hosting authors is an important part of this process. It gives interested customers a chance to meet the person behind the book, to listen to their voice and observe their manner. Above all, it gives them an opportunity to ask questions and even to disagree. We are providing our customers with an opportunity to make up their own minds.

    Controversial ideas inevitably alienate some people and when these people include some of our customers, we can, regrettably, lose business. While we do not wish to offend anyone, we cannot allow a minority to censor either the books we sell or the authors we host.

    Gary and Karen Christianson

    West Bend


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