Wednesday, July 1, 2009

ALA Mocks "Protecting the Children"

Apparently protecting children from inappropriate material is wrong. The American Library Association [ALA] mocks those trying to protect children; it ensures community librarians know how to stop people from protecting children:

Access to sexual information, though, is a fundamental human right. So why does the subject – and the very concept of access – attract so much vicious opposition? The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is proud to present Dr. Marty Klein, who will describe the highly effective nationwide attack on sexual information and expression – and why it’s an attack on pluralism and secular democracy. Librarians are frequently on the hot seat when these issues arise in communities. Come hear how to respond to the “protecting the children” arguments and how to protect everyone’s access to sexuality-related material.

Source: Libraries, Librarians, and America's War on Sex, by Jen Hammond, OIF Blog, 1 July 2009.

By way of full disclosure, I had an excellent conversation with one of the authors of one of the named books. See "Dear Felice Picano, 'The Joy of Gay Sex,' Co-Author." He believes, "If someone asks for a book about sex and is not ready, they’ll giggle or be grossed out. No loss."

Has the ALA forgotten the US Supreme Court? If "protecting the children" is wrong, isn't "protecting young library users" also wrong? Isn't the US Supreme Court wrong? See US v. ALA:

"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."

The ALA obviously disagrees. If the ALA opposes "protecting the children," and the US Supreme Court unanimously favors "protecting young library users," is the ALA not indirectly mocking the Court? Is there any reason communities should think the ALA, or any organization mocking the Court, is authoritative?

Should any community ever again be guided by ALA policies in this area? Am I the "vicious opposition" for bringing this to the attention of those communities so they can make their own informed decisions?

So here is the ALA's latest effort to ensure no librarian protects children from inappropriate material:

Libraries, Librarians, and America's War on Sex
by Jen HammondOIF Blog
1 July 2009
One of the most frequently challenged genres of book is the sex-ed book. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris, The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein, and What’s Happening to My Body?, by Lynda Madaras all regularly appear on the Office for Intellectual Freedom’s Top 10 lists of most frequently challenged books.

Access to sexual information, though, is a fundamental human right. So why does the subject – and the very concept of access – attract so much vicious opposition? The Intellectual Freedom Round Table is proud to present Dr. Marty Klein, who will describe the highly effective nationwide attack on sexual information and expression – and why it’s an attack on pluralism and secular democracy. Librarians are frequently on the hot seat when these issues arise in communities. Come hear how to respond to the “protecting the children” arguments and how to protect everyone’s access to sexuality-related material.

Dr. Marty Klein is a Sociologist, Certified Sex Therapist, & Policy Analyst in California. The author of five books, he has been an expert witness, invited defendant, or consultant on many important state and federal censorship cases. From the ACLU and Planned Parenthood to Pure Romance and ABC’s 20/20, audiences agree that Marty’s talks are consistently thought-provoking and entertaining. Join us for what promises to be one of the most provocative programs at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. The program will be held at 1:30 p.m. in McCormick Place W178 on Saturday, July 11th.



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[Note: Ironically, the Office for Intellectual Freedom does not allow comments on its blog.]


NOTE ADDED 17 JANUARY 2013:

On the subject of protecting children from harm that the ALA mocks, the President of the United States surrounded himself with children and issued almost two dozen Executive Orders relating to gun control saying:


"This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe.  This is how we will be judged.  And their voices should compel us to change.":

  • "Unveiling Gun Control Initiative, Obama Cites 'Common-Sense Measures'; President Obama Shared the Stage with Schoolchildren As He Announced a Gun Control Plan to Combat Violence. Top Of the List: Banning Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines, Making Schools Safer, and Improving Mental Health Services," by Linda Feldmann, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 January 2013, emphasis added, graphic above credit this source.

That said, recall the ALA said, "Come hear how to respond to the 'protecting the children' arguments."  Contrast the President who correctly places such great emphasis on protecting the children:
"OBAMA:  Thank you, everybody.  Please -- please have a seat. 
Good afternoon, everybody.  Let me begin by thanking our vice president, Joe Biden, for your dedication, Joe, to this issue, for bringing so many different voices to the table, because while reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn't be a divisive one. 
.... 
The only way we will be able to change is if their audience, their constituents, their membership says this time must be different, that this time we must do something to protect our communities and our kids.  
.... 
And most of all, I think about how when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable among us, we must act now, for Grace, for the 25 other innocent children and devoted educators who had so much left to give; for the men and women in big cities and small towns who fall victims to senseless violence each and every day; for all the Americans who are counting on us to keep them safe from harm.  
Let's do the right thing.  Let's do the right thing for them and for this country that we love so much.  
Thank you.  Let's sign these orders. 

.

7 comments:

  1. Of possible interest, Dr. Klein has written a related article. Keep in mind it predates US v. ALA in 2003.

    Please see, "Censoring the Internet Won't Protect Kids," by Marty Klein, Ph.D., SexEd.org, 4 February 2001.

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  2. Parents, take heed. The weight of the ALA coming down in our local communities is downright barbaric. We can, and DO, have the right to SAY NO.

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  3. Hi Dan
    You and I have chatted on various other blogs regarding the West Bend matter. I was reading your blog, but am unable to find your biography information regarding your law degree. Where did you go to school? May I also ask what type of law you practiced? I am curious because you speak with authority on the library issue so I am wondering if you were a law librarian at one point. Thanks.

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  4. Beesbees, thanks for writing. I like that name, Beesbees :)

    I'll be happy to give you that information. The ALA has already investigated me on this issue, though it claims to advocate patron privacy. Then it used that information to, in my opinion, discriminate against me, violate Pennsylvania Court Rules, and deny my intellectual freedom. See "Unequal Access."

    I am a patent attorney licensed nationwide. I am also a licensed attorney in PA and NJ, though I no longer practice. Nevertheless, taking a few CLE classes (like the ALA one I was singled out and excluded from by the "Office for Intellectual Freedom") and paying a certain fee, and a few other things, will restore me to active status if I wish.

    I practiced patents and trademarks, environmental, and matrimonial law. Patent law was the best.

    I was never a law librarian.

    I do have about eight years of experience monitoring the ALA's activities in local communities. This experience has enabled me to predict things. For example, I recently wrote about how the Holyoke Library Director (MA) might have covered-up a child pornography offense, and I recently wrote about the ALA's opposition to the USA PATRIOT Act as the reason to destroy library records that could be used to stop child porn criminals. Wouldn't you know a news report comes out after I wrote that saying the library director purposefully covered-up the child porn crime and claimed she did this to oppose the USA PATRIOT Act! So I may make strong claims/predictions, but those claims prove true. See: "Whistleblower Confirms Library Cover-Up of Child Pornography and Confirms USA PATRIOT Act Used as Excuse."

    Please be careful for criticizing me for lacking a better legal knowledge of the subject matter. I made every effort to get better educated in the area, but the ALA blocked me repeatedly, as shown in the link I provided above. It would be unfair to claim my knowledge is limited when the ALA is directly responsible for my limited knowledge.

    As to the name of the school I attended, if you don't mind, I would like to keep that to myself for general personal security reasons.

    Beesbees, I hope you see I write on many issues besides the one in West Bend, and I hope you consider subscribing to my blog. Unlike the ALA, I welcome everyone.

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  5. In just the latest example of exactly how out of the mainstream is the ALA, exactly why the ALA should not be trusted for guidance regarding children in public libraries, take a look at this article, yes even the title itself:

    "Sonoma County Grand Jury Urges Library to Protect Kids From Adult Web Sites," by Martin Espinoza, The Press Democrat, 10 July 2009.

    The ALA would urge Sonoma County not to "protect kids."

    You have to wonder exactly why does the ALA bend over backwards to ensure local communities do not protect children. Why is it running a training session on how to oppose those seeking to protect children?

    A Sonoma County Grand Jury wants to protect community children, while the ALA is teaching librarians how to stop local populations from protecting their children.

    Does anyone see a problem here?

    "The civil grand jury’s report recommends that the library install Internet filter software 'as a means of protecting minors against pornography' and to relocate computer screens at the central library so they cannot be seen from the main aisle.

    "Library officials have long resisted such recommendations. On Friday, Library Director Sandra Cooper described the use of pornography filters as a 'slippery slope in terms of First Amendment rights.'"

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  6. First how to define "kid" or "child"? Is it any minor including young adults under the age of 18 or only actual small prepubescent children? We seem to have a problem in the US by infantalizing young adults even as old as 16 or 17. Secondly where is the scientific peer reviewed empirical study that certain books can cause harm and unreasonable harm at that, to children, however defined? I get the sense that most attempts at censorship have their origin more in attempting to control information in order to promote a particular religious doctrine rather than for any rational legitimate reason.

    If a young adult/adolescent is interested in investigating or exploring his or her sexuality, then what safer place than a library that doesn't censor the information and where the information is more likely to be accurate? Given the amount of information (and not always accurate) available on the internet and from individuals that young people meet and/or with whom they communicate, any concern regarding libraries is probably misplaced.

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  7. Kiss me hard & fuck me harder! Hey, i am looking for an online sexual partner ;) Click on my boobs if you are interested (. )( .)

    ReplyDelete

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