Friday, August 28, 2009

Censored Librarian Fights Back; Defamation Suit by Scott Savage--Maybe the ALA Should Be Sued Too

The American Library Association [ALA] opposes censorship, right? That's why it created "National Hogwash Week," a.k.a. "Banned Books Week," right? False. The ALA refused to come to the aid of a censored librarian. Why? He sought to balance a reading list for college freshmen with conservative choices. See "Persecuted Librarian Censored Again," by Scott Savage, WorldNetDaily, 9 May 2006.

Now, years later, Scott Savage is suing for defamation, and I'll venture to say the need for this suit is possibly a direct result of the ALA's failure to help Scott Savage in the first place. I urge Mr. Savage to consider if there may be any legal remedy against the ALA for damages resulting from its failure to support his efforts to provide a balanced reading list to incoming Ohio State University-Mansfield freshmen. Had Scott Savage recommended inappropriate material for children, the ALA would have snapped to attention. As Mr. Savage said, "Memo to J. Krug: four weeks of heavy media and Internet exposure, and you haven't called – is this a 'Day of Silence' protest on your part?"

So much for the ALA's touted devotion to "intellectual freedom."

For details on the defamation suit, see "Ex-Librarian Refiles Suit Over Reading List Dispute," by Linda Martz, Mansfield News Journal, 28 August 2009.

Hat tip to LISNews for making me aware of this matter.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Stem Cell Donor Needed Now for Father of Two Small Children

It's not library related but it's more important, life and death. The following is a letter I received that I believe to be legitimate:

Mitchell Brown is a family friend who is living in East Brunswick , NJ with his 3 year old son and two month old daughter. Mitchell was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in April of this year. Unfortunately, Mitchell has not responded to his chemotherapy and his only chance for survival is a stem cell transplant. Mitchell is looking for a matching stem cell donor. He is not expected to survive more than 4-6 weeks without a match. Being a donor today is a lot less invasive than many years ago. It’s quick and as easy as donating blood.

Learn how you can help below!

What Can I Do To Help?

Get Tested

This is the single most important thing you can do. Mitchell is in need of a stem cell donor whose DNA best matches his. The hope is that the donor’s stem cells can be transplanted and start to regenerate new white blood cells that are then capable of destroying his cancer cells. He need as many people as possible to get tested to see if they are a potential donor match. The process is quick and easy.

You Could Be a Match

Mitchell Needs Your Help!

Mitchell has not responded to chemotherapy and his only chance for survival is a stem cell transplant. Time is of the essence so he is asking as many people as possible to get tested now to see if they are a potential DNA match.

How Can I Get Tested?

Call Lab Corp at 1-800-533-1037 and ask to speak to Sharon, Tanya, or David. Tell them that you would like to be tested as a potential donor match for Mitchell Brown (Date of Birth: 1-5-1977). Let them know that Mitchell is part of the Hackensack University Medical Center Friends and Family Account, so they know where to send the results.

Lab Corp will send you a testing kit. The test involves nothing more than a swab of the inside of your cheek. Please understand that there is a cost associated with the kit that is typically not covered by your insurance. Lab Corp will bill you a charge of $150.00 after they receive your kit back in the mail. However, if you are interested in being tested and cannot afford it, please let Mitchell and his family know, as there may be donated funds available to offset the cost.

You will need to follow the directions and mail the kit back to Lab Corp ASAP. When filling out the paperwork, please be sure to give Lab Corp permission to fax your results directly to CarolAnne Carini, Transplant Coordinator at Hackensack University Medical Center . Her direct fax # is: 201-996-5691.

What If I am a Potential Match?

As a potential donor, you would need to come to Hackensack University Medical Center or your local hospital to have some routine preliminary tests such as an EKG, Chest Scan, etc. Once confirmed that you are healthy enough, the transplant involves a shot called Neupogen®, which is designed to quickly increase the number of white blood cells in your body. The Neupogen® sends a message to your bone marrow to start producing more white blood cells, which in turn increases the number of Stem Cells floating through your blood. Shortly after the Neupogen® is administered, you will be required to donate blood for a few hours a day over a two day period.

Please note that as a donor, all medical costs incurred in connection with the donation (preliminary tests, the Neupogen® shot, the blood donation, etc) will be covered under Mitchell’s medical insurance as the recipient and there will be no additional costs to you.

Being a donor today is a lot less invasive than many years ago. It’s quick and as easy as donating blood.

Will you consider getting tested today?

Thank you for your support and please feel free to email Mitchell with any questions at or his wife Jill at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

4664 Successfully Petition for Filters on Public Library Computers

Public library board members like to say petitions are irrelevant, don't even bother. I was once told the public is "too unsophisticated" anyway.

Apparently, that's false. Please read "People Power Forces Porn Filter," by Nikkii Joyce, Sunshine Coast Daily, 18 August 2009.

Here are choice quotes, emphasis mine:

Community anger and a petition signed by 4664 people have forced the Sunshine Coast Regional Council to take action to install internet filters to block pornography at public libraries.

Mayor Bob Abbot has admitted the strength of the petition and an increasingly vocal public pushed the council into a corner.


That is what a petition is for, to give council an indication of community feel and when the petition first came round it gave us that feel so we kept on with the process,” he said.

“The problem we faced is making a decision without the information,” Mr Abbot said.


Councillor Anna Grosskreutz, who has supported the campaign from the start, said a closed forum held in the morning was brief and to the point.

“There are many things that are being eroded and people and families are losing the ability to choose what they want to see or what they want their children to see, so this is a wonderful result,” she said.

FYI, here are more library crime and filtering stories from Australia's Sunshine Coast.

Has your library said petitions or public input are practically irrelevant? Add a comment to let others know.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Banned Books Week Versus Library Crime; Call for the ALA to Track Library Crime

Why doesn't the American Library Association [ALA] track library crime? Why does it instead track efforts to keep children from accessing inappropriate material? Why does the ALA trump up efforts to protect children as evil in "Banned Books Week" [BBW] while at the same time downplaying criminal attacks on children in public libraries?

Yes, the ALA trumps up supposed "censorship" in BBW. Yes, the ALA downplays criminal attacks on children. Why does it do that?

Following library crime is not terribly hard or technically challenging. The ALA could do it easily if it wished. Instead such work is done by others. Consider these:

Sometimes libraries aid and abet pedophiles, even going so far as to destroy physical evidence. Why? As the former 40 year de facto leader of the ALA said, "A librarian is not a legal process. 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." Really? Is it that difficult? What makes lawyers better than librarians?

Sometimes the librarians themselves are victims and the ALA or its acolytes does nothing. Why?

So as to the title, "Banned Books Week Versus Library Crime," why does the ALA play up "censorship" but play down library crime?

Here's a search for "library crime" or "library crimes" on ALA.ORG - zero results:

Compare that with a search for censorship on ALA.ORG - thousands of results:

I call on the ALA to start tracking library crime.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

ALA Censors with Gay Abandon

"The Corrupt American Library Association Censors with Carefree Abandon"
by Laurie Higgins
Illinois Family Institute
12 August 2009

In the fall of 2008, I wrote two articles describing how absurdly imbalanced public high school book collections are on the topic of homosexuality. I mentioned in those two articles that Deerfield High School had approximately 65 books that espouse liberal views on homosexuality and not one that espouses conservative views. At New Trier High school in Winnetka, it's even worse: it's approximately 120 liberal books to 0 conservative.

Now the organization "Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays" (PFOX) has issued a press release taking a West Bend, Wisconsin library to task for its refusal to include in its book collection any books written by or about men and women who have decided no longer to engage in homosexual acts or identify as homosexuals, while at the same time carrying numerous books that espouse positive views of homosexuality:
"Despite public opposition, the West Bend Community Memorial Library continues to stock gay books for children and teens while neglecting books by ex-gay authors.

"Many of the gay books promote homosexual behavior to youth and are the subject of protests by concerned parents, whose request to have the books moved to the adult section were denied.

"'Our requests that the Library balance some of its homosexual material for children with material written by ex-gays or with a heterosexual slant have been ignored,' said Regina Griggs, executive director of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).

"'Apparently, the West Bend Community Memorial Library is not interested in diversity,' said Griggs. . . . According to its own policy, the Library has a 'professional responsibility to be inclusive, not exclusive, in developing collections.'

"'For a library to provide children's books which promote homosexuality while denying ex-gay books smacks of censorship and indoctrination of youth with a one-sided ideology,' said Griggs."
Furthermore, PFOX is asking the American Library Association (ALA) to condemn the violation of ALA principles that such censorship represents. There are two chances of that happening: slim and fat.

In July 2009, the American Library Association held its annual convention right here in Chicago. It might surprise IFI readers to learn that one of the pressing issues addressed at this convention for librarians was same-sex marriage. This issue is of such pressing concern to the ALA that a resolution was put forward that has the ALA formally endorsing same-sex marriage. I hope this disabuses the naïve among us of the delusion that the ALA is an unbiased, politically neutral organization committed to providing "leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all."

Here is a "must-read" article about the event from the delightfully sardonic "Annoyed Librarian" who wrote about the resolution in his or her blog post "ALA 2009: ALA Council and Same Sex Marriage." (Please send this link to the librarians in your schools and community libraries.)

ALA ideologues are prepared to defend their de facto censorship practices. Their defense centers around their "Collection Development Policies" (CDP's). The term sounds so stupefyingly boring that no one thinks to look closely at them and how they actually affect library book collections--but we should.

Fortunately, two university librarians have provided cynical, saucy, and trenchant analyses of CDP's which you can read here and here.

It's not just the ALA whose bias is showing. A cursory look at the ideological biases of those who publish, review, and recommend books to school libraries and who sit on award committees will illuminate why such imbalances exist at virtually all public school and community libraries.

Secular publishing companies are largely staffed by liberals. Schools of education and departments of library science are notoriously liberal. Organizations that review and recommend books are notoriously liberal. And committees that award literary prizes are largely composed of individuals who hold liberal views on social issues, including homosexuality.

These various groups, along with English departments in colleges, universities, and high schools, are embarrassingly hypocritical when it comes to their public statements about intellectual freedom and diversity. When it comes to the topic of homosexuality, they are intellectually incestuous, politically motivated, narrow-minded, intolerant censors.

Below is an excerpt from a 2008 article written by four women on the staff of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison followed by their biographies, which reveals just how influential ideologues are in determining what books libraries purchase. This will also clarify why West Bend, Wisconsin community members are having so much trouble getting ideas into their local libraries:
Over the past few years there has been a welcome increase in young adult novels dealing with gay and lesbian themes and topics, and 2007 proved to be the best year yet, not only in terms of quantity but in terms of quality as well (emphasis added). We were pleased to see several newcomers pen their first novels for young adults with LGBTQ themes. Among these are published adult authors writing for the first time for teenagers, including Peter Cameron (Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You) and James St. James (Freak Show). First-time novelists M. Sindy Felin (Touching Snow) and Perry Moore (Hero) both got off to a great start with their original, finely crafted stories.

Established authors Julie Peters, (grl2grl) and Ellen Wittlinger (Parrotfish) expanded the genre by offering a variety of LGBTQ characters, including transgender teens. And Nancy Garden, a pioneer in the field, published a collection of short stories (Hear Me Out) that shows the changes that have occurred in the lives of gay and lesbian teens over the past six decades. This year also marked the twenty-fifth-anniversary edition of Annie on My Mind (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which was so groundbreaking when it came out-the first gay/lesbian love story with a happy ending. We have come a very long way, indeed, since John Donovan published I'll Get There: It Better Be Worth the Trip (Harper & Row), the first gay novel for teens, in 1969.

In addition to Annie on My Mind, 2007 was an anniversary year for another landmark young adult novel. S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders, now a classic, came out in a fortieth-anniversary edition. Both of these books were important precursors of things to come.
. . .
In fact, one of the things that struck us profoundly this year was the fact that publishing reflecting the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning youth has, in just a few years, grown exponentially, and in that growth we are seeing more new voices and greater diversity of experience than we see within any single component of multicultural literature.

Kathleen T. Horning
Kathleen is the director of the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kathleen T. Horning is a librarian who has served on many ALA award committees and is the former chair of the Newbery Award Committee. Kathleen is a past-president of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) of the American Library Association (ALA), and a past president of the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). She has served on ALA/SRRT's Rainbow List, ALA/ALSC's Notable Children's Books Committee and an earlier Newbery Award Committee. She chaired ALA/ALSC's first Committee on Social Issues in Relationship to Materials and Services for Children. Kathleen frequently lectures to librarians on issues in evaluating literature for children and young adults, and she was named the 2010 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecturer for ALA/ALSC.

Merri V. Lindgren
Merri is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Merri is a regular contributor to the Wisconsin State Journal, writing a monthly column about books for children and young adults. Merri was a member of the American Library Association ALSC/YALSA 2008 Odyssey Award committee and is serving on the ALA/ALSC 2010 Caldecott Award Committee. She served on the 2001 Charlotte Zolotow Award committee and chaired the 2002, 2006, and 2007 Charlotte Zolotow Award committees.

Tessa Michaelson
Michaelson is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Tessa is the producer of the weekly CCBC podcasts. Tessa is chair of the 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Award Committee, and served as a member of the 2009 Zolotow Award Committee.

Megan Schliesman
Schliesman is a librarian at the Cooperative Children's Book Center of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Megan served on the American Library Association/ALSC 2005 Newbery Award Committee and is chairing the ALA/ALSC 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Committee. She has also served on the 1998, 1999 and 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award committees, chaired the 2003 and 2008 Zolotow Award committees, and will chair the 2009 committee. Megan manages the CCBC Intellectual Freedom Information Services and "What IF . . . Questions and Answers on Intellectual Freedom" forum.
Through its de facto censorship mechanism, cunningly obscured behind the sterile nomenclature "Collection Development Policy," the American Library Association has become a corrupt, hypocritical organization committed to promulgating biased, subversive social and political views on the controversial topic of homosexuality. On this topic one thing's certain: if you're looking for intellectual diversity, stay out of your libraries.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

ALA Orders Troops to Town Hall Meetings to Promote Single Payer Health Care; Library Funding is Secondary Interest

[alacoun] Re: [srrtac-l] Re: Please Attend a Town Hall Meeting Near You!, Diedre Conkling, 08/08/2009
  • From: Diedre Conkling
  • To: "Kristin Murphy, American Library Association" , SRRTAC-L , ALA Council ,
  • Subject: [alacoun] Re: [srrtac-l] Re: Please Attend a Town Hall Meeting Near You!
  • Date: Fri, 7 Aug 2009 23:05:35 -0700

Al is very correct in stating this and I wish I had thought of it. I also hope that we can bring up the universal health care issue and the fact that it is supported by ALA at the town hall meetings. This is why it was important that we pass the resolution this summer - so that we would have a clear and updated message to share with our Senators and Representatives this summer.

If you can't make it to a town hall meeting then please call, write, and/or email your Senators and Representatives about health care and library funding.

On Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM, Al Kagan <> wrote:
Dear Ms. Murphy,

Since you mention health care, remember that the ALA Council has again just passed a resolution in favor on universal health care, Council Document #54. I ask that you include that information in your messages immediately since the fate of health care will be decided very soon. ALA first endorsed single-payer health care in 2006. The current resolution states that ALA "Reaffirms its support for affordable universal health care program, including the option of single payer health care program."

Please don't ignore the Council.

Al Kagan
SRRT Councilor, 1999-2009

On Aug 7, 2009, at 1:07 PM, Kristin Murphy, American Library Association wrote:

This month, Congress has adjourned for a district work period, enabling them to meet with constituents and discuss critical issues facing our country.
Lately, Congress has focused much of its attention to health care, and House and Senate leadership have encouraged members to hold town hall meetings to discuss this topic as well as other important issues. During these public meetings, elected officials want to hear about what matters most to the community. Thus, town hall meetings are the ideal venue for sharing specific stories about the valuable resources libraries are providing to constituents - at no cost for usage and a minimal cost to taxpayers - and the need to invest more federal funding in these critical community institutions.
Your legislator is hosting a town hall meeting in your area within the next few weeks, and we encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to publicly tell your elected official about the services your local libraries are providing to his or her constituents and to ask what they will do to support our nation's libraries. As an added benefit, sharing this information will not only inform your elected official but also the individuals attending the meeting who may not know about the many resources and services a 21st century library offers.
If you are able to attend, the ALA Washington Office has resources for you to use. Please contact Kristin Murphy by e-mail ( or by phone (800.941.8478) and she will walk you through the town hall meeting process and provide you with talking points and any additional materials you may need.

Official: Rep. Timothy Johnson
Topic: Town Hall
When: 08/10/2009
Starts: 07:00 PM
Where: Pontiac City Hall, 115 W. Howard Street, Pontiac, IL

If you no longer wish to receive e-mail from us, please click [elided]

Diedre Conkling
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR 97365
Work phone & fax: 541-265-3066
Work email:
Home email:

Friday, August 7, 2009

IT Experts Say Library Filtering Easy to Configure

Information technology experts have said providing public libraries with an effective Internet filtering solution is a snap. Further, concerns about overblocking can be easily overcome, and any anti-filtering stance is "behind the times." See "IT Experts Could Foil Library Porn Pervs," by Mark Bode, Sunshine Coast Daily, 7 August 2009, emphasis mine:

A brainstorming session between a group of Sunshine Coast IT experts yesterday has yielded what they claim would be a powerful tool in the fight against those using public library computers to access porn.

The nine Microsoft-certified technicians from the Kunda Park-based company EH Technology want Sunshine Coast council to consider implementing a filter-firewall technology called a sonic wall.

EH Technology business development manager Adam MacLennan said the content security management application would prove a potent foil against those who use public libraries to view or download pornography – including offensive child images.

Council has previously said it was against installing internet filters at libraries because it would result in inoffensive sites being blocked.

However, Mr MacLennan said his team could install a system which would allow library staff to easily unblock inoffensive sites if asked to do so by a patron. “We can set it up the way council wants,” he said.

Mr MacLennan said many companies – including his own – successfully used internet filters and firewalls to stop staff from accessing certain websites.

The Scottish-born computer expert said council’s anti-filter stance at its libraries was “behind the times”.


Is your public library "behind the times"?


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ALA Trifecta: Socialized Medicine, Gay Marriage, and Animal Cruelty Depictions

What do socialized medicine, gay marriage, and animal cruelty depictions have to do with public libraries? Nothing. But that does not stop the American Library Association [ALA] from officially supporting all three in an ALA trifecta.

As reported in "Librarians for Terror," by Lee Kaplan, FrontPage Magazine, 17 August 2004:

Dr. Stephen Karetzky, a noted librarian, wrote more than 20 years ago about the ALA's embracing, Soviet-style totalitarianism in the American library system in his book, Not Seeing Red: American Librarianship and the Soviet Union, 1917-1960. He contends that the ALA has always advanced radical socialist doctrine as being positive.... Library Science is closely tied in with today's university atmosphere where Marxism now thrives....

Is he right? Consider the following. It is not proof positive, but it may help to inform:

None of that has anything to do with public libraries, despite what the American Library Users Association says.

What say you?