Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Extensive Therapy For Library Thief; Crestview Public Library Not Responsible For Child's Losing His Mind Over Stolen Adult Material

The Crestview Public Library, Crestview, FL, is not responsible for the consequences of a child stealing an adult book from the library.  He "lost his mind" after reading the material and is now in a "home for extensive therapy."  See "Crestview Mom Targets Manga; Calls It 'Shocking,'" by Brian Hughes, Crestview News Bulletin, 2 July 2010.

I am very sorry that inappropriate material for children may have negatively affected the boy.  However, the library kept the book "in the general stacks, on a top shelf in a section with other graphic novels and comic books not geared toward young readers," as opposed to "the young adult section of the library [that] is oriented toward young teen readers and does not contain the adult themes of the book [the boy] took."  The mother admitted, "her son had removed the book unsupervised from the library's general stacks last summer and put it in his backpack."

So he stole the adult book a year ago and now needs "extensive therapy."  That is not the library's fault so far as I can see.  "We have policies and procedures in place to prevent underage children from accessing those materials."  Theft circumvents those policies and procedures and circumvents the library's liability.

I called the library director, Jean Lewis, and the governmental official, Council President Charles Baugh Jr., to offer my assistance, for what it's worth.  I am usually critical of libraries in situations where children are being harmed as a result of American Library Association policy, but this is not one of those cases.

Rather, this is an example of a citizen making false accusations about a library, at least as reported in the media.  The mother "had circulated a petition bearing 226 signatures of citizens protesting the availability of manga, ... which is ... Japanese animation.  However library said some patrons complained they were misled when they signed the petition.  'They told us [the mother] ... asked them to sign a petition protesting pornography in the library....'"  Let's be clear.  SafeLibraries supports actual instances of library policy or practices harming children, not manufactured claims of library malfeasance.

See also:

Okay, all my readers who expect me to oppose the library every time, why don't you comment on what I just said?


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cuban Librarians May Be Freed; ALA Refusal to Assist May Have Helped Keep Them Invisible

Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel for some jailed Cuban librarians the American Library Association [ALA] refuses to assist.  For details, see:
The articles do not say some are librarians, like Guillermo Fari├▒as, but some are

It may be possible the ALA's refusal to seriously support the librarians may have helped keep their activities as librarians invisible to the main stream media in the examples above.  If so, once again, while "censors" keeping children from inappropriate material gets the ALA's attention and press coverage, true censorship and true suppression of intellectual freedom does not.  Once again we see another black stain on the ALA's record, another reason why ALA misinformation in local communities cannot be trusted.

See also my previous blog posts on the jailed Cuban librarians.


Friday, July 2, 2010

ALA, Elena Kagan, Book Banners All

US Supreme Court candidate Elena Kagan supports book banning.  See:
The justices subjected [Kagan’s deputy, Malcolm L.] Stewart to a series of stark hypothetical situations testing the extent of the censorship power that the Obama Administration viewed as constitutionally permissible.  ....  '[W]e could prohibit publication of the book,' Stewart replied.  ....  Given the skeptical questioning at the prior hearing, Kagan seems to have made the tactical decision to back off from her office's initial claims and opted to craft a less controversial way of getting the justices to accept significant restrictions on free speech.
What has the American Library Association [ALA] done about this?  This advocacy of banning?  This censorship?  This significant restriction on free speech?  Nothing.  Silence.  That is a sure sign the ALA endorses the banning of the kind of books Elena Kagan supports banning. 

Let a parent oppose a book containing bestiality in a public school and the ALA immediately speaks out claiming the parents are racist.  But Cuba burning books?  Of Martin Luther King, Jr.?  Or jailing Cuban librarians?  No problem.  Elena Kagan supporting the banning of books by not opposing a law that allows it?  Silence.  Tacit approval.  The ALA evidences by its silence that it too supports book banning.  Keep this in mind the next time the ALA interferes with your own community libraries or public schools.

The ALA/Kagan book-banning bond was foreshadowed.  Both make falsity look true then fool people nationally.  In Elena Kagan's case, she falsified medical claims about abortion and those false claims were presented as the truth and affected a US Supreme Court decision on partial birth abortion.  See:

In the ALA's case, it falsifies claims about "censorship" that it presents as the truth, then creates "Banned Books Week" to influence the entire nation, although no books have been banned in the USA for about half a century.  Half a century!
We now know that the "most reliable opinion" was aided significantly by Kagan herself, and even the "emphasis added" that she notes in her memo [PDF] to the president was her own, since she recommended that emphasis to ACOG in her markup [PDF].  But none of that stopped her from touting the ACOG statement without qualification as a basis to support his veto.
Does that not sound like the ALA self-promoting itself as the arbiter of what is censorship?  Does that not sound like the ALA touting itself as authoritative in local communities, public libraries, and school libraries based on its own phoney views as expressed during "National Hogwash Week"?

Does anyone think what Elena Kagan did is dishonest?  How is what the ALA has done and continues to do any different?  Even the victims are the same, children, are they not?

Isn't it a shame the ALA says nothing about this and only little mom and pops the ALA derides as "censors" who "oppose intellectual freedom policies" and the "First Amendment" have to take a stand against potential government censorship?  Somebody tell me where my opinion as expressed here is wrong.  Someone wake up the ALA.  Please comment below.