Friday, November 26, 2010

Anything Goes for America if Seattle Public Library Director Susan Hildreth's Nomination is Confirmed for the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Susan Hildreth
"Anything goes" is coming to American libraries if the nominee for the Institute of Museum and Library Services [IMLS] Director is confirmed.   Susan Hildreth has been nominated for this post.  N1, N2, N3.  She is the American Library Association's [ALA] Freedom To Read Foundation [FTRF] Treasurer.  She is also the Seattle Public Library's director.  She should not be confirmed.  Here's why:

Susan Hildreth's ALA is an Anything-Goes Organization Out of the Mainstream

The ALA, in which Susan Hildreth is prominently positioned, is an "anything goes" organization.  As Will Manley of the ALA put it:

It would appear that in the case of keeping children away from Internet p[]rnography, it is the library profession, not the Supreme Court, which has distanced itself from the mainstream.  Our profession's 'anything goes' view of intellectual freedom simply does not square with the values of the communities we serve.  N4.

Will Manley asks:

Why is there such a disconnect between our profession and everyone else on this particular issue?  More specifically, how could we have allowed ourselves to be put in such a publicly disadvantageous position as defending the right of children to access p[]rnography?  The answer is simple and ironic.  Our profession preaches intellectual freedom but does not tolerate its practice within our own ranks.  Librarians imbued with common sense and good political judgment are afraid to espouse even a moderate position that advocates the limited use of filters.  There is a great fear within librarianship of being branded a censor.  No librarian wants to be wounded by that bullet.  That's why we can never really initiate an open and honest dialogue among ourselves on issues involving even the most obvious need for limitations of intellectual freedom.  As a result, the extremists always dominate, and we end up with an "anything goes" official policy that distances the library profession from mainstream America.  N4.

Has an out-of-the-mainstream extremist just been nominated for IMLS Director?  She is from the FTRF, after all.  But let us look at the library that she directs to examine this issue further.  She likely has more sway there as director than in the ALA as treasurer of the FTRF.

Susan Hildreth's Library Approves Internet P0rnography and Opposes Filtering

Susan Hildreth directs the Seattle Public Library.  The library refuses to use Internet filters to cut back on the p0rnography that may attract crime.  N5.  In fact, the library welcomes p0rnography: it's—"okay"!  A shocking statement, yes, but here is the basis for that observation:

"Each individual to have access to constitutionally protected material," Seattle Public Library Spokesperson Andra Addison said.

In Seattle, it's open access to everyone. As long as it's legal, it's okay, even if it's explicit. They're not about censorship, they're about protecting user privacy and confidentiality.

"The library believes it's the right and responsibility of parents and legal guardians to determine and monitor their own children's use," Addison said.

And that's where it comes down to choice: choice for parents, choice for the library.  Libraries try to walk that line, especially since there is a wide range of what people consider explicit.  But all will tell you, filters can be a false sense of security.

"You can be vigilant, and you can be proactive but you cannot prevent it," Rosemary said.  N6.

Susan Hildreth's Outdated Dogma on Internet Filters and Public Library P0rn

Dean Marney
A "false sense of security"?  Does Susan Hildreth believe that?  Yes.  As she put it, "Internet filtering is not 100 percent effective at all.  They're not able to deal with all the wild and crazy sites that are put up at every minute of the day."  N7.

Is it true that filtering is not effective and that legal p0rnography may not be kept out of libraries?  Of course not.  It may be what Susan Hildreth believes, the person nominated to lead the IMLS, but it is not true.  Ask library director Dean Marney, for example.  He revealed that the ALA uses outdated dogma to control local libraries, and good filters work fine.  See, "Library P[]rn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal P[]rn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma."  N8.

Susan Hildreth is using outdated dogma as well.  She won't change when she gets to the IMLS.

The Seattle Public Library Run by Susan Hildreth is Riddled with Crime

And what has come of Susan Hildreth's anything-goes policy?  This is an important question because, as IMLS Director, she may bring the ALA's anything-goes, out-of-the-mainstream and outdated dogma to the national stage.  How has the Seattle Public Library been affected by this policy with which Susan Hildreth agrees?  It has been riddled with crime, that's how.  Look:

KIRO7 Library Misconduct
Click for Video
KIRO Team 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne discovered security has already ejected 432 patrons in the first four months this year for offenses like assault, drug dealing, intoxication and lewd conduct.
In all, 1,323 conduct violations were substantiated just in 2008, a disproportionate number at the Central Library branch.
According to Seattle Library Administrator Marilynn Gardner, nobody has to worry about safety at any branch.  N9.

Right.  Nobody has to worry about safety in a library with thousands of incidents, N9, and where management believes viewing p0rnography is "okay," N6.  No wonder Seattle librarians think there's a "sort of 1984 atmosphere at the library these days."  N10.

The library simply refuses to use Internet filters to prevent p0rnography, N5; indeed, it believes p0rnography in the public library is "okay."  N6.  And the crimes continue by the hundreds.  N11.  Hundreds!  Does anyone see a problem with that?  Does anyone want Susan Hildreth to use her position as IMLS director to bring that to American libraries?

Loss of E-Rate Funding Never Restored; Hildreth Says Go Fish to the Poor

For those who do not know, the United States Supreme Court ruled that Internet filters in public libraries are perfectly legal.  N12.  To get E-Rate funding for "Internet Access," all you need do is use Internet filtering.  The Seattle Public Library used to get money for "Internet Access," but 2003 was the last year as a result of the library's refusal to use Internet filters.  N13.  At least that's better than the nearby King County Library System that is defrauding the E-Rate program of over $1,000,000.  N14. 

Does anyone in the Seattle community know that the Seattle Public Library is intentionally turning down funding it used to get, simply because p0rnography is "okay"?  Has Susan Hildreth, struggling for funding for the library, N15, done anything to restore the lost E-Rate funding?  No.  Instead, the library will shut for a week.  N15.  Apparently, ALA politics trumps local interests.  "[F]or those who aren't familiar with our digital collection, this is a good time to learn how to download books, movies and music, since they will be available during the closure," said Susan Hildreth.  N15.

Librarians, always decrying the "digital divide," N16, suddenly advise people to "learn how to download."  N15.  Will poor populations have computers at home to download during the week?  She could have obtained E-Rate funding by properly filtering the computers but chooses instead to shut the library for a week.  It's just more evidence of Hildreth's ideological bent.  Obviously she cares more about the p0rn people than about the poor people.  Is that IMLS material?

Susan Hildreth Frightens Librarians Into Silence

Remember from above how Will Manley revealed librarians are afraid to speak out for fear of what the ALA might do?  Guess who Seattle Public Library librarians fear?  IMLS director nominee Susan Hildreth:

[M]any librarians feel unrepresented by management, and some fear retribution for speaking their minds against new policies and restructuring.
When asked why she didn't include a librarian on the committee to provide perspectives of what day-to-day SPL employees need or believe should be added to service, Hildreth says she didn't want an internal perspective to influence the committee.  "That's why we don't have [library] board members on the committee," she says.
The advisory committee isn't the only place where librarians feel silenced, though.  In recent months, SPL employees have taken to anonymously posting comments on blogs to air their grievances about recent shifts in policy and what they perceive as a newfound institutional inattentiveness to the needs of many patrons.  SPL employees stormed the web in protest when the December 30 edition of American Libraries magazine praised Hildreth and the library board for being "inspiring" and "ambitious."

The Stranger
A number of librarians have contacted The Stranger anonymously because they think the public needs to be informed that they are unhappy with SPL leadership.  Common complaints include anger at the creation of a new level of middle management while entry-level positions are cut and hours are shortened; a lack of librarian input on planning, restructuring, and budget decisions; fear of retribution for negative comments (even if the comments are delivered internally, through proper channels); a lack of communication with the library board; and a long-term plan to replace qualified librarians with volunteers and paraprofessionals.
Librarians have their own hopes for [Mayor] McGinn.  The mayor doesn't have much official power over the library-he approves the budget and appoints new members to five-year terms on the five-person library board-but they would like him to advocate for them.  One librarian says, "It's hard for someone in my position not to fantasize about the mayor pulling Susan Hildreth aside at some future meeting and saying, 'I hear your staff is not at all happy with how things are being run lately.  Not enough communication?  Something about bullies?  Might [be worth] watching.'  It'd be nice to imagine there was pressure, however subtle, from above, for her to clean house a bit."  N16.

Wow.  Her own librarians are afraid of Susan Hildreth, and now she's going to be the IMLS director.  Wow.


How ALA and ALA Affiliate Bullies
Get It Done
If Susan Hildreth becomes IMLS director, ALA politics will trump national interests, just like they trumped local Seattle interests with Susan Hildreth at the helm.  She can clearly steer national funding the ALA's way.  N17.  I am certain she will steer national policy the ALA's way as well.  Communities may suffer as a direct result.

I strongly oppose approving Susan Hildreth as IMLS director, and I urge people to contact their leaders [U.S. Capitol Switchboard 202-224-3121].  For example, urge Senator John McCain to oppose Susan Hildreth as IMLS director.  Especially tell members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee before December 1.  N18.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will be holding a full committee markup at 10am on Wednesday, December 1.  On the agenda for this markup, among other issues, the committee is scheduled to vote on the nomination of Susan Hildreth to be the director of the Institute for Museum and Library Sciences (IMLS).  N18.

And, given what Will Manley (and The Stranger) said about librarians being afraid to speak out for fear of being labeled a censor (like the ALA labels all library patrons who raise concerns, N19), comments below may be left anonymously.  Here's your chance.  Speak out before the ALA policy that has made the Seattle Public Library crime riddled and fear wracked becomes national policy.  The ALA monitors this blog so your comments will be noticed.

End Notes

N1:  "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts, 9/29/10," by Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, 29 September 2010.

N2:  "Hildreth To Be Nominated as IMLS Director," by David Rapp, Library Journal, 30 September 2010.

N3:  "President Nominates Former Public Library Association President for IMLS Director," by Jenni Terry, (ALA) American Libraries, 30 September 2010.

N4:  "Intellectual Freedom Begins at Home," by Will Manley, (ALA) Booklist, 1 October 2003.

N5:  "Public Use of the Internet Policy," by Library Board of Trustees, The Seattle Public Library, 22 January 2002.

N6:  "P[]rn at the Public Library: How Do Local Libraries Compare Across the State?," by Chelsea Kopta, KEPR 19, 12 June 2009.

N7:  "P[]rn, Sex Crimes At Libraries," by Dan Noyes, KIRO 7, 19 October 2007.

N8:  "Library P[]rn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal P[]rn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 15 November 2010.

N9:  "Library Conduct Violations Reach All-Time High," by Chris Halsne, KIRO 7, 27 May 2009.

N10:  "Not Keeping Quiet; Librarians Speak Out Against Proposed Policies at Seattle Public Library," by Paul Constant, The Stranger, 16 June 2009.

N11:  "Incidents by Primary Rule Violation, 2007-2009," by Seattle Public Library, KIRO 7, data from 3/07-12/09.

N12:  United States v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003).

N13:  "Automated Search of Commitments," by Universal Service Administrative Company, undated.

N14:  "Library Leaves Pedophile Free to Molest Other Children; King County Library System Defrauds Taxpayers of $1,158,253 from CIPA Program; Media Investigation Needed," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 14 October 2010.

N15:  "Seattle Libraries to Shut Down for a Week; Budget Woes for Second Closure in a Year," by Larry Lange, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 22 August 2010.

N16: "Corporate Euphemisms, Angry Librarians, Accusations of Bullying: The Tense Battle for Seattle Public Library's Future," by Paul Constant, The Stranger, 8 April 2010.

N17:  "Among $9.3 Million in National Leadership Grants, IMLS Backs ALA E-Government Project," by Carrie Netzer Wajda, Library Journal, 4 October 2010.

N18:  "HELP Committee is Scheduled to Vote on the Nomination of Susan Hildreth and LSTA Reauthorization," by ALA Washington Office, American Library Association, 24 November 2010.

N19:  "The Parent Trap: ALA Uses Banned Books Week to Ridicule Patrons Complying with ALA Materials Reconsideration Policies," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 29 September 2010.

About the Author

I'm Dan Kleinman and I wrote the above opinion.  I began opposing ALA policy almost a decade ago when the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom policies forced inappropriate material into the hands of my kindergartner.  The school principal eventually removed the material from the public school library stating she found it twice as bad as I had reported.  Now running, I educate people and politicians about who controls public libraries and what can be done to restore local control.  I am consulted nationwide for my expertise in how the negative aspects of ALA influence can be mitigated, and I appear in numerous media reports.  I write regularly and ask people to consider subscribing to SafeLibraries.  Guest posts are welcome.  I track library crimes on Delicious and broadcast my latest crime additions on my SafeLibraries Twitter.  I may be reached at

My efforts and those of my late partner, Mark Decker, have been rewarded by the ALA naming SafeLibraries as one of its "prominent" opponents, if not the top one.  See "Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition," Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, 2010, p.383 [ALA's online version naming SafeLibraries].  Also see:

I am available for media interviews.  This is especially important as the ALA plans a huge propaganda campaign in September 2011 for the 30th anniversary of "Banned Books Week."  I can provide balance with a smile and with solid legal and factual support, as illustrated above.  Hint, no books have been banned in the USA for almost 50 years.

URL for this blog post:  


Today, the Senate HELP committee was no help.  The nomination of Susan Hildreth to be the director of IMLS was favorably reported from committee.  Her nomination now goes to the full Senate.  When you call your senators, please urge them to oppose Ms. Hildreth’s nomination.  Given this is the lame duck session, I doubt such opposition will prevail.



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The ALA Alienates Librarians Because It is Politicized, Elitist, Group Think Oriented, Not Very Professional, and Generally Does Not Serve the Needs of Librarians

The American Library Association [ALA] alienates librarians.  A fed up librarian points out the ALA is politicized, elitist, group think oriented, not very professional, and generally does not serve the needs of librarians.  He claims many librarians feel the same way.  He even suggests the ALA should be shut down.  See: "No, I Am Not Paying ALA Dues...And Here's Why," by Dances With Books, Dances With Books, 22 November 2010.

Here are excerpts:

I am not happy with a lot of the politics in the U.S.; I just don't think ALA committees are the place for them when there are a lot of more important issues affecting librarians directly.
I would say the problem is not in the librarians; it is in the organization.  It is time to ask what it is the organization is failing to do and either fix it or just shut it down if it is not meeting the needs of those it claims to serve.  And I do question that claim of service.  After all, it is the American LIBRARY Association, not American LIBRARIAN Association.  I do think that is a bit revealing.
While ideally I would like to share experiences, scholarship, and reflection with other librarians, I have found the venues and forums for such to be limited by either elitism and group think (i.e., if you are not part of the group, and you say the wrong thing, we'll bury you) or financial constraints (oh, you mean you can't make it to Annual and you are NOT a new librarian?  Too bad.  We can't help you.  And by the way, I recently saw someone in a forum ask just that question, why can't a mid-career librarian who may be needy get a little help now and then?  You don't want to know the answers they got.  Let's just say they were not very professional.  Not exactly a good impression to get me to join up if that is how they treat their own).
If ALA needs something to do, maybe working for [better wages] in some aggressive terms other than "we think it would be nice if you paid librarians more, but we are not going to raise a fuss about it" would be useful. 

I am not naive, but I am certainly disappointed.  Those in the national organization more often than not do more to alienate your average librarian than they realize.  At any rate, I am not renewing (or signing up again) membership with ALA.  I don't need pie in the sky.  I need something practical.  They are not providing it.  If that means I am "thinking like a consumer," well, too bad.  Until the day ALA somehow manages to force every librarian to join the collective, not paying is my way of saying I don't like how things work.

Fair notice: I was once an ALA member.  I did not renew because I could not afford it.  Also, I paid to attend ALA training but was rejected three times despite the law and the irony.

Do you feel the same way as Dances With Books?  Please comment below.  Anonymous comments are welcome, as always (unlike on an ALA blog).


Let me add an ALA source wherein the anti-ALA comments exemplify the above, and I will republish below the comments therein, in case the ALA removes them.  It's a shame the multiple "Anonymous" librarians are too afraid to leave their actual names.  Telling, isn't it?

From "American Library Association President Roberta Stevens on Proposed Collective Bargaining Legislation," by Macey Morales, American Library Association, 24 February 2011:

Rightfully yours to speak to?

Is the ALA a union leader for all of its members?  Please remember ALA that you also speak for non-school librarians, who do not wish to be dumped into the same political fracas as the afflicted in Wisconsin.  Not to downplay their situation, but just to remind that there are many librarians who may not be pro-collective bargaining.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Boy Sexually Assaulted in Library Bathroom by Child P0rn Viewer

Houston Public Library
Bathroom Stall Where
6 Year Old Boy was
Sexually Assaulted
It has happened again.  A criminal viewing child p0rnography on a public library computer followed boys into a library's bathroom and sexually assaulted one.  He had somehow bypassed the Internet filters (and that should be investigated). 

This was in the Freed-Montrose Neighborhood Library of the Houston Public Library, Houston, TX.  Read the news and watch the videos for yourselves.  I'm too sickened to want to reprint it here.  I see this too often doing what I do.


Sunday, November 21, 2010 Provides Parent Ratings of Public School Books

Sometimes it is best to take matters into your own hands when it comes to protecting your children from inappropriate material.  We all know that schools may act legally to protect children from inappropriate material and Banned Books Week is a hoax (and that libraries may legally block legal p()rn), but sometimes a little education/coaxing helps.

Cue  Here is a new school book content resource created by parents "because district parents had no practical way to know what books used in the Richland classrooms might contain objectionable material."  Now that's taking matters into your own hands!

Sure, there are other such sites, like Parents Against Bad Books in Schools (PABBIS), Citizens for Literary Standards in Schools, or Citizens for Academic Responsibility, but go give the new guy on the block,, a gander.  It is surprisingly detailed and may be useful to many communities nationwide.

When you have the American Library Association [ALA] awarding books containing oral s3x as the best book of the year for kids 12 and up, is it any wonder why people need to act on their own?

I love this:

This site was created to provide additional information to Richland, WA parents about the books their students may read in their high school Language Arts classes.  This site covers book content and themes, not the literary merit of the books.  This site is intended to supplement other sources of information, such as discussions with your child’s teacher(s), to help you make the best choices for your children.   This website is not affiliated with any particular group or organization, but rather is a grassroots effort by parents and friends.

We hope you find this information useful.  Additional reviews are added regularly, so please check back again.

Yes, check back often.  I suggest bookmarking the site right now.  I predict it not take long for the ALA to attack the parents and call them censors.

Here is a graphic of a sample book review from  It is for K.L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World:

Book review by The of K.L. Going's Fat Kid Rules the World

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Public Libraries: Their Potential to Improve Sex Education, by Kristin Davis, Guest Writer

Public Libraries: Their Potential to Improve Sex Education
Kristin Davis
Teen and Women's Health Care Advocate
16 November 2010

Unfortunately, with public schools no longer a source of unbiased, true information regarding teen sexuality, it rests on other institutions to educate teens about the dangers of irresponsible sexuality.  As purveyors of unbiased information, the public library system should fulfill its obligation as an institution of public service and offer teens and young adults the opportunity to learn about the dangers of irresponsible sex.  Particularly for young women, the risks associated with these unhealthy decisions run high, making it particularly imperative libraries fulfill their role in the facilitation of learning.  Few other topics carry such substantial consequences, making the open discussion of reckless behavior particularly important.

This past March, President Obama renewed the $50 million per year funding for abstinence-focused education over the next five years.  Based on this legislation, programs receiving funding must "teach that abstinence from sexual activity is the only certain way to avoid out-of-wedlock pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and other associated health problems," according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition to this incomplete curriculum, some critics feel this renewal of funding is unwarranted, pointing out that no conclusive results showing the education’s value have been found.  While abstinence is indeed the best method of avoiding unwanted sexual consequences, it remains unrealistic to believe all teens will choose to refrain from sex, especially with the brazen attitude regarding sexuality today and the hormonal surge that accompanies adolescence.  With the continued failure of schools to present this vital information, it then rests upon another public institution, libraries, to effectively educate teens with unbiased information.

Even if teens do find the unbiased information regarding responsible sexuality and contraceptive use, a serious lack of information about their effectiveness and safety remains.  In particular, oral contraceptives present a danger to young women.  While tempting to trust the heavy marketing manufacturers produce, these products often mislead young adults into believing they are safeguarded against sexually transmitted disease as well.  While pregnancy rates for unmarried young women in this country are seeing a welcome decline, sexually transmitted disease rates continue to grow.  Frighteningly, these drugs might actually be a contributing factor to this trend as teens protected from pregnancy are emboldened to have unprotected sex.

However, manufacturers of these contraceptives also fail to provide real information regarding their products.  Indeed, they actually contribute to the rampant misconceptions surrounding their products, regularly failing to point out important details regarding safety.  One oral contraceptive producer, Bayer HealthCare, was cited by the FDA for its misleading television advertisements.  Because Bayer HealthCare labeled its product a total quality-of-life aid, the FDA found it advertisements further misled teens with unproven claims.  Furthermore, Bayer was cited for substandard conditions in a plant in which its ingredients were manufactured.  However, the drug company's annual multi-million dollar advertising campaigns continue to overshadow these revelations and make its drugs the most popular form of contraception on the market for young women today.

Although Bayer HealthCare's lack of corporate integrity is disturbing, the severe physical consequence of these drugs is even more striking.  Oral contraceptives are hormone-altering pills and can actually lead to permanent side effects, like the possibility of infertility.  Originally introduced in the 1960's, evidence today links the growing use of these drugs with the rise of cancer seen in U.S. women.  Although easily dismissed by their harmless appearance, these drugs literally upset numerous significant aspects of women's physiology.

In fact, the growing number of complaints against oral contraceptives, exemplified by the common Yaz lawsuit seen in many courts today, indicates that the short-term safety of such birth control options is far from certain.  Users of this particular oral contraceptive have seen serious, and sometimes fatal, side effects including heart attack, stroke, blood clots, pulmonary embolisms and gallbladder disease.  However, because schools refuse to recognize anything but abstinence as a legitimate lifestyle and companies remain unwilling to risk their profits, these facts are rarely discussed with teens.

Because few establishments address these important issues, the public library system should embrace this opportunity to inform young adults of this danger.  Indeed, the American Library Association (ALA) already possesses a division dedicated to educating teens, called the Young Adult Library Services Association.  This group regularly supports events tailored to address specific concerns of young adults, including topics like social networking, cell phone use and podcasts.  Because this division within the ALA has an established history educating teens, including this vital topic of teen sexual health concerns can be accomplished easily and effectively.  Few issues today carry as much magnitude as teen sexuality, undeniably making this topic deserving of the ALA's attention.

With so many sources of inaccuracy and misinformation regarding safe sexuality and contraception, our country needs an institution not influenced by government dollars or profit to give them real facts regarding healthy sexuality.  Fortunately, the ALA's purpose is to facilitate learning, help young adults reach their full potential and better their respective communities, with which responsible sex education does indeed coincide.  The ALA's governing and policy manual even addresses sexual education for youths, stating that the organization possesses the right to present "comprehensive, sex-related education, materials, programs, and referral services of the highest quality."  With those policies already in place, the ALA needs to decide whether it will stand aside as these dangerous trends regarding reckless teen sexuality continue or utilize its role as a respected institution and work to influence this country in a positive way.

###   30   ###


Libraries can be safe libraries when they provide access to information that will help keep people safe.  Access to sexual health education is an important public library service.  Therefore, SafeLibraries has presented the above excellent guest blog post by Kristin Davis.  She is an aspiring freelance writer and a Teen and Women's Health Care Advocate.  She is passionate about these issues and the need to spread the word to educate others.  SafeLibraries is happy to bring you this guest post by Kristin Davis who is solely responsible for the content therein.  All graphics were obtained and inserted by SafeLibraries.  All guest bloggers are welcome.  By the way, modern Internet filters allow sexual health information.

© 2010 Kristin Davis; published by SafeLibraries with permission.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Library Porn Removal Roadmap; NCRL Director Dean Marney Details How to Legally Remove Legal Porn from Public Library Computers and Advises that the ALA Relies on Outdated Dogma

No Porn Librarian
A public library director has removed pornography from library computers by using Internet filters that will only be disabled after patron request and library review to ensure the site complies with library policy.  Pornography is not part of library policy.  The director advises that the American Library Association [ALA] intentionally misleads local communities.

Short URL for this page:

The library director provides a road map for legally removing porn from a public library.  He has done it, with the backing of his state's Supreme Court, and despite the usual ALA misinformation designed to convince people to act as the ALA would act.  See:
"LJ BackTalk: The Internet Is Not All or Nothing," by Dean Marney, the Director of the North Central Regional Library, Wenatchee, WA, Library Journal, 1 November 2010.

"If parents do not see the public library as a safe place for their children, they will not allow them to go there.  This would mean fewer patrons in the library and possibly could affect the library’s funding."  Source:  "Do Librarians Have an Ethical Duty to Monitor Patrons' Internet Usage in the Public Library?," by Anna May Wyatt, Journal of Information Ethics 15 (1): 70-79, Spring 2006.

Library Director's Wake Up Call to Communities About Outdated ALA Dogma

Here's library director Dean Marney's wake up call to local communities about outdated ALA dogma:
The outdated tenets about using technology to manage the Internet, promoted by the Freedom To Read Foundation (FTRF) and American Library Association (ALA) Office of Intellectual Freedom, express dogma and fundamentalism and deserve challenge.


Filtering offers a technological solution for a technological problem. If your filter is inadequate, find a better one.
The FTRF, by the way, is an ALA creation.  They do "deserve challenge" for "outdated" "dogma and fundamentalism" and now there's a library directory saying so.  He is saying what many others are thinking but afraid to act upon.  I have had many librarians talk to me in whispers.  I hereby encourage other library directors and librarians to speak out like Dean Marney or, for the more timid, to contact me discreetly and perhaps I'll post your writing here anonymously.

Example of Outdated Dogma that Filters Do Not Work

For an example of that outdated dogma, see "Why Internet Filters Don't Work and Why Libraries Who Filter are Wrong," by Sarah Houghton (formerly Sarah Houghton-Jan), LibrarianInBlack, 7 May 2010.  See the many comments written by "Dan Kleinman"—that's me—and see how the Librarian In Black responds. Outdated and dogmatic are the right words.  [NOTE ADDED 9 JANUARY 2015: This top ALA censorship expert now known as Sarah Houghton is so against censorship that she removed my comments, see this later version (link), then eventually completely deleted the post.  This is another major double standard or hypocrisy.]

It is notable that Sarah Houghton, ALA's leading expert on Internet filters, helped create false claims of sexual harassment against another librarian, thereby destroying his career, and was the only member of the three fakers not to admit to the fakery.  See:

Court Provides Lesson for Public Libraries—Legal Porn May Be Legally Removed

Here's what the Washington Supreme Court said in Bradburn v. North Central Regional Library District:
Here, if a library patron wants to access a web site or page that has been blocked by FortiGuard, he or she may send an e-mail to NCRL administrators asking for a manual override of the block.  The site or page is reviewed to ascertain whether allowing access would accord with NCRL’s mission, its policy, and CIPA requirements.  If not, the request is denied.  If the request is approved, access will be allowed on all of NCRL’s public access computers.


Most importantly, just as a public library has discretion to make content-based decisions about which magazines and books to include in its collection, it has discretion to make decisions about Internet content.  A public library can decide that it will not include pornography and other adult materials in its collection in accord with its mission and policies and, as explained, no unconstitutionality necessarily results.  It can make the same choices about Internet access.

A public library has traditionally and historically enjoyed broad discretion to select materials to add to its collection of printed materials for its patrons’ use.  We conclude that the same discretion must be afforded a public library to choose what materials from millions of Internet sites it will add to its collection and make available to its patrons.
Let that be a lesson for any public library and community struggling with how to control porn in the public library even when that porn is legal.  Legal porn may be removed legally by Internet filters.  The ALA may be outdated and dogmatic in promoting its "anything goes" views on local communities, but those communities can now see through the propaganda and apply community standards, not ALA standards, and do so legally.

Local Law May Preclude Porn and Libraries Acting Outside the Law May Be Reined In by Local Governments

Look at the local law that created your library.  It shows the library was created for a purpose.   Porn is usually not part of that purpose.  If your local library is allowing porn, it may be acting outside the law, or ultra vires.  In such a case, the usual veil of autonomy no longer applies.   You see, libraries are intentionally made autonomous precisely to prevent political control.  But where the library acts outside of the law, then the local government may act to require the library to adhere to the law.

So, not only may local libraries act to preclude porn in the libraries, but local governments may act as well.   It all depends on the law and the circumstances, of course.

The US Supreme Court Also Allows Libraries to Preclude Porn

Even the US Supreme Court has weighed in on the issue of porn in the public library.  In US v. ALA, the Court said:
US Supreme Court, 2003
To fulfill their traditional missions of facilitating learning and cultural enrichment, public libraries must have broad discretion to decide what material to provide to their patrons.  ....  Internet access in public libraries is neither a "traditional" nor a "designated" public forum.  ....  Internet terminals are not acquired by a library in order to create a public forum for Web publishers to express themselves.  Rather, a library provides such access for the same reasons it offers other library resources: to facilitate research, learning, and recreational pursuits by furnishing materials of requisite and appropriate quality.   The fact that a library reviews and affirmatively chooses to acquire every book in its collection, but does not review every Web site that it makes available, is not a constitutionally relevant distinction.  The decisions by most libraries to exclude pornography from their print collections are not subjected to heightened scrutiny; it would make little sense to treat libraries' judgments to block online pornography any differently.  Moreover, because of the vast quantity of material on the Internet and the rapid pace at which it changes, libraries cannot possibly segregate, item by item, all the Internet material that is appropriate for inclusion from all that is not.  While a library could limit its Internet collection to just those sites it found worthwhile, it could do so only at the cost of excluding an enormous amount of valuable information that it lacks the capacity to review.  Given that tradeoff, it is entirely reasonable for public libraries to reject that approach and instead exclude certain categories of content, without making individualized judgments that everything made available has requisite and appropriate quality.   Concerns over filtering software's tendency to erroneously "overblock" access to constitutionally protected speech that falls outside the categories software users intend to block are dispelled by the ease with which patrons may have the filtering software disabled.  ....  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.
All Members of the Court agree, but the ALA does not.  Let me add that the ALA advises local libraries how to skirt US v. ALA by using CYA language.  So which institution should be authoritative in your own community, the US Supreme Court or the ALA that advises skirting the Court?

Parting Words from Dean Marney: Safe Libraries are a Dirty Little Secret

Dean Marney is really admirable, especially since he is willing to oppose the ALA dogma.  See what he says here:
In their ruling, they say that just as libraries don't buy all books that are available, especially those that are pornographic, so they're not obligated to provide access to every Internet site.

Director Dean Marney says the ruling affirms his district's policy of making libraries safe places for all of its patrons.

Dean Marney: “I think this has been libraries' dirty little secret forever, that we've had to deal with this; that we can protect kids, we can protect employees, stay true to our mission.”

Washington state librarian Jan Walsh says the ruling may convince other libraries that don't use filters to adopt them.
Source: "Washington Supreme Court Says Libraries Can Filter Internet Computers," by Doug Nadvornick, Northwest News Network, 6 May 2010.

A dirty little secret!  Safe libraries for children and employees!  Imagine that!

Others Say the ALA is Misleading the Public

Dean Marney is not the only person telling communities that the ALA is misleading communities.   Here are a few others: Logo
Pat Trueman, former chief obscenity prosecutor for the U.S. Department of Justice, said, "That's a ruse that the American Library Association, which is very pro-pornography and always files lawsuits against the federal government to try to keep pornography widely available, ...put[s] forward to scare libraries out of having filters."  Mr. Trueman now runs National Center on Sexual Exploitation.

Kenneth Warren, Lakewood Public Library Director, "dropped his membership from the [ALA] group after it suggested libraries erect privacy screens for public-access computers[, believing, i]f you need privacy, you should get your own computer."  Privacy screens are known to be worthless.

Then there's the Library Journal's Annoyed Librarian, much beloved within the library community:
We're talking about libraries providing publicly subsidized porn.  The argument against Internet filters may have some technological weight, but it has no moral weight at all, which is why the ALA has done such a bad job of persuading Congress of the American right to salivate over Internet porn at the taxpayer's expense.  An Internet filter for porn is just a technological version of the filter that librarians use when they don't subscribe to hard core porn magazines for their public library.  It's called selection, and it requires judgment about what "information" is appropriate for a library.  The ALA evades any debates about selection and judgment by classifying everything as "information" and then saying everyone should have access to all of it.  That's a very convenient ploy for people incapable of reasoning, moral or otherwise.  Nevertheless, there is no good argument for providing free access to porn.  Libraries exist to serve the public good, and what argument can be made that free access to porn is a public good?
Annoyed Librarian
You simply have to read the above and the remainder of her comments on the issue of access to pornography in public libraries.  If I wrote those words myself, I would reprint them here.  Please read in its entirety:  "Library Porn Challenge," by Annoyed Librarian, Annoyed Librarian, 5 March 2007. 


It is perfectly legal to legally block/remove legal pornography from public libraries and to use Internet filters for doing so.  It is perfectly legal to determine if a request to unblock a certain web site meets the library's selection policy.  When challenging the ALA's influence in your own libraries, you will be in good company despite the guilty-until-proven-innocent effort that will be made to immediately cast you as a censor.  Point out how the ALA misleads communities.  Show how library directors are standing up to denounce the ALA for its outdated dogma.  Use the above as examples, though there are many more.  Consider taking the "Library Porn Challenge."  Don't let the ALA redefine censorship.  Read US v. ALA.  Local communities should control local public libraries, not the ALA.  Get ready for the ALA onslaught that may even include silent payments to local citizens.  SafeLibraries will provide assistance upon request.

  Further Reading on Legally Removing Legal Porn from Libraries
Newspaper Cartoon About Ease of
Getting Porn in Public Libraries
Cartoon by Ackerman in The Oregonian

The following are worth reading on the topic of removing legal porn legally from public libraries:


This post is about legally removing legal porn from public libraries.  I take no position as SafeLibraries on whether legal porn should be opposed generally.  I have, however, publicly opposed illegal porn.  Legal, illegal, there's a difference—one's illegal.  I oppose anything that's illegal.  Don't most people?

Further, in specific cases, I will support communities attempting to remove legal porn from public libraries.  Indeed, that is the very genesis of SafeLibraries many years ago.  I am fair, though, so sometimes I will support libraries being wrongly accused.

About the Author

I'm Dan Kleinman.  I began opposing ALA policy almost a decade ago when the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom policies forced inappropriate material into the hands of my kindergartner.  The school principal eventually removed the material from the public school library stating she found it twice as bad as I had reported.  Now running Safe Libraries and Sexual Harassment of Librarians, I educate people and politicians about who controls public libraries and what can be done to restore local control.  I am consulted nationwide for my expertise in how the negative aspects of ALA influence can be mitigated, and I appear in numerous media reports.  I write regularly and ask people to consider subscribing to SafeLibraries.  Guest posts are welcome.  I track library crimes on Delicious and broadcast my latest crime additions on my SafeLibraries Twitter.  I may be reached at

My efforts and those of my late partner, Mark Decker, have been rewarded by the ALA naming SafeLibraries as one of its "prominent" opponents, if not the top one.  See "Intellectual Freedom Manual, Eighth Edition," Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association, 2010, p.383 [ALA's online version naming SafeLibraries].  Also see:
I am available for media interviews.  This is especially important as the ALA plans a huge propaganda campaign in September 2011 for the 30th anniversary of "Banned Books Week."  I can provide balance with a smile and with solid legal and factual support.  Hint, no books have been banned in the USA for almost 50 years.

This post is dedicated to a certain good-hearted public library director who needs help in telling others how and why legal pornography may be legally excluded from his/her library; the ALA will not help him/her.  Hopefully, I will be instrumental in yet another library acting to legally protect children.


Hat tip to AndyW of LISNews for making me aware of this matter.  Please read his critical comments at "Access in the Hands of an Aggressive Filtering Policy," by Andy Woodworth, LISNews, 11 November 2010.

The above is all my opinion, but I do provide extensive and diverse sources for people to decide for themselves (and I keep them updated).


This blog post has appeared on at Library Porn Removal Roadmap and can be seen here:
SafeLibraries Featured on "Library Porn Removal Roadmap"

It is also linked here: "Libraries Dangerous for Children - Craigslist Contributes to Sexual Deviance in Restrooms," by , WISSUP = Wisconsin Speaks Up, 15 November 2010.


Short URL for this page:


See also:


Dean Marney confirms his opposition to the dogma, and you can hear him speak on the topic here:
Dean Marney's arguments are so persuasive that he even gets the ALA to reverse its years-long false misinformation on library filters:


And now the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act, Ernest Istook, is also pointing out the ALA's dogma:


The jig is up for ALA/ACLU excuses allowing pornography on public library computers:
A federal judge has ruled that an Eastern Washington library system is not violating the state constitution by using filters to block internet porn on library computers. 
Judge Edward F. Shea, Eastern Washington Federal District Court, ruled in favor of the North Central Regional Library.  The case was brought against the rural eastern Washington library district by the ACLU of Seattle.  The ACLU accused the library district of having an overly broad filtering policy. 
The ruling followed a decision handed down from the Washington State Supreme Court in May, 2010.  The Supreme Court found that the North Central Regional Library, the largest library district in the State of Washington, did not violate Article 1, Section 5 of the Washington State Constitution with its policy of filtering the internet. 
"Taxpayers are the winners in this case," said Library Director Dean Marney.  "Libraries should never be forced to use public funds to provide access to child pornography or to become illegal casinos.  Libraries should be sanctuaries for people of all ages." 
The NCRL, which represents 28 libraries in the central part of the state, has admitted the filtering policy puts them in the minority.  Other libraries have taken the stance of non-censorship, citing First Amendment rights.
Hey, it's legal!  Media, stop calling it "censorship."  It's not censorship!  The jig is up!  There is no First Amendment right to porn in public libraries!  Libraries know this, especially now, let alone since US v. ALA in 2003, so saying otherwise is simply and intentionally false.

Wanna join people stopping libraries from misleading their communities on porn in public libraries, etc.?  Join the Watchdogs!


After months of essentially ignoring Dean Marney's decisive victories in Washington state and federal courts, the ALA has finally issued a statement.  It basically says Dean Marney's victories apply only to his libraries and no others, so do not use Internet filters or there may be grave legal consequences.  I will be writing way more about this ALA deception soon, including about the possible unprofessional and unethical conduct of its author, but in the meantime, see:


I am updating hyperlinks, and I added an inline note about ALA's top filtering/censorship expert censoring out my comments then eventually deleting her post.  ALA is always right because there is never opposition because they don't report on it or delete it when they can.


I am updating hyperlinks and changing wording accordingly.

As an aside, the American Library Association was directly involved in a federal lawsuit that went on for nearly two years in an effort to silence me and drain me of time and money.  ALA even taught librarians to file fake lawsuits as it could run up costs for child pornography whistleblowers up to $500,000.00 to mount a defense. Ultimately I prevailed.  But it goes to show just how hard ALA is working to keep you from reading the above.

Also added the following:

It is notable that Sarah Houghton, ALA's leading expert on Internet filters, helped create false claims of sexual harassment against another librarian, thereby destroying his career, and was the only member of the three fakers not to admit to the fakery.  See: