Friday, February 25, 2011

Look For the Union Label at the ALA

The American Library Association [ALA], ever jumping into non-library issues, has joined the jihad, fretted about fried librarian giblets, touted the "public option" in health care, advocated for "gay marriage," secretly promoted net neutrality, and is currently pushing in public schools a George Soros curriculum for school-aged children—and I called the head of the ALA section responsible for this and she had no clue who created the curriculum she is promoting.

Now the ALA supports public sector unions seeking to retain their huge benefits at public expense despite many states being broke precisely because of these benefits.  For a historical perspective, perhaps the ALA should read:

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, for example, has said, "The second big issue we must tackle this year is our antiquated and unsustainable pension and benefit system.  Nearly 75 percent—3 out of every 4 dollars—of our State's municipal and county budgets are driven by personnel and labor costs."

The ALA supports "standing up for workers' rights" nonetheless:

CHICAGO - As thousands protest proposed collective bargaining legislation in Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana, American Library Association (ALA) President Roberta Stevens released the following statement in support of those standing up for workers’ rights.

“While governments are facing financial challenges, addressing deficits should not serve as an opportunity to strip away the hard-won right of workers to collectively bargain,” said Stevens.

“As library visits continue to soar, with job seekers and families turning to our libraries to gain new skills and free access to education resources, the value of library service and staff should be recognized and protected.

“The ALA supports library employees in seeking equitable compensation and recognizes the principle of collective bargaining as an important element of successful labor-management relations.  We affirm the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively with their employers, without fear of reprisal.  These are basic workers’ rights that we defend for thousands of academic, public and school library professionals.”

The American Library Association is the voice of America's libraries and the millions of people who depend on them.  With more than 63,000 members, the ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and represents all types of libraries and librarians.


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

Joyce Latham
Just to be clear this has nothing to do with libraries, commenter Joyce M. Latham said,  "GOOD to see ALA take a position on worker rights and labor action.  Joyce M. Latham."  This is Joyce M. Latham from Wisconsin, specifically from the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  This is the same propagandist who misled a local Wisconsin community to give up legal means to protect children from harm in West Bend, WI.

Just to be clear this is the ALA backing unions, "CyberGoddess" and ALA Councilor-at-Large Sue Kamm said, "Former Councilor Ruth Gordon is wondering why ALA hasn't made a statement about the union-busting tactics in Wisconsin.  So do I.  (Wonder, that is.)  If this is a statement that should properly come before ALA/APA, how do we get something started?  Enquiring minds want to know."  This was days before the ALA President's statement.

As Andrew McCarthy put it, the "Left has demonstrated to an appalled country just how ugly they intend to make things — thug leaders calling for blood in the street, the Nazi/Mubarak/Mussolini rhetoric, lawmakers abdicating their duty and shutting down the legislative process when they can’t get their way."  By supporting the unions, the supposedly free speech ALA is implicitly supporting anti-semitism, assault, free speech violations, and "sheer hatred" by union thugs:

Tabitha Hale.
Christian.  American.  Capitalist.

"The people driving this train, and driving us into bankruptcy, are left-wing activists whose power hinges on maintaining this perverse system in which unions effectively sit on both sides of the negotiations, passing piles of public money over and under the table."  The ALA, siding with unions in yet another left-wing, non-library issue, has placed itself in the driver's seat.

Look for the union label at the ALA.


Joyce M. Latham has responded (to all) to a courtesy email I sent to her and all other people named in this blog post as follows:  "Worker rights are human rights and libraries are, first and foremost, about human rights.  It's good to see ALA weigh in on this.  My heart-felt congratulations to Roberta Stevens."

Roberta Stevens replied (to all) as follows:  "Thanks, Joyce."


Monday, February 21, 2011

Some Might Cry Censorship, But That’s Nonsense

"Some might cry censorship, but that's nonsense." Just ask the Annoyed Librarian about Water for Elephants in the Bedford (NH) High School:

"Live Free or Die?," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 21 February 2011.


Bums are Ground Zero in Libraries - Librarianship is a Hazardous Occupation

Sleeping in Public Library
Bums in the library?

Please read "Dear Monday - Any Advice for Furious," by Will Manley, Will Unwound #367, 21 February 2011.  Sample quote from a pseudonymous librarian named "Furious":

My problem is bums in the library.  Not just garden-variety bums that read the newspaper, doze in chairs and sneak a nip in the stacks–I’m familiar and comfortable with those bums since they do leave.  The bums I am taking exception to are addicted bums that are being fostered, fed and given money by our IT manager.

Wow!  Some IT manager!  Be sure to read the comments, most being from active or formers librarians.

The graphic above is from another worthy read: "Why You Should Work in a Library Before Library School," by YoSafBridg, Tales of a Rampaging Librarian, 1 June 2007.  It has lovely quotes from another source describing the Salt Lake City Public Library,  including:

Serious respiratory problems among the chronically homeless in a shelter are as common as beer guts at a racetrack.  If an epidemic strikes, the susceptibility of the homeless will translate into an increased risk of exposure for the rest of us and, eerily enough, our public libraries could become Ground Zeroes for the spread of killer flu.  Librarians are reluctant to make plans for handling such scenarios because we do not want to convey the message that America's libraries are anything but the safe and welcoming environments they remain today.

Libraries not safe?


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tacoma Library Crime Rampant; Library Director Once Chased Pedophile Out of the Library and Across a Parking Lot While Wearing Her High Heels; Library Itself Partly to Blame and May Be Committing Fraud

Crime is rampant in the Tacoma Public Library, Tacoma, WA.  See "Keeping Tacoma Libraries Safe a Challenge," by Rob Carson, The News Tribune, 18 February 2011.  But the library itself may be partly to blame and may be committing fraud.

Here is what is reported:

  • a man exposing himself and masturbating in front of a 4-year-old at the Wheelock Library in the Proctor District
  • issues with drugs, alcohol, personal hygiene and mental illness
  • people having sex in the vestibule
  • a woman selling drugs out of the bottom of a baby carriage
  • [i]n the stacks, ... a patron slide his hand up [the library director's] bare leg
  • chased a pedophile out a library door and across a parking lot while wearing her high heels
  • stayed past closing time on innumerable occasions, waiting for parents to come and pick up their kids
  • [l]ast year’s incident reports from the main library make a stack of paper 8 inches high
  • daily routine of waking up sleepers, rousting abusive drunks, interrupting drug sales
  • book thefts
  • assaults
  • patrons ... openly masturbating as they watch porn on computer monitors
  • teenagers who gather after school, acting aggressively and scaring off other patrons
  • Police were called to the library 16 times last year to deal with crimes that ranged from trespassing to assault
  • A decade ago, the main library was the center of a thriving drug and prostitution marketplace on Tacoma Avenue.  Every few weeks, library maintenance workers had to pump the restroom plumbing to clear pipes clogged with hypodermic needles.
  • Crowds of homeless people gathered in front of the library each morning, waiting for the doors to open.

Here is what is not reported: the crime may be partly the library's own fault, and the library itself may be acting in an illegal fashion.

I have no physical access to the Tacoma Public Library but from what the documentary evidence presents, it appears the library is defrauding the federal government and taxpayers nationally.  Here is the evidence:

  1. the rampant crime as reported above,
  2. the library's "Policy for Public Use of the Internet":  "This 'Condition of Use' statement will be shown on the screen when a user logs on to selected Internet services.  Acceptance of the conditions will be indicated when the user clicks the 'I agree' button,"
  3. the library's "Board of Trustees Minutes; April 21, 2010":  "Director Odencrantz explained that one of the attributes of being in compliance with the Supreme Court’s ruling was for an adult to be able to disable the filter (it is required).  TPL did not have a way of doing this prior, however the library’s recently purchased Envisionware software allows on request for an adult person to disable the filter,"
  4. the Children's Internet Protection Act [CIPA]:  "An authorized person may disable the blocking or filtering measure during any use by an adult to enable access for bona fide research or other lawful purposes,"
  5. the case finding CIPA constitutional:  US v. American Library Association, 539 U.S. 194 (2003), and
  6. the amount of funding received by the library under CIPA for "Internet Access", namely, $55,200 in 2010, $59,078.40 + $1,631.25 in 2009, $55,200 + $1,631.25 in 2008, $38,412.10 + 1,631.52 in 2007, $39,575.62 + 1,631.52 in 2006, $15,824.64 + $23,400.00 in 2005, and $14,200.00 + $8,160.60 in 2004, the first funding year following US v. ALA.  The total is $315,576.90.

Simply put, to obtain funding under CIPA, an adult must request an "authorized person" to disable Internet filters.  Adults may not unblock filters for themselves.  Yet library policy and library Board of Trustee minutes show that adults may unblock filters for themselves.  That violates CIPA.  Yet the library collected $315,576.90 under CIPA.  The money would not have been granted had it been made known that patrons may unfilter the filters for themselves, else why even have the law and the resultant litigation in the first place.

Adults unfiltering filters for themselves has helped foster the environment where "patrons [were] openly masturbating as they watch porn on computer monitors."  In other words, the library may have helped cause the very crimes of which it complains, and it may have done this as a result of its violating CIPA and defrauding the public of $315,576.90.

The Tacoma Public Library has joined other public libraries that have used CIPA to defraud the American public.

I will say one thing in favor of the library, however.  The library is the first I've seen to put into writing that privacy screens do not work:  "The Library also recognizes that ... the use of partitions and other devices to shield Internet terminals will only reduce the field of view while still allowing the open public display of sexually explicit images...."  The American Library Association tries to promote privacy screens as a substitute for Internet filters.  That is demonstrably false, but it is nice to see it written right into library policy.

Anyone care to comment below on my opinion above?


Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Undemocratic ALA Muzzles Members

Library Journal Logo
The American Library Association [ALA] is "anything goes" for children.  Yet it "muzzles" its own members, "stifles" free speech, and is "undemocratic," according to a Library Journal editorial. 

One wonders what the ALA has to hide and from whom it is hiding.  Is the ALA censoring its own members?  As the Annoyed Librarian safely predicts, also in the Library Journal, "The ALA will continue to abuse the word 'censorship.'"  It appears it will also abuse its own members by insisting on censorship:

"Blatant Berry, Eroding ALA Democracy; Virtual Participation Must Not be Second-Class Membership," by Editor-at-Large John N. Berry III, Library Journal, 15 February 2011, emphasis added:

Long before Midwinter, more than one ALA unit actually forbade and prevented individual members from access to electronic discussion lists because of what were deemed “inappropriate” postings by them.  These members were muzzled by whomever in that unit had control of the list in ­question.

At the Saturday meeting of the board of the Library Information and Technology Association (LITA), an ALA division, board member Jason Griffey was set up to stream (broadcast over the Internet) the session to LITA members and others.  Some board members protested that such streaming would force them to be less candid.  Later, they also argued that because they had hired a consultant to tell them how to improve board sessions, streaming that consultant’s comments would encroach on his intellectual property.  The LITA board voted to stifle Griffey, and he disabled the stream.  To add insult to injury, the consultant had advised the LITA board that once they had voted on an issue, all board members should agree to go along with the decision and not publicly oppose it, a bizarre bit of undemocratic wisdom.


There can be solid reasons for members of boards to meet fact-to-face, but they were not apparent at Midwinter.  That makes discussion of “tiered” membership for virtual participants sound like second-class membership.  It violates the purpose of ALA’s open meeting policy and ALA democracy.


ALA leaders must ... protect the ALA democracy we fought for decades ago.  Virtual participation is coming, but it must not bring second-class membership in ALA.


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Looking For Alaska is NOT Porn

A Picture Samprit B. Discusses
Samprit B. has reviewed my article entitled, "Porn Pushers - The ALA and Looking For Alaska - One Example of How the ALA Pushes Porn On Children."

I liked Samprit's review.  Do you?

Warning!  He does not like what I said!  Be that as it may, I enjoyed his YouTube video nevertheless.  I think you might too.


"Looking For Alaska is NOT Porn," by SampritB, YouTube, 6 February 2011. 

By the way, Looking For Alaska is not porn and John Green is an excellent author.  Here's an example why:  "Looking for Alaska Five Years After the Printz Award," by John Green, YouTube, 21 January 2011.


I commented on SampritB's YouTube video and Samprit responded quite positively, emphasis mine:

SafeLibraries:  I liked this video.  Well done, SampritB.  Thanks.

SafeLibraries:  I blogged about this video.  See "Looking For Alaska is NOT Porn" at­1/02/looking-for-alaska-is-not­-porn.html  Feel free to contact me with any questions.

SampritB:   @SafeLibraries  Thanks for writing a blog post about this video, I'm glad you liked it considering that it was talking about you in a negative way, it is always great when people can take criticism and there are some valid points in the article as well, so it's not entirely bad as I make it out to be.

SafeLibraries:  @SampritB  Thank you.  Feel free to comment directly on my blog post as well.  Who knows, maybe you could do a video on the valid points!!  If you do, post the URL there for all to see. And I sent John Green a link to my blog post.  Why not drop him a line and say hello.  He's a decent guy and will likely be interested in hearing from you.


My poor friend SampritB has become a victim of socialized medicine.  Watch his YouTube video entitled, "Bent Pinky Finger !"


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Deep Throat in the Public Library

Deep Throat in the public library?  Will Manley brings us the case of a book that quietly disappeared after a patron complained: "Dear Monday from the Unwinders Tavern – Any Advice for Deep Throat?," by Will Manley, Will Unwound, 6 February 2011, #355.

The issue is whether the facts as presented represent a case of "institutional censorship."  The question Will Manley asks his many readers is, "What should Deep Throat do?"

There is a bigger question.  Why is there a need for a library to feel the need to remove a book quietly in the first place?  Is the removal of the book a problem, or is the knee jerk reaction of the American Library Association [ALA] the problem that causes librarians to fear its reaction?

ALA mischaracterizes every single book challenge
in 2009.  Instead of "deciding for others," perhaps
460 patrons are properly seeking application of
existing book selection policies and practices.
Think about it.  Every single person in 2009 who challenged a book in a public library was vilified by the ALA.  All 460 of them.  No exceptions.  Zero.  All 460 were derided as "censors."  See my report on this here:  "The Parent Trap:  ALA Uses Banned Books Week to Ridicule Patrons Complying with ALA Materials Reconsideration Policies."

So that's how and why Banned Book Week is used by the ALA.  To ridicule patrons seeking to challenge books and cow them into silence.

Silence.  The opposite of free speech the ALA claims to promote.

As an aside, recall an ALA member or acolyte started the effort that resulted in my being banned from Wikipedia for exposing on my blog the ALA for propagandizing for Free Press and net neutrality, and I am still banned there.  ALA, the free speech people.

Is it any wonder there's a Deep Throat in the public library?  Is it any wonder librarians feel the need to act quietly so as not to arouse the wrath of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom?

In the case presented by Will Manley, Deep Throat wants to out the evil censors.  My advice to Deep Throat is to out the evil censors after the ALA first stops attacking each and every person as an evil censor.  Does or does not the book meet the library's book selection policies or practices?  That should be the question, but then Deep Throat would be Deep Thought and we would never have heard of this interesting case.

Thanks, Will Manley, for publicizing this in your excellent blog post.  There's a reason Will Unwound is on my blog's Favorites list.