Sunday, July 22, 2018

Laura Ingalls Wilder Out, Drag Queens In, Say Librarians for Children

Libraries are promoting drag queen story hours while at the same time censoring references to Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of Little House On the Prairie.  This hypocrisy is done in the same publication for librarians for children by the Association for Library Services to Children [ALSC] while claiming it's not censorship:
  • No doubt you have heard that the ALSC Board voted unanimously to change the name of the Wilder Award to the “Children’s Literature Legacy Award”.  Unfortunately, there has been quite a bit of confusion and misinformation circulating about this decision.  It is well worth your time to read the entire ALSC Statement about its decision,  and to follow up with the blogpost by Jamie LaRue, Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, here.   The title of the award now aligns more closely with one of ALSC’s core values, inclusiveness, and should not be interpreted as an attempt to censor Wilder’s books.  
  • ....
  • Interested in bringing Drag Queen Storytime to your library? ALSC Committee Members received tips for optimizing success from library pioneers who have already done it.  We also had the chance to meet a Drag Queen who talked about the value of offering this program, including fostering empathy, tolerance, creativity, imagination and fun.  Drag Queen Story Hour is a non-profit and you can find out more at its homepage
I love this response from "Gary Hondel":
I read the statement and there’s no confusion or misunderstanding. It’s clear to me (as it is to many others) that the ALA is giving in to overly sensitive, popular hype. The award has been given away since 1954, as I understand it, and just now, all of a sudden, it’s “insensitive?” Maybe you should have thought of that decades ago. Now it just appears disingenuous and an attempt to appease opposing forces that are imagined. I promise you, most of the reasonable world does not have a problem with the award being named after Laura Ingalls Wilder. To think that you all deal in knowledge for a living yet are behaving with such unreasonable irrationality. This organization has become willing slaves to its emotions.
I'm pointing out the censorship on the one hand and the promotion on the other, both being in the very same publication for librarians who serve children.  The subject matter of what was promoted is irrelevant.  The point is the hypocrisy to censor one topic and promote another, and the brazenness to report it all in the same publication, same story, limited to librarians.

I'm reporting this hypocrisy because it further illustrates that the American Library Association is disingenuous when it promotes Banned Books Week as if it was really interested in stemming censorship.  This kind of organization deserves no credence.  Besides, ALA is homophobic: "Gay Hate @ Your Library."

For your interest, here are some drag queen story hour news reports in chronological order:

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