Library Director Michelle Rogers proclaims:
Just as our country is governed based on the Bill of Rights, libraries are also governed by a Bill of Rights. The Library Bill of Rights is a document that was created by the American Library Association (ALA). All American libraries are expected to follow the basic guidelines of the Bill of Rights to guide their services.
Do people in Ellisville want to enforce their local library law that excludes certain material such as pronography the ALA allows in? Too bad! "All American libraries are expected to follow the basic guidelines of the Bill of Rights to guide their services."
The library director does the usual two step by saying, "I’ll be the first to admit to you that there are a lot of materials on our shelves I totally disagree with." But then explains how the ALA rules require that she allow in what the local community would not: "However, I have to respect the rights of others who may want to view these materials."
A library is created by some instrument of law. That law may say what the library allows and what it does not allow. Usually such laws proscribe pronography either explicitly or implicitly. Libraries must act within those laws; allowing pronography is acting outside such laws, namely, illegally. When a library chooses to ignore local library law and instead follow the ALA's policy that anything goes, it is possible they may be illegal activity. In such a case, the government that created that law needs to step in to ensure the legal entity it created is acting lawfully.
In Ellisville, the government and the citizens have a distinct advantage over other communities. The library director has admitted publicly that the ALA's "Bill or Rights" must "guide their services," not the local instrument of law that created the library.
Often the ALA de facto controls local public libraries and no one publicly admits that it is doing so. Ellisville's library director, however, has chosen to admit the obvious.
The local government does not first need to determine IF the library is no longer controlled by local law. That has become an established fact. Another established fact is that the library director has allowed in material it would not otherwise allow but for the ALA's "Bill of Rights." Now the government needs to take action to enjoin the library from violating local law.
This message I am writing puts the Ellisville government on notice that its Ellisville Public Library may be acting illegally. If any of the library rapes or molestations occurring nationwide as a possible result of ALA policy occur in Ellisville, then significant liability may extend not only to the library but also to the government itself. The government knew or should have known that the library may have been acting illegally and did nothing to stop it--therefore punitive damages may be appropriate. This very blog will be found during discovery by the potential victim's lawyers.
Given the library director admits she follows ALA diktat, and given she admits the library contains material it might not otherwise have but for the ALA, she is implying that the library is ignoring local library law. The government must act to correct this or it too may be exposing the community to grave harm both physically and financially.
Ellisville has a proud history. It is even named for a descendant of Chief Powhatan, Pocahontas's father. Does anyone in Ellisville, or anywhere else for that matter, think Pocahontas would blithely accept the subversion of local laws to the ALA's "Bill of Rights" by an apparent ALA acolyte? Would Pocahontas accept the exposure of children to the harms experienced in other libraries controlled by ALA acolytes who flout local law?
This information is based on:
"At the Library," by Michelle Rogers, Laurel Leader-Call, 28 April 2008.
Published April 28, 2008 11:17 am -
At the Library
By Michelle Rogers
Greetings from the Ellisville Library. I want to take a moment to discuss something that has come up at the library lately. While this hasn’t occurred in Ellisville, there have been a few isolated cases at the Laurel Branch. So I’m sure by now you’re wondering, what is she blabbing about? I’m talking about complaints about materials on our shelves. While you may not agree with everything that is on our shelves, it is policy that we provide the public with a variety of materials on various subjects and viewpoints. Just as our country is governed based on the Bill of Rights, libraries are also governed by a Bill of Rights. The Library Bill of Rights is a document that was created by the American Library Association (ALA). All American libraries are expected to follow the basic guidelines of the Bill of Rights to guide their services. Among other important policies, the Bill of Rights states, “Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background or views of those contributing to their creation.” It goes on to say, “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” I’ll be the first to admit to you that there are a lot of materials on our shelves I totally disagree with. However, I have to respect the rights of others who may want to view these materials. As the Ellisville librarian, this is something I have to deal with on a daily basis.
For example, when choosing materials to add to our collection, I must consider what would be best for patrons. It is my duty to provide materials from different viewpoints and ideas despite what my opinion may be. We are all unique and have different reading tastes, so it is important that libraries have materials to suit every personality. We do respect your concerns and opinions, however, so if there are materials you find obscene or offensive please let Library staff know.
We will handle these situations on an individual basis.
Now that I’m off my soapbox I have some very exciting news! The Rural Development Authority has given us the green light to begin construction on the new library. The construction should begin shortly after some pre-construction details are completed. I know everyone is very excited and can’t wait for our new library. This has been a dream of the Laurel-Jones County Library System and the City of Ellisville for many years and finally that dream will be realized. The current discussion is that the project could be completed as soon as the end of this year or beginning of next year at the latest. So, in the meantime keep your fingers crossed. I want to mention something very important about the new library. Before the library can open we will need to have furniture and other supplies in place. Unfortunately at this time, we just are able to cover the cost of the construction with help from grants and other sources.