Thursday, December 29, 2011

LA Times Supports Filtering Porn from Public Libraries

It appears a Los Angeles Times editorial supports filtering pornography out of public library computers!  Based in part on the recent masturbation incident in Laguna Beach about which I wrote, it is clear the LA Times is becoming frustrated with the usual American Library Association [ALA] misinformation.  It even senses the censorship claim is false where librarians use selection everyday, but for them it is called selection, not censorship.  And, to be clear, porn in public libraries may be easily and legally blocked.  See if you get the same read I did:


Porn in the Library: Censorship vs. Decency
Editorial by Karin Klein, Los Angeles Times, December 29, 2011

The Times' editorial board has been pondering the availability of pornography in the library, an issue that catches the public's eye every few months when one of the porn viewers misbehaves, or parents find it's hard for their children to browse the stacks without catching on eyeful.  Most recently, it was the November arrest of a homeless man in the Laguna Beach library for allegedly fonding [sic] himself while viewing porn, with a crowd of seven other men around him.  It's the advent of the Internet, of course, that creates this new scene in the library.  Some parents in the town are now calling for the porn sites to be blocked.

Editorial writers and editors were as bothered as anyone else by the thought that an institution we revere as much as the public library—remember that most journalists grew up with their noses in books—was being used to view lurid photos.  It was pointed out that, although librarians hotly defend against censorship of any kind, nonetheless they make value judgments all the time about what sort of materials should be available in libraries, by purchasing news and home magazines rather than nudie publications.  On the Internet, though, porn is, like most things, free.  Keeping it away from patrons involves an active step, just as it takes an active—and costly—step of purchasing pornography in print to make it available.

"Lady Chatterley's Lover" was once considered pornography, not just unsuitable for a library but illegal to sell in some countries a little more than half a century ago.  Banning materials from the library because the majority of people find them distasteful is a dicey step.  What might the majority find unsuitable next?  Something that you want to read, perhaps?  Yet all patrons to the library should be able to search for books and videos without patently offensive material shining across the room at them.

Whose rights matter more?


This is the first major paper of which I am aware expressing frustration over unfiltered porn in public libraries.  Hopefully there will be many more.  The fear of the ALA is obviously beginning to melt away.

Bravo, Los Angeles Times!  Hey, it's not "banning" to block from the library what US v. ALA says is legal to block.  So no worries about being "dicey."


NOTE ADDED EVEN DATE:

It appears the @LATimesOpinion approves of what I have had to say:

@LATimesOpinion retweets my tweet to 3,188 followers!

And now, @_ViceReport:

@_ViceReport retweets another of my tweets to 1,144 followers!


NOTE ADDED 30 DECEMBER 2011:

Another retweet, this time by @ImDanielleEGray, who later thanked me for my work for children:

@ImDanielleEGray retweets yet another of my tweets to 1,169 followers!

NOTE ADDED 3 JANUARY 2012:

The LA Times has now devoted a second editorial to the issue, and has come out four square in favor of filtering out porn from public libraries!

Here is the comment I left there:
SafeLibraries at 8:44 AM January 3, 2012

It appears my comments on the LA Times Editorial of only days ago have struck home, and the LA Times has openly come out four square in favor of filtering the Internet in public libraries!  While it doesn't get things 100% correct, it comes really close.  It is fantastic to see such a major media source exposing the library propaganda to fresh air.

See LA Times Supports Filtering Porn from Public Libraries http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/12/la-times-supports-filtering-porn-from.html

Improvements could be that the US v. ALA case applies whether or not the library gets funding since the relevant issue was decided first, only then was it applied to libraries getting funding.  Also, privacy screens are a complete failure and everyone knows it.  Anyone remember the Dan Noyes KABC report catching library director Jean Light in a lie, showing the screens do not work right on TV?  And porn may be simply excluded--no need for a special area for adult viewing. http://tinyurl.com/ALADogma

But the LA Times on the whole is outstanding!  Really, I am very happy to read it, and to see that the editorial board really gave it a lot of thought and saw through the false information that has become an ALA standard.

Bravo, LA Times!  May other media sources loss their fear of the ALA and also call for filtering porn out of public libraries.  

NOTE ADDED 4 JANUARY 2012:

I just remembered I wrote this:

I am now in the media due to my comments on the LA Times's first editorial:

NOTE ADDED 10 JANUARY 2012:

New Jersey ACLU attorney Grayson Barber has written a substantially false and misleading piece on LibraryLaw Blog apparently intended to convince the Los Angeles Times Editorial staff to reverse its position favoring Internet filters.  I will be writing soon exactly how and why she is so wrong and intentionally so (hint: US v. ALA).  Here is the materially false information for your own review before I publish mine (assuming it has not yet been changed):

By the way, I made a courtesy call to Grayson Barber, Esq., to advise her that her article was substantially misleading and to give her the opportunity to consider changing it on her own before I  responded substantively.  I got a call back from the ACLU-NJ communications manager.  I provided an example of the false information (US v. ALA says the exact opposite of what Ms. Grayson recommended) and, when asked, said my goal was that people should be given accurate information.  I suggested Ms. Barber could change the article before I wrote about it.  She said she would let Ms. Barber know.  Good.  I tipped my hand because I believe in fairness.  I hope she does change the article.


NOTE ADDED 23 FEBRUARY 2012:

Los Angeles Public Library gets investigated by Inside Edition, and it looks quite embarrassing for the library.  How long will the library drag its feet after the LA Times has called for Internet filters?

  • "Inside Edition Investigates: Who's Lurking In Your Library?," by Paul Boyd, Inside Edition, 22 February 2012:
    INSIDE EDITION found men watching hardcore pornography–not it in the privacy of their homes or some sleazy adult store–they were doing it in a public library.  And library patrons were shocked.

    "That is completely absurd.  Nobody should be doing that in public," said one man.   Another woman–who happens to be librarian said, "It offends everyone.  And it's something that should not be done in public."

    But believe it or not, it's perfectly legal and even permitted in many libraries across the country.

    ....

    We found another guy at the Los Angeles Library's downtown branch in Chinatown watching porn–right next to two young children.

    When we asked him, "Do you realize there were children right next to you while you were watching the adult videos?"

    All he said was, "No...No...No...No," and walked away.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

School Superintendents May Remove Explicit Books Immediately; Waterland by Graham Swift Removed from Salem High School, Canton, MI

Cover of Waterland
What a pleasure to see a school superintendent using common sense by immediately removing inappropriate material from children.  See, for example, "School District Bans Swift Novel," by Brad KadrichObserver, 25 December 2011, if you can wade through the media spin, right down to the word "ban" in the title.  It's not book "banning" to keep inappropriate material from school children.  Besides, most people support keeping explicit material from children in public schools.  Bravo to Superintendent Dr. Jeremy Hughes:

Hughes said he asked the book's use to be discontinued after reading a passage that contains a particularly explicit depiction of a sexual act.

He made the decision without following the district's usual process, and admittedly without knowing there was such a process.  He has since learned the process includes the complaining parent filling out a form documenting their objections, which is then reviewed by a committee before a decision is made.

Hughes said he "jumped over that process for a couple of reasons.  He thought the material was too graphic for high school students, and he felt whatever process was in place would take too long and a decision 'needed to be made' on the material.

"I read passages from the book and I was personally shocked and offended," Hughes said.  "I decided the presentation of the material was so graphically sexual that I just felt it was not something high school students should be reading."

Even better, he does so despite the American Library Association [ALA] making up the rule that you can only remove such books after a long "materials reconsideration" process.  "A hearing on challenged material is serious and often lengthy."  "Be clear that materials under reconsideration will not be removed from use, or have access restricted, pending completion of the reconsideration process."

Other school superintendents have reacted similarly.  The squirting sperm book was immediately removed from a school in Arizona, for example, despite the false cries of censorship from the ALA acolytes.

School superintendents should know they can immediately pull inappropriate books and not have to comply with some rule made up by some organization from out of town.

Whom should the community trust with their children?  Their own superintendent who has a long history of dedication to education of community children, or the American Library Association who allowed an ACLU state leader to change the way librarians would approach children by enforcing the ACLU's anything-goes policy on the ALA and thereby local communities.

Dr. Hughes, don't give up, and you didn't "ban" the book:

But with social media and other websites blowing up with criticism, mostly of his unilateral decision to ban the book, Hughes admits that idea backfired.

"Most of the criticism has been over the lack of the process as opposed to the content of the book itself," Hughes said.  "There are many people who believe had the process been used, the book would have been exonerated.  I'm not sure that it would have.

"I don't know if this could have been avoided if I had used the process, but there are many who think so," Hughes added.  "Certainly in the future, I intend to make sure the process is used."

NOTE ADDED 1 JANUARY 2012:

The school superintendent has decided to do exactly what I recommended or would have recommended, namely, keep the book from the children while the review process takes place.  He has not caved in and he has not followed ALA guidance to do the exact opposite:

"Statement Regarding the Book, Waterland, by Graham Swift," by Jeremy M. Hughes, Ph.D.Plymouth-Canton Community Schools, 29 December 2011:
Over the past several weeks there has been a flurry of comment regarding my earlier decision to withdraw the Graham Swift book, Waterland, from the Advanced Placement Literature curriculum at the Park.

I had originally explained that passages from the book that had been submitted to me in a parent complaint were shocking in their graphic explicitness and, in my judgment, not suitable for a high school English class. As a former high school English and Latin teacher, I am certainly aware that much of modern literature contains sexual material. It was my judgment, however, that the passages I read from Waterland had crossed the line in terms of graphic portrayal of sexual activity.

Although it has been argued that I took action solely on the complaint of one parent, it was my judgment at the time that the majority of parents in Plymouth-Canton would have a similar objection if they read what I read.

As it turns out, from the comments I have received from parents, community members, students, and media commentators, what HAS become overwhelmingly objectionable to the community is my decision to remove the book without instituting the complaint and review processes provided for in our district’s Administrative Guidelines.

Respecting what I now perceive to be the wishes of the community at large, I am modifying the earlier decision I made regarding the book and will be putting the book through the review processes outlined in the Administrative Guidelines. Until that process is finished, I will ask that the book still not be used in class.

The process requires the creation of a committee of teachers, parents, administrators, literary experts, and community members who will be invited to read the book, consider arguments for and against its use, and in the end, develop a recommendation to the administration. It will be my intention to accept the recommendation of the review committee.

Jeremy M. Hughes, Ph.D.
Superintendent
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
December 29, 2011

NOTE ADDED 4 JANUARY 2012:

Res ipsa loquitur:

This poll from the CantonPatch shows, like the Harris Poll, most
want the explicit books removed from the public school.
Res ipsa loquitur.


NOTE ADDED 11 JANUARY 2012:

Please visit a new parent group opposing explicit books in local public schools that started as a direct result of the few falsely shouting "censorship":



And see the story about them:


NOTE ADDED 12 JANUARY 2012:

Yesterday I noticed that the poll I pictured above showing most people wanted the books removed was substantially similar in percentages to yesterday's percentages.  Both those numbers from my first publication and from yesterday are remarkably close to the majority determined in the Harris Poll who also oppose explicit books in public schools.

Today is different.  A massive shift has occurred.  The poll has been inverted.  In a single day.  Statistically, that is impossible, particularly many days after the initial publication of the article in which the poll appears when less visits could be expected on the page.  Therefore, I conclude that someone has launched an effort to intentionally skew the poll.  Let's sit back and see who uses that poll to promote the way it has now been skewed.  That would indicate the likely deceptive party.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Library Safety for Librarians from the Black Belt Librarian Warren Graham

CHICAGO —"The Black Belt Librarian: Real-World Safety & Security," published by ALA Editions, arms librarians with the confidence and know-how they need to maintain a comfortable, productive and safe environment for everyone in the library.  Sharing expertise gleaned from more than two decades as a library security manager, author Warren Graham demonstrates that libraries can maintain their best traditions of openness and public access by creating an unobtrusive yet effective security plan.  In straightforward language, Graham:

  • Shows how to easily set clear expectations for visitors' behavior;
  • Presents guidelines for when and how to intervene when someone violates the code of conduct, including tips for approaching an unruly person;
  • Offers instruction on keeping persistent troublemakers under control or permanently barred from the library;
  • Gives library staff tools for communicating effectively with its security professionals, including examples of basic documentation.

A security professional for more than 25 years, including 17 years as the security manager of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, N. C., Graham left the library in 2006 to establish Warren Davis Graham Training and Consulting.  He has made numerous presentations and is a leading speaker internationally on practical day-to-day library security procedures.

....

### 30 ###

Source:  Press release entitled, "Effective Security Plans and the Black Belt Librarian," by Jill DavisAmerican Libraries, 9 December 2011.  Click for a sample of the book.

See also:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fire NYPL President Marx for Drunk Driving; Library Allows Unlimited Pornography So Needs a New Leader Anyway

NYPL's drunk driver Anthony
Marx
who should be fired.
Only in America can you have the president of the largest lending library, the New York Public Library with the famous lions, drive his public library-owned 2009 Audi A4 while drunk, get in an accident, plead guilty to a DUI/DWI misdemeanor, then have the library keep him as president.  FIRE HIM!

Is there a single person in the world who gets to drive the company car while more than twice the legal alcohol limit (0.19 BAC), smash it, plead guilty to DUI, then have your employer defend you?  Talk about the 1%!  This guy is in the 0.19%!  Just look at how the library reacted to the privileged Dr. Anthony W. Marx who obviously could afford an attorney who helped him turn a crime into a misdemeanor:

In a written statement, the library said it was "satisfied that the incident has been resolved and looks forward to the important work ahead for Dr. Marx and the library."

And this is a library that allows nearly unlimited access to pornography, falsely claiming that under "long-standing library policy" the First Amendment requires the library must allow it:

Brooklyn Public Library porn.
"A lot of the times, I see people watching pornography and stuff like that. The man right next to me today was watching naked women," Julio Sosa, 14, said at the Jerome Branch in the Bronx. 
Library officials defend their policy of allowing easy access to porn as a free speech issue, claiming that only five percent of web traffic on public library computers is to porn sites. 
"Our staff carefully monitors use of computers in adult areas.  It is long-standing library policy - here and across the nation - to abide by the First Amendment," said New York Public Library spokeswoman Angela Montefinise.

Well gee, the library allows unfettered porn despite the means that allow any library to keep it out, and now the library allows a drunk driving president to keep his job.  No wonder the library allows porn—it's anything goes—as this recent drunk driving debacle shows.

In reality, even the first sentence of US v. ALA says, "1. [P]ublic libraries' use of Internet filtering software does not violate their patrons' First Amendment rights...."  Does not violate the First Amendment.  Someone needs to change that "long-standing library policy."  Further, other library directors, who are not drunk drivers by the way, talk about the "dogma" the American Library Association [ALA] and its acolytes use to claim libraries must allow porn.  Now the New York Public Library has drunken dogma.

Sign at parking space for
NYPL President Marx?
What a disgrace.  This guy makes over half a million dollars a year with terrific perks, his library is filled with porn, he gets drunk and smashes the library's car, and that's okay with the library.  Tell me, are there any limits at all in this library?  Talk about privileged!  This guy should be tossed out of this public institution immediately.  It's a public institution after all.  Members of the public do not get to keep their jobs after smashing the company car, and neither should privileged Marx.  I demand that someone look into this matter, toss out the drunken president, and get someone who will follow the law and insist on blocking porn in the library.  Is there no respect for public institutions anymore?  Is there no respect for the porn actors victimized by big porn who get victimized again with each viewing, including in public libraries?

Are any politicians still pursuing legislation to reign in the libraries in New York City?  Contact me again.  I will help you more.  Your previous ideas were too timid anyway and were aimed at getting around the dogma.  Enough is enough, is it not?

"But will the children forgive Mr. Marx?"  Why are we even asking—get rid of him already.  It's time to move on.


Exactly what is it about a librarian that causes people to fall for dogma and gives librarians a free pass no one else would get?

Library-owned 2009 Audi A4 that NYPL President
Anthony Marx smashed while driving with 0.19 BAC.
Then he got to keep his job in that public library.
Unbelievable.

NOTE ADDED 12 DECEMBER 2011:

This "Tony Marx" is the embodiment of the double standard.  Get a load of this and you'll see exactly what I mean:
Anthony Marx, former president of Amherst College and current president of the New York Public Library, offers a different perspective.  He insists that elite higher education has a "responsibility…to hold up public service, and examples of public service, as life paths that we value and need as a society."  Universities and colleges should be concerned with the career paths of their graduates, particularly those in the public realm.  According to Marx, "To the degree that the graduates of top universities are not going into public service, into teaching, and into all kind of arenas that require talent for us to have the kind of society that we want that is something we should worry about."
Source: "Public Service of the Future," by ImeIme Umana and Beatrice Walton, Harvard Political Review, 10 December 2011.

Drinking and driving and getting in an accident on the public's dime in the public's car, and the public library approves by not firing him.  Some public responsibility, some talent, some public service of the future!  With unlimited porn, no less.  And the Harvard story is in defense of the "Occupy" movement, yet Dr. Marx is part of the 0.19%!  You can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Laguna Beach Pubic Library

KTLA 5 news story entitled,
"Library Porn."
Laguna Beach Public Library.  Eight homeless guys watch pornography on one of the public library's Internet computers, one is masturbating, and children are nearby.  The library's reaction?  It is their First Amendment right!  It might as well be called the Laguna Beach Pubic Library.  See for yourself:


Since when is pornography "information"?

Did you see how the library said pornography (excuse me, "information") in public libraries was legal and cannot be controlled?  That is false.  Yes, it is legal, but no, libraries are not obligated under the First Amendment to provide porn and it can be controlled with Internet filters (privacy screens and acceptable use policies do almost nothing).  See, for example, Library Porn Removal Roadmap.  As it stands now, porn is freely available at the Laguna Beach Public Library.  Why not just advertise that if it is a First Amendment right?

KTLA 5 poll showing
most people want
Internet filters.
But what the library said is more than false.  Over eight years after US v. ALA approved blocking porn in public libraries, in part for the very common sense reason the attorney said in the KTLA News report, it is simply a lie.  The library knows or should have known it is lying to the community.  It can block porn, legally, it just simply refuses to do so.

The question is, will the community/government allow the library to continue to get away with this lying?  At right is a graphic of a KTLA News poll showing most people want filters on public library computers.  It is what the people want.  Should the community have an anything-goes library policy enforced by lying librarians or should citizens insist on compliance with the law and the installation of filters on all computers, not just anything less that 100%?  Will the government act to legally protect the people or will the librarians lobbying quiesce the politicians?

And let me remind the government that where your library acts outside the law, and it is doing just that by defying US v. ALA and perhaps by defying local law, you have the right to require the library to comply with the law without worrying about piercing the library's veil of autonomy.  The library may not act autonomously to violate the law.  The government must act in such a case.

Will the library continue to endanger more children, patrons, and library employees?  We shall see.  Let me know if anyone would like my assistance in ridding that community of this particular danger.  And it is a danger, let alone a cause for potential legal liability.

By the way, it was purely concern over legal liability that led a library to finally kick out an "Occupy" trespassers encampment.  See Library Kicks Out Occupy Encampment.  Maybe the issue of potential legal liability will lead the government to require the library comport with the law—especially where I will be sending this post to the local and county governments so they are put on notice of potential harm.  Prior notice may affect any damages awarded.  If the government does nothing and the library is allowed to continue to serve pornography and a resultant crime leads to legal redress, the government's damages will likely be established and/or increased, and I will provide expert testimony.


NOTE ADDED 29 DECEMBER 2011:

Based in part on this incident in Laguna Beach, it now appears an LA TIMES EDITORIAL SUPPORTS REASONABLE MEANS TO FILTER OUT PORNOGRAPHY!



Friday, December 2, 2011

Library Kicks Out Occupy Encampment

Bangor Public Library logo.
While the American Library Association [ALA] is supporting the so-called Occupy Wall Street Library, the Bangor Public Library (@BangorLibrary) has had the good sense to finally kick out the Occupy Bangor trespassers from library property:



Poll results showing people support
kicking out the library trespassers
who are part of Occupy Bangor.
The Bangor Public Library gets it.  The ALA does not.  As an illustration of why the ALA should not support the so-called "Occupy" movement, consider the following:



Bangor Public Library Director Barbara McDade said, "We certainly will allow them to use the property to protest, but we don't want them staying on the property 24 hours a day."  For that, the United Nations might put a target on her head:



Congratulations to the Bangor Public Library for making the right decision, no matter how reluctantly.  And to emphasize it made the right decision, poll results on the Bangor Daily News site, displayed above right, show the vast majority support the library in expelling the trespassers.  Yes, free speech will not be suppressed, but, as is clearly seen in Bangor, trespassing is not free speech.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Occupied ALA Ignored Cuban Librarians; OWSLibrary is Not a Real Library and People Knew It Would Be Removed

@OWSLibrary is not
"a REAL library"
The American Library Association [ALA] now officially supports the "occupy" movements (including #OWS) intended by its instigators to wreak economic terrorism on the United States of America and bring an end to the United States Constitution.  The ALA proclaimed, "The People's Library, a library constructed by the New York Occupy Wall Street movement, was seized in the early morning hours of Nov. 15, by the New York Police Department during a planned raid to evict Occupy Wall Street protesters from Zuccotti Park."  Source:  "ALA Alarmed at Seizure of Occupy Wall Street Library, Loss of Irreplaceable Material," by Macey Morales, American Library Association, 17 November 2011.  The ALA, in making that statement, is promoting the propaganda of the "occupiers," and, as shown in the above graphic tweet by "@bitchylibrarian," not everyone is falling for the lies.


The #OWS "Library" was Abandoned, Not "Seized"

The "library" is not "a REAL library," as the above tweet notes.  Using the word "library" for convenience, I point out the "library" was not "seized."  Rather, it was abandoned.  When time came to clear out, proper notice was given: "the New York City Police Department and the owners of Zuccotti Park notified protestors in the park that they had to immediately remove tents, sleeping bags and other belongings...."  Many people did take their belongings and clear out.  No one took the "library" or its contents.  It was abandoned instead.  That the New York City Police Department did not dispose of the "library" completely goes to the credit of the NYPD.  The ALA has maligned the NYPD by falsely asserting it "seized" the "library."

@OWSLibrary on Twitter

And it was not a "planned raid."  Instead, "Protestors were asked to temporarily leave the park while this occurred, and have been told that they will be free to return to the park once Brookfield finishes cleaning it later morning."  The ALA has adopted the language of #OWS.  It has joined the movement.

What a coincidence that I had previously written about the ALA and the "occupy" movement:  "Will the ALA Oppose Economic Terrorism?  Stephen Lerner of the SEIU Spells Out Battle Plans Against America, a Perfect Non-Library Issue for the ALA to Sink Its Teeth Into," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 22 March 2011.  Now we have our answer.  No, it will not oppose it.  Rather, it will join it.


The ALA Joins Terrorists and Anarchists

And what exactly has the ALA joined?  Let's look at some articles from the same day as the ALA statement.  How about unrepentant terrorist William Ayers right in the ALA's home town:  "Controversial Professor Bill Ayers Speaks With Occupy Chicago Protesters; Former Weather Underground Group Member Teaches Non-Violence to Protesters," by Jessica Guido, NBC Chicago, 17 November 2011.  Ayers is a guy who Canada wouldn't even let into the country.  Repeatedly.  How about people who purposefully frighten little children:  "OWS Protesters Chant 'Follow Those Kids!' As Small Children Try to Go to School on Wall Street; Tiny Tots, Some as Young as 4, Overwhelmed by Hostility, Crush of Humanity," by Emily Smith, CBS New York, 17 November 2011.  Watch the video; see for yourself.  Oh yes, the ALA supports #OWS, that includes its terrorists and anarchists.

Speaking of children, don't forget this:  "Library Propagandizes Children for Occupy Oakland," by Dan Kleinman, SafeLibraries, 2 November 2011.


The #OWSLibrary "Librarians" Knew It Would Eventually Be Cleared!

Here is further evidence of the ALA's propagandizing on behalf of #OWS:  "The Occupy Wall Street Library Regrows in Manhattan," by Christian ZabriskieAmerican Libraries, 16 November 2011, updated 17 November 2011.  "He was also quick to point out that, while he had helped to build and maintain the collection knowing full well that the park would probably be cleared eventually, the manner in which it was done hit him hard."

Well look at that. He knew the "library" would be cleared.  So not only is the "library" not "a REAL library," but the people "kn[e]w[] full well that the park would probably be cleared eventually."

That's an admission against interest.  That statement means no harm was done as they knew the "library" would be cleared.  And when they were given notice to clear the "library," they did not.  Yet the ALA is seeking blood from the NYPD and the City of New York for the "seizure" of the "library" via a"planned raid."

When the SLAPP suit eventually hits the NYPD, etc., I know the above statement will be used to evidence the frivolous nature of such a suit, and I hope punitive damages will be awarded to the City of New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg as a result.


The Contradiction of the ALA Not Supporting Cuban Librarians But Supporting #OWS

You know what is also really bad?  Here is the ALA standing up for a "library" with false claims that it was "seized" in a "planned raid," yet when that actually happened, in Cuba, the ALA did very little to help.  Oh yes, the ALA would help anywhere around the world.  As ALA Councilor Karen Downing said on 17 November 2011 in an email to the ALA Council, "[W]e are only addressing the destruction of library/archival materials.  This is something ALA has always been very committed to fighting whenever and wherever it occurs."  Except Cuba.  Cuban librarians jailed and books literally burned?  No problem, to the ALA, depending on the political position of the victims.


Friends of Cuban Librarians Describes the ALA

When it comes to Cuban libraries and librarians, the ALA is:
guilty of complicity in repressing intellectual freedom in Cuba. The ALA has systematically denied, ignored and covered up book burning, censorship, mob attacks, raids on libraries, physical assaults against librarians, 20-year prison terms for library workers, and the court-ordered burning of thousands of confiscated library books on the island.

The ALA leadership's silent complicity prolonged the detention of library workers sentenced to 20 year in prison following unfair one-day trials.  And the ALA contributed to the torment endured by the prisoners due to its refusal to respond to appeals for humane treatment of the jailed library workers.

Source:  Robert Kent, Friends of Cuban Libraries, personal communication, 31 March 2011, reprinted with permission.

Silence from the ALA on Cuban
librarians finally being freed.

The Jailed Cuban Librarians Were Finally Freed to Silence From the ALA

The jailed Cuban librarians were finally freed.  See: "Cuba Releases Another 'Group of 75' Dissident," by Efe, FoxNews Latino, 18 March 2011.  No thanks, of course, to the ALA that did very little to speak up for them and next to nothing to protest book burning.

Just look at how the ALA cared about the librarians finally being free.  Any news on the ALA site?  Zero.  Anything published in American Libraries, the ALA's monthly magazine?  Nothing.  The ALA's Intellectual Freedom Round Table [IFRT]?  Silence.  Anything from the Social Responsibilities Round Table [SRRT], supposedly so concerned about "human and economic rights"?  Crickets.  How about the International Federation of Library Associations [IFLA].  Anything?  No.  Could the silence be indicative of anything?

Was ALA Past President Camila Alire being truthful when she said, "the whole concept of intellectual freedom should not just be a white concept"?  Instead the news was the ALA and the IFLA met north of Cuba at the Newport Beachside Hotel and Resort in North Miami Beach, FL, on the August 10-12, 2011, for "Intellectual Freedom in a Changing World," a conference on "international issues related to free access to information in libraries."  Does anything think the freeing of the Cuban librarians was discussed?  More crickets.

I have been writing about the jailed Cuban librarians for quite some time.  Consider these posts:


ALA's Pro-Castro Actions Prolonged the Suffering of the Librarians

Now that the ordeal is finally over, I had to ask myself if the ALA's actions in any way prolonged the suffering of the librarians.  Yes, as the above email from Bob Kent of The Friends of Cuban Libraries shows.  As one ALA member put it, "Some of us who have written against Kent’s campaign are lifelong socialists and friendly toward the Cuban revolution."  Similarly, Nat Hentoff said, "The governing council of the American Library Association ... disgraced itself in January when it overwhelmingly rejected an amendment to a final report at its mid-winter meeting telling Castro to let the librarians out.  Apparently there are members of the council who romanticize Fidel, as do some Hollywood celebrities."  I think that about sums up the ALA leadership. 

One would think the ALA, being the largest library association in the world, would stand up for the rights of jailed librarians.  Indeed, as Bob Kent put it, "the ALA explicitly serves as a defender of freedom of expression everywhere in the world...."  But the ALA did not take a leadership position on this issue.  As a result, almost all library associations worldwide just yawned.

But the ALA is now taking up the cause of the #OWS "library" and promoting the anti-government propaganda of the economic terrorists.


The Problem is the ALA Leadership, Not Rank and File Librarians

And let me be clear the problem is the ALA leadership, not rank and file librarians.  As Bob Kent wrote me, "in contrast to the ALA Council, 76% of respondents to the only membership poll on Cuba in ALA Direct called on the ALA to condemn the Cuban government for its repression of the independent library movement."  Go reread what Bob Kent said.  You will see he clearly addresses ALA leadership.

And here are some juicy statements from ALA Councilors made 17 November 2011 in emails to the ALA Council distribution list:
  • Aaron Dobbs:  "And, yes, this is something ALA should be speaking out about....  A spontaneous community resorce [sic] should not be forcibly destroyed/removed by law enforcement officials at the order of a government."
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "Also, I’m going to be sending some of the money I've raised at the libraryadvocacy store to support this library.  I emailed them as asked what they would like.  I was thinking of supporting their web activity as they don't have a domain name yet and that kind of thing."
  • Diedre Conkling:  "This is a great start and I am very happy that people are working on this resolution.  I know I am not providing anything substantive here but I just wanted to let you know that I think this is a good thing.  Watching the rise of the libraries as a vital part of the Occupy movement has been really interesting.  (Though maybe not surprising to those of us in the library world.)"
  • Karen Downing:  "Definately [sic] count me in on the resolution Patrick!  Thanks for taking the first stab at it."


To be fair, here are some statements that were actually or mostly measured, also made 17 November 2011:
  • Sean Reinhart:  "The Occupy movement is a complex and fast-evolving issue with deep implications both nationally and at the local level where most of us operate.  Any statement or resolution from ALA relating to Occupy should be well-considered and all of the implications of that message thought through.  Our association has members on every side of this issue so we should be careful not to rush to any statement that might run counter to our association's mission and especially the needs of our membership.  In that spirit, I agree 99% that it is appropriate for ALA to make a statement in this matter at this time, however I respectfully submit that we utilize the process and resources we have in place already to craft that message.  I'm new to this Council, so you all haven't yet heard my voice yet."
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "I agree,  that was why I also think it should be aligned with the message already sent from the ALA President.  I don’t really care one way or another about the movement really (as far as the resolution is concerned).  It's about the destruction of a library that had valuable archival material from a significant moment in American History.  It would/should be written to show the support for guerilla libraries in general and used to support in the same way any Tea Party libraries, Green Party libraries, Democratic, Communist or Nazi libraries for example.  It's about the preservation of archival materials generated by the group and against the actions by any government entity to censor or destroy those materials whether or not we agree or disagree with those materials.  It is not about the movement that it is attached to."


This Latest ALA Double Standard Deserves an #OccupyALA Tag

This latest double standard from the ALA (pro-#OWS while Cuban librarians are shrugged off and worse) is yet another reason local communities should ignore ALA diktat.  The sooner the ALA loses influence, the better it will be for communities and those librarians and library workers who live in fear of the ALA.

I suggest we all start using the #OccupyALA tag on Twitter when reporting on the ALA's latest pro-"Occupy Wall Street" propaganda.

Hat tip:


NOTE ADDED LATER ON 18 NOVEMBER 2011:

Having sent a courtesy copy of this email to as many of the named individuals as possible, one ALA Council recipient has seen fit to attack the messenger, namely me.  He overlooks the factual issues raised.  He overlooks the total political message of the ALA ignoring Cuban librarians lack of  intellectual and physical freedom while supporting fake "librarians" with #OWS propaganda.  It's a sure sign I hit the nail on the head and no substantive counter arguments exist, at least from him:
  • Patrick Sweeney:  "Not everyone received the email I did.  But already some are trying to define their lives through the misinterpretation of this resolution. Through false statements about it, outright lies, and purposefully antagonistic one-liners designed to just get media play and further their grandious [sic] desire for selfish validation and 15 Minutes of fame. I'm happy we can provide meaning to their lives.  I'm glad we provide that service for people. That is, after all, one of the great things about libraries! We serve everyone, even those who disagree with our services. I'm happy that even ALA provides these same services to people. It proves we are doing the right  thing."
Mr. Sweeney, I'm calling you out.  Please point out the "false statements," "outright lies," "purposefully antagonistic one-liners designed to just get media play," and the "grandio[se] desire for selfish validation and 15 Minutes of fame."  Then explain why you feel my statements are false or are lies.  I backed them up with hyperlinks to the source documents or statements.  I'll admit the observation that admitting the "library" would eventually be removed, sinking the "seizure" claim and potentially opening any future legal matter to punitive damages, comes from my own legal sense.  Then show me where the ALA cared one iota that the Cuban librarians the ALA hardly helped were eventually released from jail.  If you can show me that, I'll be a monkey's uncle.


OWS Librarian Mandy Henk
NOTE ADDED 19 NOVEMBER 2011:

Look who's censoring now!  Why it's the OWS Library itself!  Telling, no?

Look what it did not publish as a comment (it never got past "awaiting moderation") to "Common Cause Calls on Bloomberg to 'Open Your Wallet' to Replace Books," by Mandy Henk, Occupy Wall Street Library, 17 November 2011, and what a coincidence that Mandy Henk is "one of the volunteers at the Occupy Wall Street People's Library":
Comment the OWS Library selectively censored out of its blog.

The comment that was published instead of mine said, "Awesome.  Totally with you.  Love it.  Was there yesterday for the morning shutdown then rally & walk.  So inspired.  We are winning!"  Right, winning by censoring out voices they do not want others to hear while claiming they have been censored out.  You can't make this stuff up.


NOTE ADDED LATER ON 19 NOVEMBER 2011:

And now a legitimate librarian acting in a legitimate venue has joined the censorship fray and removed my comment from her blog as well, only this time the comment was removed after it was published and after people had read it, judging by the click throughs to my own blog.  I'm telling you, all this comment removal starts to look suspicious, particularly from the free speech people, particularly where they are decrying a supposed lack of free speech.

Unfortunately, I do not recall what I wrote that was removed, neither did I get a screen shot.  My comment was rather detailed and aimed at an audience of legitimate librarians.  I was likely censored out for being truthful, else it would not have drawn the attention of the censor.

So, the People's Library Intellectual Freedom Award for hiding legitimate opposition to the false claims of "seizure" and "planned raids" by pointing out that the "library" was abandoned as originally intended is hereby granted to:


NOTE ADDED 22 NOVEMBER 2011:

The Library Journal now features a blog post by the Annoyed Librarian that specifically names me and agrees with me on what I said here and even goes further.  She disagrees with my comments about the ALA having an interest in Cuba, but the ALA has interests in many libraries outside the USA, and Cuba should be no different.  Be sure to see all the comments as well:

  • "What is an American Library?," by Annoyed Librarian, Library Journal, 21 November 2011.
    Whatever its purpose or usefulness, the OWS library wasn't a public library and it wasn't a cornerstone of democracy and it wasn't necessary to ensure that everyone has access to free information.
    ....
    Everyone knew it would eventually be cleared.  It wasn't a library in any public sense of the word.  It was a collection of books in a park to entertain or inform a group of transient protesters.  There was never a plan for preservation or permanence.  Even the circulation policy encouraged the dissolution of the library.

Also, Mandy Henk did eventually publish my blog comment.  And Patrick Sweeney and I had a lengthy conversation and he's a decent guy, from what I can tell.  Meantime, the ALA Council is still pursuing its blind support of the OWS Library, even trying to expedite it.


NOTE ADDED 29 NOVEMBER 2011:

This just in:

Romans, Larry
6:31 PM (30 minutes ago)

to ACRLEADS, alacoun, ALA
To which groups we send our messages has not been consistent. Please forgive any duplication.

Some ALA members and councilors see the Occupy Wall Street folks as "good guys" and the Cuban "librarians" as "bad guys." However, I don't see how ALA can support a resolution decrying what happened to the Occupy "library" if we want to continue to oppose recognizing the Cuban "libraries."

When is a library a library? If our definition of a library includes the Occupy "library," how does it not include the Cuban "libraries"? Unless we want to change our views on the Cuban "libraries," I don't think we can support the Occupy "library" resolution.

Larry

Larry Romans,
Vanderbilt University Libraries,
Nashville, TN 37203-2427


NOTE ADDED 30 NOVEMBER 2011:

This just in:

Romans, Larry
12:27 AM (9 minutes ago)

to srrtac-l, ACRL, ALA, ALA

From Rory Litwin:

Larry should really address the important distinction that has been drawn by more than one person, that the OWS Library is grass-roots but the Cuban "independent libraries" are not.  Michael Dowling in ALA's International Relations Office has confirmed that the Cuban "independent libraries" are not grass roots but are a product of State Department strategy.  This is a fact and it should be a part of the discussion.

My response:


I remembered Michael Dowling's report but was glad to reread it. Here is the link Rory gave us:

http://libraryjuicepress.com/docs/Cuba_Update_06.08.doc

I am not advocating that ALA sponsor the Cuban independent libraries.  I'm saying that it's not consistent to support one and not support the other.  I've never heard that ALA has defined libraries by whether they are "grass roots."  I think using Michael Dowling's report as an argument is still a variation on the "good guys" vs. "bad guys" argument.

Larry

Now back to me, SafeLibraries, let me also add that OWSLibrary is now supporting the end of capitalism, and the ALA is supposed to be supporting the OWSLibrary?  Thank goodness for people with brains like Larry Romans.  The latest OWSLibrary posting says, hyperlinks in original and containing key evidence OWSLibrary seeks the end of capitalism, "But they are people who are caught up in a system that has run its course, a system that has generated tremendous wealth for the few through the wonton destruction of the natural environment and human society."

The ALA supports that?


NOTE ADDED 3 DECEMBER 2011:

See also:


NOTE ADDED 25 MAY 2012:

See also:





Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Library Propagandizes Children for Occupy Oakland

Oakland Public Library, Oakland, CA, appears to have enabled a "children's brigade" of "Occupy Oakland" protestors:

In front of the Oakland Public Library, about three dozen parents brought toddlers and school-age children for a stroller march in a "children's brigade."  Demonstrators handed out signs written as if in a children's crayon that read "Generation 99% Occupying Our Future."  People attached the signs to their baby backpacks and their strollers.


And before the "children's brigade," the library was directly involved in organizing (on its Oakland Public Library Facebook wall on 2 November) an event that attracted the members of the "children's brigade":

We will be holding a teach-in for youth and students wanting to learn more about the 99%/Occupy movement at the Main Library auditorium from 3 to 4:30.  If you are a community member or teacher looking for a safe space to to [sic] send youth today to engage and discuss the general strike, send them to us.

OPL "teach-in for youth" announcement for "engaging" the "general strike."

SooperMexican calls that protest "the degenerate cop-car-crapping rapist anti-semite anti-American #OWS protest."  And BigGovernment keeps an updated list of the "Occupy" protests crimes, and they are many and serious:


Further, it appears some librarians support the "Occupy" effort to overthrow the American government through violent means.  Example, in text and comments:

"Occupy Oakland Death to Capitalism Banner" http://bit.ly/uMKRQ9

The business "Men's Wearhouse" is losing business for supporting "Occupy Oakland."  See:



Is this anything any public library should support in any way, let alone by using children, as the Oakland Public Library appears to have done?  Has the library not propagandized the children to become useful idiots for "Occupy Oakland"?  Isn't it a matter of time before people stop supporting public libraries for, like Men's Wearhouse, supporting "Occupy" activity?

Feel free to comment below.


NOTE ADDED 3 NOVEMBER 2011:

The last thing 32-year-old Mandy Henk expected from volunteering at the Occupy Wall Street library was an invitation to speak at the American Library Association's 2012 Midwinter Conference in Dallas, Texas. That speaking engagement will help raise her profile among the 10,000 other librarians there to network and share new ideas, she said.

Henk, a certified librarian who handles circulation, reserves and interlibrary loans at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., joined the movement in late September and rediscovered the role she cares most about -- connecting people with information. Since then, she has commuted back and forth between Greencastle and Zuccotti Park in Lower Manhattan with a focus on developing new models for libraries at a time when many are facing budget shortfalls.

"I'm a faculty librarian, so being professionally active is something that my peers at my home institution judge me on," she said. "Having the opportunity to refine my skills working with such a diverse population is really valuable in that regard."



What's really galling is that while the ALA invites the "occupy" librarian, it blocks people it opposes, like Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch.  The ALA censors Robert Spencer, but the "occupy" librarian is invited to speak.  And this is the American Library Association that gets 501(c)(3) tax exempt status and is viewed as authoritative?


NOTE ADDED 4 NOVEMBER 2011:

The library participated in propagandizing children to join a "children's brigade" as part of "Occupy Oakland."  What is the result?  THE LIBRARY WILL LOSE FUNDING AND LOSE OPEN HOURS!  Has the library committed suicide?  H/T Verum Serum:



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Library Board Thanked for Blocking Porn With Internet Filters

Al Maghnieh
The Windsor Public Library board of directors, Windsor, ON, gets thanked repeatedly for finally installing Internet filters to block Internet pornography from the public library:

It's now official.  The Windsor Public Library board of directors has passed the necessary policy to block online porn and gambling on library computers. 
Councillor Al Maghnieh chairs the library board of directors and said the policy makes sense. 
"This is a place family, seniors and kids use.  We're encouraging teen zones and after school activities.  It's just not the type of stuff we want in this place," Maghnieh said.  "This is a place for social literacy, advancing yourself and being part of the community." 
Maghnieh says he has heard from library users thanking him for taking action against porn websites.

Common sense, no?

This is another example of community standards, namely, that communities want public libraries to block porn.  That's why the people recognize how lucky they are to have a library board that sets aside the usual "intellectual freedom" dogma, as evidenced by their taking time to thank the library board for blocking porn.

And it shows the library's "Acceptable Use Policy," which is typical, does not work, or else there would be no need for filters to block porn.  I bet that policy will be amended soon.

Will your library board install filters to block porn?  Contact me if you wish help making it happen.  And don't fall for the "privacy screen" excuse.  Remember, the community loves when the public libraries blocks porn, as this example shows:


See also:


Pornography conference blasted as 'meat market' by protesters
http://gu.com/p/326vb/tw


NOTE ADDED 10 NOVEMBER 2011:

The following is relevant, even directly addressing this Windsor matter: