Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Ahmed Khalifa: Library Employee of the Year

Hero Ahmed Khalifa - Source
Ahmed Khalifa is the library employee of the year, in my opinion.  This New York City high schooler has a story that reads like a Clark Kent superhero story.  "Khalifa said he was riding the Q home after working a shift at the public library near Grand Army Plaza."

Read the rest here:
His is obviously a safe library!

URL of this page: 
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/12/ahmed-khalifa-library-employee-of-year.html

On Twitter: 
@BKLYNlibrary @FlatbushShomrim

Monday, December 12, 2016

Librarians Guide to Defeating Parents By EveryLibrary

Responding to Opposition: Training Guide by EveryLibrary

So how do we stay on message in the face of our critics? You should realize that, no matter how great your campaign message, your library campaign is going to have its critics.  It doesn’t matter how much the library is loved, the anti-library groups will almost always have some voice in your community.

Responding to Opposition

There are most likely groups of people in your community with the opinion that the library isn’t needed.  There are people who will think that the library should be run by volunteers.  There are people who will believe that the library is doing something malicious with their money.  Finally, there are most likely groups of people who just plain and simply don’t want to pay more taxes no matter what for.

While you should expect to always have opposition, you shouldn’t always expect to have a fight on your hands.  There are ways to quiet the opposition enough that they don’t pose a risk for your campaign.  Remember, you don’t need them to be completely quiet, you don’t need them to love the library, you don’t even need them to vote for the library.  You just need them to not get in the way, vote against, or sabotage the campaign.  Your goal is only to turn them from an active opposition to a passive opposition.

Online or IRL?

Before we begin, I should point out that many of these techniques work for oppositional messages in the comments of blog posts or news articles as well as in real life.  It’s the way that you structure your response that is important and it works across media platforms.  In either case, I want to make sure to note that you should never directly attack your opposition by calling them out by name or specifically responding to just them. Instead of directly attacking your opponent, you should build a message that can be repeated often enough that their message simply gets buried.  You can have your supporters post variations of the same counter message or dozens of positive stories on a blog post until the negative comments are buried.  Whatever you do, don’t validate them or fuel their anger, mistrust, or hatred by attacking them.

Sources of Opposition

It’s extremely important to know who your opposition is and why they don’t support the library.  This is something that should ideally be done during the surfacing phase of your campaign but new opposition can show up at any time.  Luckily, in the case of libraries, you have something up your sleeve.  We at EveryLibrary have heard just about every possible opposition message to libraries, from the most ridiculous, to the most reasonable.  Here are some of the most heard opposition messages that we have heard;
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that (homeowners/small business owners/residents) can’t afford to pay.
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • We don’t need a new library
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • Libraries are irrelevant because I never use them
What you also need to recognize is that some people will never change their view or opinion no matter what you say or do.  Attempting to convince them otherwise will be a huge waste of resources and not something that your campaign can not afford to do.  It is far more important to go out and engage the people who are already on your side and get those voters to the polls in greater numbers than the opposition can. You can be much more effective talking to people who are on the fence than those who have already made up their mind.

The desire to respond to the opposition directly can be difficult to resist.  Instead there are ways that you can use the opposition to build your supporter base.  You can actually turn your opposition’s messages against them and use those messages to convince your supporters to get to the polls.  You can use the public debate to educate the public about the issues and build greater support.  This paper will outline how to do just that.

Listen

The first thing that you should always do when handling discussions from people who have concerns about library ballot measures is listen to them.  Since nearly all opposition stems from a place of fear, you need to handle their concerns with respect and show a concern and understanding about what they are afraid of.  Don’t directly oppose their position as that will give them a sense of validation and you will remain actively opposed.  Instead, you should listen and respect their opinion and don’t be afraid to ask meaningful questions.  Once you have their source of fear, you can alleviate it.

Repeat

Once you know what their fear is, the first thing you should do is repeat it.  You should not directly counter their argument with an opposing viewpoint since this will be perceived as combative and people will fight back until they feel that they won.  By repeating their concerns or fears you prove that you understand them and that you respect their ideals and the repetition will be almost immediately calming.
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners….
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information…
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high…
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provided to the community…
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion and our volunteers are very valuable…

Question

Sometimes the opposition is unclear about their messaging, or what they are saying doesn’t make sense.  If you can’t figure out what their fear is, don’t be afraid to ask questions.  You can usually get to the root of the issue by kindly asking questions and addressing the root issue.  Most people will feel that you genuinely care if you are asking questions and you can help move them over from active to passive opposition.

Get back to the message

Here is where that message box comes in and where you can see how useful it is.  Since you should have already brainstormed and/or recorded as many of the opposition’s messages, you will be able to develop “and” statements to craft your counter message.  The “and” statement is what you use after repeating their concern.  This is how you are working to solve the same issue that they are concerned about.  This is how you show that you are actually on their side and that you both have the same concerns.  It is very important that you use an “and” statement and not a “but” or a “yes but” statement.  You should never use a “no” statement because you are not disagreeing with them.  You are trying to show that you agree and that you are both actually on the same side.
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners AND that’s why we provide so many resources that make being a small business owner easier
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information AND that’s why we want to increase the community’s access to it and add value to what you get from it.
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high AND that is why it’s so important to me to provide services to the community that help bring the cost of living down and the value of the community up.
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provides to the community AND that’s why it’s so important to us that we continue to provide the services of the old library and the kinds of services that you deserve in a modern age.
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion and we love our volunteers AND that’s why the library uses as many volunteers as we can to streamline our processes and free up our paid staff to provide the best services we possibly can

Reinforce Your Message

You can reinforce your message by using examples of how you’re achieving your “and” statement.  These examples should be concrete and provable.  You should never lie and say that your library provides something that it doesn’t or something that you can’t prove that it provides.  This is also where that message box comes back into play. You can use your opposition’s messages to research your examples so that you have them in mind before the discussion even begins.  It’s always best to give more than one example, but you should probably never offer more than three in order to avoid the appearance of “I gotcha.”
  • The library tax will be yet another tax that small business owners can’t afford to pay.
  • I understand the great burden placed on small business owners AND that’s why we provide so many resources that make being a small business owner easier. FOR EXAMPLE, we often have programming on hiring staff for small business owners and we offer patent and trademark classes to teach small business owners to protect their property.
  • The internet has everything that I could just find at the library
  • The internet is a great source of information AND that’s why we want to increase the community’s access to it and add value to what you get from it.  FOR EXAMPLE, we offer high speed internet access along with databases that provide a level of well researched and scientifically supported articles that you just can’t find for free on the internet.
  • I don’t want to pay more taxes
  • I understand that taxes are high AND that is why it’s so important to me to provide services to the community that help bring the cost of living down and the value of the community up. FOR EXAMPLE, we provide opportunities for teens and youth to volunteer and become engaged citizens and we provide storytimes for new parents to help the children with early literacy and get them ready for school.
  • We don’t need a new library.
  • We know that people love the old library and everything that it provides to the community AND that’s why it’s so important to us that we continue to provide the services of the old library and the kinds of services that you deserve in a modern age. FOR EXAMPLE, with a new library, we can provide for programming space to support our growing community and we can provide access to even more materials.
  • The library can be run by volunteers
  • That’s an excellent suggestion AND that’s why the library uses as many volunteers as we can to streamline our processes and free up our paid staff to provide the best services we possibly can.  FOR EXAMPLE, we love having our volunteers take on roles that free up staff to work on higher level tasks such as budgets, training, and working with high level technology issues.

Arm Your Campaign

These counter messages are your campaign’s weapons against the opposition so while these answers work well, they are not formatted for your community of voters and you will need the right weapon at the right time.  Everything that we have used here are simply common examples and you will need to do some opposition research and continuously revisit and use your message box with any of the opposition messages that you come across.  Most importantly, you need to practice with your weapons to get back on message.  This means taking some time with your campaign committee and volunteers and doing role playing games where one person plays the opposition and you respond to their claims by getting back to your message using the correct format.  Record some of the best responses, distribute them to your campaign members, and make sure that everyone has them memorized and is well trained on responding to the opposition.

The Opposition’s Outright Lies

Sometimes the opposition lies.  There is not a whole lot you can do about that.  We have seen it happen in a number of campaigns and the problem with lies is that because they are not based on fact, there is very little evidence to the contrary.  But there are a few things that you can do about it in order to simply pacify the opposition until the campaign is over.  Remember that you are simply trying to win the election and you don’t need to discredit or prove the liars wrong, you just need them to be quiet until the campaign is over.

One of the biggest lies that we have seen crop up around election time is that of porn in the library.  Often, these library detractors will try to use examples of porn issues in other libraries, a lack of filters on the computers, and language and content in YA materials to “prove” that the library WANTS to expose kids to porn.  Of course, we know that there is no truth to this ideology but there is typically very little you can do to disprove it.

Solutions for Opposition

While you’ll find that there are people in the community who are serious in their opposition to your library, there are a few things you can try to do to either get them to quiet down or get out of the way.  We are going to use the porn in the library discussion as our example in the these three solutions.
  1. One technique would be to simply use the same Agree, And, For Example format that we discussed earlier.  In the example of the individuals concerned about porn we can use this-
-Thank you for bringing this to our attention, we also want our children to be safe and secure while they are in the library so we take your claim very seriously AND we are going to do something about it. FOR EXAMPLE, we are going to look into a committee to seriously look into the exposure of porn to children in the community.
  1. You can invite them more into the campaign to be a part of the solution.  You can talk about how the library really needs the resources that the win for the library would bring in order to ensure that the library can protect the kids.  With the money you can purchase better filters and take staff time to look at the collection development policy or build a committee specifically to protect the children.  Of course, if you make these campaign promises, you will need to deliver on them if you win.
  2. Another solution is to side-step the campaign and form a committee to look into the issue.  In this case, you might even invite the detractor to be a part of the committee.  You can set the schedule of meetings and the timing of the outcomes of the committee to occur AFTER the Election Day.  This is a very common political ploy used often in campaigns that utilizes a diversion and delay technique to work around election days or long enough until the voters have forgotten about the issue.

Build Your Story

Sometimes you might find that you can build your story.  What this means is that you find people in your community who can tell the opposite story.  You will need to identify community members who can show up to meetings and tell a personal account of the opposite experience.  In the case of porn in the library, you can have community members show up to meetings and talk about how their kids are not exposed to adult material on the computers or that their kids found value in the books they read at the library and that they could then have a meaningful conversation about the issue with their children.  They can tell stories of being responsible parents who monitor their children in public spaces.  If you use this technique, never mention or directly oppose or attack the person making the original claim.  Simply bury their claim in great stories that tell a counter account of their experience.

Ignore Them

The last technique you can use is to simply ignore them.  Sometimes, if you ignore the lie it simply doesn’t gain enough momentum and traction and goes away.  This is risky, but if you know enough about the detractor or who they know in the community, you can make an informed guess as to whether or not they can get enough support of their claim to become a problem.  The detractor may simply go find something else to lie about somewhere else in the community.  This is usually because they are trying to build a name for themselves or play a “hero” role in the community and they won’t be able to gain that role if nobody steps up to be the villain.

One thing that you should never do is openly debate, criticize, or demean the person bringing up the lie.  They can use your open debate to validate themselves and their claim.  If you criticize or publicly demean them, they can make the claim that you are simply trying to put them down because they are close to “the truth.”  You will become the villain that they are looking for and they will make the case that they are the hero.



Source of above (except the title):
  • "Responding to Opposition: Training Guide," by Patrick Sweeney or Andrew Woodworth, EveryLibrary, 21 October 2015 (free subscription required to view; republished under Fair Use Copyright rules for educational, nonprofit purposes).
Note:  The title of this post, "Librarians Guide to Defeating Parents By EveryLibrary," was written by SafeLibraries.  The "guide" itself was written by EveryLibrary and labels parents as "biggest liars" and "detractors":
One of the biggest lies that we have seen crop up around election time is that of porn in the library.  Often, these library detractors will try to use examples of porn issues in other libraries, a lack of filters on the computers, and language and content in YA materials to “prove” that the library WANTS to expose kids to porn.  Of course, we know that there is no truth to this ideology but there is typically very little you can do to disprove it.
Previously, the American Library Association's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" labeled any parent who ever complained about anything as a "censor":
So whether parents are labeled as "liars," "detractors," or "censors," librarians as being trained, as this EveryLibrary "guide" proves again, to defeat parents.

By the way, ALA opposes labeling books—but labeling parents is a useful means for bullying, ridicule, and sending the message to other parents that they should not themselves dare challenge anything whatsoever.  It's a propaganda technique called "jamming."

The last section of the above "guide" called "Ignore Them" is about SafeLibraries as just months before one of the authors besmirched my efforts to stop the sexual harassment of librarians and convinced other librarians to ignore me.  He is an "ignore them" expert:
EveryLibrary even actively censors me to hide my exposing how ALA is involved in the sexual harassment of librarians, child pornography, and homophobia.  Yes, EveryLibrary deleted proof ALA hides its homophobia.  See 1) before, 2) after censorship.

EveryLibrary is a federally registered 501(c)(4) "Social Welfare Organization."  One wonders what attacking every single parent who complains about anything such as pornography in libraries has to do with "Social Welfare":

Source: EveryLibrary at YouTube:
https://youtu.be/4p9qcPmgrZk?t=3m50s
Indeed, since EveryLibrary assists in attacking parents who seek libraries that comply with the law and/or community standards instead of with ALA diktat, such as allowing Internet porn including child pornography in public libraries despite the law, then EveryLibrary may be in violation of 501(c)(4) "because planning and sponsoring illegal acts are in themselves inconsistent with charity and social welfare...."

If you are helping to spread Internet pornography and child pornography in public libraries and school libraries by organizing attacks on those seeking to end such things, where's the charity and social welfare in that?  Why should the public subsidize that?

SafeLibraries is happy to present EveryLibrary's "guide" for librarians on how to defeat parents.  Knowing the tricks of the librarians seeking to enable libraries to violate the law, the identity of the tricksters, and the potential for influence on local librarians may help parents who seek redress of their government in accordance with the law and despite the diktat of ALA or the organized bullying of EveryLibrary.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Yeah Right, Chicago Public Library

Chicago Public Library allows unlimited child pornography viewing along with "legal" pornography viewing (both of which under Illinois law is illegal in Illinois libraries), and media cover it up, as I have previously reported. But it has policy stating patrons may not, "View child pornography as it is illegal and subject to federal and state prosecution."

Yeah right.  Just useless signs, purely designed to mislead people:

Chicago Public Library - Guidelines Governing Use of the Library

"View child pornography as it is illegal and subject to federal and state prosecution."

If you are the rare librarian willing to stop child porn viewing, then see:



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Plan to Report Child Pornography in Public Libraries

Graphic credit: Karen Jensen
Plan to report child pornography in public libraries.  Librarian Karen Jensen of Teen Librarian Toolbox asks, "Does your library have a plan for what to do in case a patron is caught viewing child pornography on your public computers?" and advises "don't wait until it happens to figure out what you're supposed to do":
Here are her main points, then read the entire post:
  1. You need to have a plan and train staff BEFORE something happens
  2. Know that pornography involving minors is a crime and you are legally obligated to report
  3. Preserve the evidence
  4. Have staff fill out a detailed incident report ASAP
  5. Take detailed notes during the process
  6. Advise staff on how to talk with the public/press
  7. TRAIN YOUR STAFF
  8. Invite the police and your legal counsel to come train your staff
  9. If you have an incident, do a postmortem
  10. Know that you may never know what happens after the fact
Here is a list of the resources she provided:
Now let me add my two cents.  Karen Jensen is the first librarian I have seen to deal directly with this serious issue that affects all libraries.  And her advice is spot on.

Even her link to American Library Association [ALA] policy is good as ALA recently changed its policy; it now advises librarians to report child pornography—it didn't used to.  This change occurred, without any fanfare or any announcement at all by ALA, only after many decades and direct pressure from SafeLibraries and Orland Park Public Library child pornography whistleblowers Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan who went on to publish SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment.  See:
I also credit Jamie LaRue, who is the new leader of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom [OIF], for finally changing ALA's policy, that Karen Jensen linked, to finally advise librarians to report child pornography.  If interested, linked here is an older, archived version that advises librarians are not judges so they cannot determine what is child pornography and may not call the police.  I recommend ALA OIF announce the change in policy so libraries nationwide can adjust accordingly.

In respect of that older policy, library lawyers advised librarians not to call the police on child pornography viewers as that would violate the child porn viewer's rights to privacy:


In one library KTJ represented, child porn was indeed allowed and covered up, and I got caught up in a federal lawsuit to try to silence me and the child porn whistleblowers.  We were not silenced and instead ALA finally advises librarians to report child pornography to the police.  See:


To this day, certain ALA policies continue to stand in the way of what Karen Jensen has recommended, and indeed that it likely part of why she recommended what she did.
Karen Jensen, on the other hand, correctly advises the exact opposite of ALA:
  • Preserve the evidence.
  • Have staff fill out a detailed incident report ASAP.
  • Take detailed notes during the process.
  • Invite the police and your legal counsel to come train your staff.
  • If you have an incident, do a postmortem.
I really commend Karen Jensen for writing one of the most important articles in any library media.  Everyone please read "Things I Never Learned in Library School: Dealing with Minors and Pornography," by Karen JensenSchool Library Journal, 18 October 2016.

Why is her work entitled in part "Things I Never Learned in Library School"?  Why aren't library schools teaching what Karen Jensen is revealing?  Why is it left to individual librarians to finally address such a serious issue?  I call on library schools to incorporate Karen Jensen's work—planning to report child pornography—into library school curricula.

Librarians, please retweet this @TLT16 tweet below, start planning to report child pornography in public libraries, and ask your alma maters to include her work in their curricula:



URL of this page:
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/10/plan-to-report.html

On Twitter:
@ALALibrary @jaslar @OIF +School Library Journal @SLJournal @StopItNow @TheJusticeDept @TLT16

Friday, October 21, 2016

Library Director Fired; ALA Ignores Sexually Harassed Librarians Again?

Here is the anonymous letter that led to a library director being fired by her library board at York County Library, South Carolina, and below is local and American Library Association [ALA] reporting on the issue and a portion of my FOIA request:



York County Library in crisis ­ please help

You are receiving this email because you are a staff or board member of York County Library, involved in local government in York County, involved in state government with South Carolina, work with the SC state library or otherwise have awareness of or involvement with this library system. This message is coming from an account that will be deleted after all outgoing emails have been delivered. No replies will be received or read. The content of this message will make clear why it has been sent anonymously.

York County Library is in a state of crisis. Staff members are fearful for their jobs because they work under leadership that rules through intimidation and harassment. Let me be clear: York County Library Executive Director Colleen Pappas is a major liability for York County and has systematically destroyed staff morale along with the library’s once sterling reputation for community service.

Staff members have been repeatedly threatened with disciplinary action for things as simple as asking a question of a York County government employee or attempting to contact a library board member. Numerous policy documents contain language stating that employees may be terminated at any time for any reason. This is factually true in a right to state like South Carolina however the widespread use of this language on everything from employee handbook pages to personal leave requests perpetuates a work environment of fear and uncertainty. Staff members have documentation showing they have experienced retribution and retaliation from Mrs. Pappas for minor infractions or in some cases for no infractions at all.

Staff members of York County Library have contacted library board members. The board members have not taken any action because the staff members have remained anonymous. When you are told that you are subject to disciplinary action for questioning the executive director or going outside the chain of command for a valid legal question you become hesitant to ever sign your name. I know. I am an employee of York County Library. Over the past nine years that Colleen Pappas, previously Colleen Carney and then Colleen Kaphengst, has been the executive director I have witnessed Mrs. Pappas make decisions that are unethical at best and potentially illegal at worst. Read the list below and ask yourself if you know about of these situations.

1. Mrs. Pappas recruiting and hiring staff members to serve as private library security guards without the required license and in violation of South Carolina law

2. Children of Deputy Director Shasta Brewer being repeatedly hired without any application or interview and in direct violation of the library’s anti­-nepotism clause

3. A serious workplace accident at the Rock Hill branch involving a staff member and one of Ms. Brewer’s sons who was not technically an on the books employee at the time

4. Mrs. Pappas refusing to give staff members cost of living increases in a timely manner as approved by York County government and then threatening staff members who inquired about the increase with disciplinary action

5. Mrs. Pappas creating new positions for her personal friends and filling those positions without even minimal effort to follow best practice hiring standards

6. Mrs. Pappas selecting rare or out of print items from the York County Library collection to be withdrawn at her discretion and then made available for her alone to purchase from the Friends of the Library book sale

7. Discriminatory hiring practices for professional positions with all York County Library locations managed by white women until recently and no persons of color in professional librarian positions anywhere in the library system

8. Mrs. Pappas’ refusal to adequately address staff concerns about inappropriate behavior from library patrons and then using language that places blame on the employees who were being harassed

9. Mrs. Pappas developing new policies for the board to approve that are harsh in nature and have further disenfranchised under served populations including African­-Americans and Latino immigrants

10. Ongoing lack of transparency through all stages of the annual library budget process with the library’s book budget being routinely cut to cover other expenses

11. Mrs. Pappas’ continued employment of an unqualified bookkeeper with no financial qualification who serves as de facto finance manager and has made numerous errors related to benefits and retirement programs

12. Mrs. Pappas’ hiring of a then current member of the York County Library board to be the manager of the Rock Hill library

13. Multiple potential threats of legal action from staff members who have experienced discrimination, threats to their continued employment, stress­-induced medical conditions, illegal hiring practices, and a hostile work environment

14. Multiple EEOC violations that may result in legal action taken against the York County Library and Mrs. Pappas

We are tired of seeing our library fail to meet the needs of our community and fail to treat its employees with respect and professionalism. Our employee handbook makes it clear to us that Mrs. Pappas is untouchable. Our grievance procedure leaves final decision making in any situation up to her. We have no voice because we are scared to speak up. We need someone to take action to make things right. Mrs. Pappas’ time at York County Library has not been without accomplishment. That does not outweigh the intolerable situation for staff which can no longer be ignored.

I cannot sign my name to this message because I cannot afford to lose my job. I am one of many who loves this library and whose spirit feels broken. I beg of you to please ask questions. Make public records requests. Talk to the new human resources manager. Refuse to settle for the smoke and mirrors numbers game of library statistics Mrs. Pappas uses to obscure the facts. Give staff a change to speak with a guarantee they will be safe from Mrs. Pappas' retaliation. Our county deserves to have a library director who can rebuild what has become broken. That person is not Colleen Pappas.

This is not a personal attack. This is not an attempt at character assassination. This is blowing the whistle on Mrs. Pappas and her growing legacy of destructive leadership. Mrs. Pappas could retire. She could resign. The board could dismiss her. Staff are prepared to begin airing their grievances publicly and repeatedly until something is done. We are desperate for a resolution. Will someone please help us?

From: YCL Truth  
To: saveycl@gmail.com 
Bcc: allstaff@yclibrary.net
Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 10:08 PM 

York County Library 
138 East Black St 
PO Box 10032 
Rock Hill, SC 29731­-0032



Excellent local reporting, mainly in The Herald by Jennifer Becknell:


American Library Association reporting on the issue in its own American Libraries membership magazine. ALA completely ignores the issue of the sexual harassment of librarians, something ALA leadership says never happens, because its own policy guidance is the very reason for the sexual harassment.  ALA doesn't even assign the piece a title nor an author:
  • "Untitled," by Unnamed, American Libraries, 26 August 2016 (hyperlinks and emphasis in original):
The York County (S.C.) Library director was fired August 26 in a unanimous vote of the library’s board of trustees, amid an unfinished investigation into her management that was sparked by an anonymous email. Colleen Pappas, who served as chief of the county library system for nine years, has been on administrative leave since an August 11 board meeting. Board Chair Barbara Boulware declined to comment further on the allegations, or to say whether she believes any of them were found to be accurateRock Hill (S.C.) Herald, Aug. 26

PERHAPS THIS IS THE MEANS FOR OTHER LIBRARIANS TO STOP THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THEIR OWN LIBRARIES THAT IS CAUSED BY LIBRARY LEADERSHIP FOLLOWING AMERICAN LIBRARY POLICY THAT ALLOWS UNFILTERED INTERNET VIEWING DESPITE THE LAW.  SUBMIT ANONYMOUS LETTERS DETAILING THE ONGOING HARASSMENT.  The anonymous letter at issue did not provide enough detail, unfortunately.

Also notice Library Journal, not associated business-wise with ALA but totally sycophantic, wrote absolutely nothing about this story.  Check here.  This is the latest example that Library Journal also downplays and hides the issue of the sexual harassment of librarians as caused by ALA anything-goes policy applied locally.

So again, both ALA and Library Journal ignore sexually harassed librarians, it would appear.  But it's not hard to check into this.  I did.  I could do more, like get the EEOC case, but at least I did what I did.  Below is my FOIA request and above is the results of my FOIA request which states, emphasis mine:
  • 8. Mrs. Pappas’ refusal to adequately address staff concerns about inappropriate behavior from library patrons and then using language that places blame on the employees who were being harassed
  • 13. Multiple potential threats of legal action from staff members who have experienced discrimination, threats to their continued employment, stress­-induced medical conditions, illegal hiring practices, and a hostile work environment
  • 14. Multiple EEOC violations that may result in legal action taken against the York County Library and Mrs. Pappas
I'll say I cannot prove sexual harassment from the unfiltered Internet was the exact issue based solely on that email; more investigation needs to be done into that, and ALA is doing none.  Still, the problem is seen in library after library, so what the email reports is quite likely to be related to sexual harassment.

And the key sentence why librarians fear speaking up about ALA policy applied locally:

"I cannot sign my name to this message because I cannot afford to lose my job."

And ALA did nothing, other than a quick untitled, unauthored news blurb with a mere 83 words.  Library Journal didn't even do that.

Now ALA has set up an elaborate system invading public libraries and public schools nationwide for librarians and school librarians or media specialists to immediately report to ALA any parent ever questioning any book, school book, or web site.  Each parent without fail is attacked as a censor.  Then each year ALA reports its finding in a massive propaganda campaign that goes worldwide called "Banned Books Week" when in reality no book has been banned since 1963.  Yet here we have real librarians and library employees, let's not forget them, really being sexually harassed and ALA does absolutely nothing, to protect its own anything-goes policy, and worse, even denies the situation exists.  There's no reporting to ALA on this issue.  There's no telephone number at ALA for sexually harassed librarians and library employees to call.  There are only sexually harassed librarians who fear losing their jobs for speaking up.  Even for speaking up anonymously, sexually harassed librarians get attacked by ALA's defenders, even to the point of feeling triggered again and self-censoring.

Free speech at ALA so children should read anything no matter how inappropriate?  Well there's no free speech for sexually harassed librarians or library employees.  They either get fired or they quit, like this library employee did: "Library Insider Linda Zec Gives Scoop on Porn in Libraries."  And ALA will never help them.

By the way, when I attempted to investigate this matter of the potential for sexual harassment (and no one else does, especially at ALA or Library Journal), I was personally attacked by librarians who gang up to defend ALA's anything-goes policy and silence any opposition, and the issue of sexually harassed librarians was intentionally ignored.  For republishing my FOIA request on Reddit Libraries, I received the following responses:
  • "Dan... fuck you."
  • "'I am a member of the media'; what media outlet do you work for Dan?"
  • "Please ignore Inspector Clouseau."
  • "Oh. good. We were all wondering when Dan Dan the Porno Man was going to get involved in this situation.  Here's to you getting to the bottom of this Dan! Clearly, all 'inappropriate behavior from library patrons' is going to be child porn.  I mean, no way patrons could be doing anything else 'inappropriate', but don't worry about other things, just focus on your obsession with child porn."
  • "'(Please ignore trolls who may attack me and ignore the potential issue of the sexual harassment of librarians.)' that being the entire library community  why is it when people disagree with you they are trolls and when you say utterly unhinged shit like 'ALA pro child-porn policy ' we are supposed to take you seriously."
  • "dan is a one trick pony - like seriously he keeps watching that pony trick over and over and over again"
I cannot go back and update the Reddit post since those librarians successfully got me banned from Reddit.  Tolerance will not be tolerated.  Free speech will be quashed if it harms the self-arrogated free speech police at ALA.  Or as the anonymous email to York County said, "I cannot sign my name to this message because I cannot afford to lose my job."



Here is a portion of my original FOIA request:
Given the recent news in The Herald and the Charlotte Observer written by Jennifer Becknell about library director Colleen Pappas being placed on administrative leave due to an anonymous email sent to “library trustees, local and state government officials, state library officials and others,” I hereby request a copy of that anonymous and obviously public email.

I am particularly interested in what the newspaper reported that may pertain to the sexual harassment of librarians. I have a publication called Sexual Harassment of Librarians and I will likely publish any FOIA response on that publication. This quote is especially concerning:

Pappas refused to adequately address staff concerns about “inappropriate behavior from library patrons” and she placed “blame on the employees who were being harassed”; ….

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article95893167.html

When that happens, there could be serious consequences for the harassed librarian and for the employer who allows the harassment to continue, especially while blaming the victim. Where that employer is a public entity, there could be serious consequences for town governments and for tax payers.

Also, I request documents revealing the receipt of E-rate funding under CIPA for “Internet Access,” if any. Do not send documents pertaining solely to “Telecom” or “Voice Services.” Your Internet policy claims the library is CIPA compliant but FCC/USAC records show the library never collected any funds for “Internet Access” (while it has for “Telecom” and “Voice Services” which does not require Internet filtering software and policies). Therefore, I seek the documents to determine if the FCC/USAC records are false. If the records are accurate, then either the library is not CIPA complaint as claimed or the library has failed to apply for over a decade worth of funding that would have been there for the asking.

....

Should any librarians wish to contact me, I will be happy to publish anything they say, anonymously, of course. Any time exposure is given to the sexual harassment of librarians, that only increases the ability to prevent such exposure in other instances. I seek to help librarians end sexual harassment, caused by patrons, that may have resulted from adherence to American Library Association [ALA] policy instead of the law, community standards, and common sense. ALA says sexually harassment of librarians has never happened despite all the law suits and big settlements and likely never will, but it appears York County Library may be yet another instance, and I’m investigating that possibility.

URL of this page: safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/10/ala.html

On Twitter: @ALALibrary @AmLibraries @Beamer_YCL @LibraryJournal



Friday, October 14, 2016

Open-Campus Policy Called Into Question; After Recent Events, Pierce College May Revise Computer Use

Pierce College Roundup
12 October 2016
Comic by Chanaelle Chahayed

Open-Campus Policy Called Into Question; After Recent Events, Pierce College May Revise Computer Use

by Joshua Manes @Tweeporting
Pierce College Roundup
vol. 125, no. 5, p.3
12 October 11 2016

An incident on Friday, Sept. 16, involving a non-student viewing inappropriate materials on a library computer has brought up questions regarding campus policies toward computer access and the campus being open to the public.

The incident was reported around 2 p.m. on Sept. 16 and the man was asked to leave the library.

According to Deputy Guerrero, a deputy and officer responded to a call about a male non-student looking at a known porn site.

The Pierce College Library / Learning Crossroads and its equipment are open to the public.

“It’s a challenge at times, but it’s an open campus and the public loves coming here to use it,” Guerrero said. “There’s a little more control in there [the library]. This is a very safe school when you look at the crime stats.”

Incidents regarding non-students are minimal, according to Guerrero. However, according to librarian Clay Gediman, this is not the first time a non-student has been asked to leave the library.

“We have had a problem with a couple homeless people who do come in, and they’re normally quiet,” Gediman said. “But if their smell gets too strong it could be an issue and we have to remind them that people have to work around here.”

The idea of anyone being able to come in and use equipment may be jarring for some students.

“It’s a little scary,” said first-year Pierce College student Jennifer Lee. “I just assume everyone here goes here.”

According to Gediman, Pierce College hasn’t had a problem with the public visiting the campus and utilizing its resources.

“At the same time, we are the only campus in the district that doesn’t have locked down computers where all the other ones require you to log in to use them,” Gediman said. “Even if we had the public coming in, we would have a guest account that they could use. We could actually track it if we wanted to, but we don’t have that process set up yet.”

According to Gediman, there have been discussions about setting up some sort of process for a little while now. However, it is an IT issue and he does not know what their time schedule is for instituting security features.

There is currently a login system for students that is used online for registration and Canvas as well as to use the printers inside the library. Implementing this same system in the library would not require students to remember any additional information, or require the creation of completely new login IDs.

“It would be a hassle to login, but it makes sense,”  said second-year Pierce College student Ben Sarkissian.


jmanes.roundupnews@gmail.com


Reprinting here at SafeLibraries given US Copyright Fair Use provisions, particularly as the original link produced a "site suspended" error as shown (and I retrieved the text and graphic from Google cache):


Seems to me the librarian saying, "Pierce College hasn’t had a problem with the public visiting the campus and utilizing its resources" is misleading people, but he does go on to describe a number of problems.

Citizens, students, parents and alumni should ask why "a known porn site" is not being filtering out of the library.  Obviously unfiltered computers attract "known porn site" viewers, no?  I'll bet way worse is going on and it never gets reported.  Kudos to the Pierce College Roundup for this excellent report.  More investigation is needed.


URL of this page:
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/10/open-campus-policy-called-into-question.html

On Twitter:
@LibPierceCol @mrdna01 @PierceCollegeCA @RoundupNews

Friday, September 30, 2016

Freedom to Read/Intellectual Freedom Violated at Orland Park Public Library

Dear Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees,

I have read several letters to the editor in the Orland Park Prairie recently and I have been contacted by members of the Orland Park community and library patrons who accuse the OPPL of censorship and book-banning that seems inconsistent with the OPPL being awarded the 2014 Downs Award by the "iSchool" at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana (an award that the OPPL made a lot of fanfare about in 2015 when Bridget Bittman was still the OPPL's spokesman). 

Today, 8/30/16, the OPPL produced responsive to FOIA requests documentation (see attached) that the book SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment has been requested by OPPL patrons to be added to the Library's collection. As you well know, Megan Fox and I co-authored this book, which is a detailed account of years' worth of wrongdoing that was allowed to continue at the OPPL with Mary Weimar as its Director. 

SHUT UP! is currently on the shelves at the Chicago Public Library, the State Library in Springfield, the Tinley Park and Mokena public libraries, and other public libraries in Illinois. It meets all requirements for purchase by public libraries and inclusion in collections and has been reviewed favorably on WorldCat, GoodReads, and Amazon. Additionally, a free copy of SHUT UP! has been offered to the OPPL for donation by more than one individual. Mrs. Fox and myself would, of course, also be happy to gift the OPPL with an autographed copy of our book if the OPPL would accept it for its collection and place it on its shelves as the Chicago Public Library and other libraries have done. This way, members of the Orland Park community would be able to read our book as a first person account of everything that Mary Weimar, Bridget Bittman, and OPPL Trustees such as Diane Jennings chose to do beginning in 2013 to trample the First Amendment rights of the public and discourage public participation in government affairs in Orland Park. 

Andrew Masura -- one of the OPPL staffers whose wrongdoing was highlighted in the book alongside that of Weimar, Bittman, and Jennings -- apparently is one of the OPPL staffers banning/censoring the book from the OPPL's collection (see attached documentation). Should he be allowed to do that? Since Mr. Masura is himself one of the subjects of our book, should Mr. Masura be personally involved in banning/censoring our book from the collection and keeping it off the OPPL's shelves? In my eyes, that's a clear conflict of interests on Mr. Masura's part, as he is the subject of at least one whole chapter in the book that he is now banning. 

Should any of the individuals whose documented wrongdoing is exposed in our book be allowed to ban the book from a library's shelves and prevent the public from reading it, just because they disagree with the book's authors or they are embarrassed that their wrongdoing was the subject of our investigative work? The OPPL is violating its own "Freedom to Read" policies, as said policies prohibit OPPL staff from banning/censoring a book just because staff members at the OPPL do not like a book's authors or agree politically with a book's content

Here, we have the Orland Park Public Library, which for several years has claimed that it must allow men to view pornography and masturbate on public computers "because of the First Amendment." The OPPL bragged about winning the 2014 Downs Award for "intellectual freedom," sending Mary Weimar, Nancy Wendt Healy, and Bridget Bittman to the ALA's Midwinter Conference at taxpayer expense in Chicago in January 2015 to pose for a photograph and accept the Downs Award. The University of Illinois faculty and staff made a big production of awarding the OPPL for its "intellection freedom"...but shouldn't that award be revoked for the OPPL's documented act of book-banning and censorship when it comes to the matter at hand? 

"patron accused of viewing child
pornography at public internet station"
Here in 2016, the OPPL is documented to be refusing to carry on its shelves a book about the OPPL itself and about the poor decisions and reprehensible behavior of Orland Park officials such as Police Chief Timothy J. McCarthy and now-Assistant Village Manager Joe LaMargo. The very same people who claim they have to continue allowing lewd behavior in a public building "because of the First Amendment" and who annually participate in the American Library Association's farcical "Banned Books Week" have been caught banning a book that is highly critical of the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees, its Director Mary Weimar, the odious law firm Klein Thorpe Jenkins, and corrupt public officials in the Village of Orland Park

When public employees ban a book from a library's shelves because the public employees in question do not want people in the community to read that book, that is book-banning and censorship.  The attached documents have Mary Weimar and Andrew Masura busted on book-banning, which in my opinion makes the University of Illinois look incredibly foolish for awarding the OPPL that Downs Award. 

Do any of you involved in this travesty have anything to say for yourselves or wish to comment on this obvious hypocrisy? With Banned Books Week fast approaching, I hope you can appreciate the irony that the 2014 Downs Award-winning library has been caught so clearly engaging in book-banning and abridging the very same intellectual freedom and "Freedom to Read" that the Downs Award is supposed to celebrate. How shameful!

I petition the Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees to reconsider its stance on this book-banning and rectify this matter. Keeping a book you don't like off your shelves when library cardholders have asked you to carry the book is grotesquely hypocritical for a public library that markets itself as "award-winning" in the realm of "intellectual freedom."  

Kevin DuJan


******************************************************************
MEDIA CREDENTIAL
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Story Time Digital Media is a digital news service in electronic format presenting video content and in-depth articles to the public (free of charge) as well as newsletters distributed to the public on a regular rolling basis. Our focus is on topics pertaining to the welfare and safety of children and being a watchdog exposing government abuse, graft, and corruption in the state of Illinois and nationally. We are experts on government transparency laws, the Freedom of Information Act, the Open Meetings Act, the Illinois Local Library Act, and the First Amendment Right to Petition our government for change and redress of grievances. Read our new book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, about the pattern of abuse and intimidation that the Orland Park Public Library engaged in to silence and censor its critics and attempt to chill the Free Speech and other protected activity of investigative reporters who uncovered unreported crimes happening in what had become a dangerous place for children. SHUT UP! is available now on Amazon.com and has been targeted for suppression, censoring, and banning by members of the American Library Association who do not want people to know the truth about the ALA or its Office for Intellectual Freedom. 

Subscribe to our video channel to view news reels, cartoons, and other motion picture news clips that we produce to educate the public on the affairs of local government and elected officials' mistreatment of the public. "Like" us on Facebook or more information on who we are and the stories we cover and click below for our social media presence:


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NOTE: Story Time Digital Media is recognized in Illinois as both media and non-profit under the definitions in Section 2 (c-10) ("Commercial purpose"), Section 2 (f) ("News media"), Section 2 (g) ("Recurrent requester"), and Section 2 (h) ("Voluminous request") of the Freedom of Information Act, for the purposes of being exempt to the provisions of Section 3.1 (Requests for commercial purposes), Section 3.2 (Recurrent requesters), Section 3.6 (Voluminous requests), and Section 6 (Authority to charge fees). All documents received by Story Time Digital Media are intended for research involved in articles, newsletters, news reels, essays, and books written for public awareness, education, and instruction.


Elected Library Trustee Diane Jennings admits to making gay slurs.



VIOLATION of Freedom to Read/Intellectual Freedom Policy at Orland Park Public Library

Story Time Tue, Aug 30, 2016 at 6:00 PM


To: Joanna Leafblad , "nhealy@orlandparklibrary.org" , "Diane I. Jennings" , Christian Barcelona , Elan Kleis , "Catherine M. Lebert" , "Denis P. Ryan" , Mary Adamowski , "Mary K. Weimar"


Cc: Bill Jones , Heather Warthen , Joe Coughlin , "Zumbach, Lauren" , cashwill@illinois.edu, ischool-dean@illinois.edu, weech@illinois.edu, Joseph La Margo , dmclaughlin@orland-park.il.us, LMcQueary@orland-park.il.us


NOTES ADDED BY DAN:

University of Illinois gave that "Intellectual Freedom" award to OPPL, on the urging of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.  Remember, the award was granted for passing a policy allowing child pornography viewing.  The policy was passed during a holiday in violation of the law as determined by the Illinois Attorney General.  Adequate notice was not given to the public, as required by law.  When the public did attend—in part because of me noticing the announcement in the Chicago Tribune the day before—the child porn whistleblower tried to speak up about meeting during a legal holiday but was waved away and silenced.

What a laughingstock, another Banned Book Week hoax/hypocrisy.  Hoax that Banned Books Week is, the University of Illinois is a clear patsy for ALA and is all the more laughable therefor.  Library schools teach ALA propaganda.  No wonder they get ALA accredited.

Note that Kevin DuJan attended the ALA Midwinter meeting where the award was presented precisely to see OPPL bragging about the "Intellectual Freedom" award at a ceremony open to the Midwinter meeting's attendees, of which Mr. DuJan was one, but ALA found one reason after the next to block Mr. DuJan from attending the meeting that was literally about him.  Censorship runs deep at ALA, even to the point of denying entrance to a man who paid precisely to attend this meeting that was about him.  I know he paid for it because I was one who paid his entrance fee.

Here is a picture of ALA bragging about the library winning this award, that ALA recommended, as if violating the law (sunshine law and state library and criminal laws) and allowing/covering up child pornography is "intellectual freedom" or "simply trying to do their job" or "remain[ing] steadfast in its support for the freedom to read":




Source: "Freedom to Read Foundation News," by Freedom to Read Foundation, American Library Association, Vol. 40, No. 1, March 2015, pp. 6-7.

So ALA arranged for the award, touted the award, blocked the child porn whistleblower from attending the public meeting, ignored the Illinois Attorney General finding the meeting to be illegal, and all to equate child pornography viewing with the "freedom to read" and "intellectual freedom," all to protect ALA's policy as applied in public libraries, this time in the ALA suburb of Orland Park.

The award was literally for an illegal act that in Illinois is a crime and it was officially declared a crime.  This is the award-winning library that is blocking access to the book about the library's support for child pornography viewing with the guidance of ALA, the creator of the Banned Books Week hoax.  This is the kind of banned book ALA will never track and never announce.

By the way, all this is going in a case where the library still makes child pornography available to the public and still follows ALA directives to destroy the evidence.  Further, ALA is involved in allowing, covering up, and supporting the use of homophobia, including ordering librarians to defy records retention laws and destroy the evidence of homophobia.

Librarians are so keen to keep people from reading the book that they will even go on Amazon and leave fake negative reviews to tank sales, even if that violates the code of conduct at the library schools they attend.

Yet the book has already had the salutary effect of forcing the American Library Association to stop facilitating child pornography in public libraries are decades of doing so.

A simple look at the library's own policy shows it is knowingly committing censorship and book banning under the circumstances:
Collection Development Policy 
Introduction 
The Orland Park Public Library Board of Trustees supports the Library Bill of Rights and the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read and Freedom to View Statements. (See Section A of Policy Manual) 
It is the goal of the Orland Park Public Library to meet the informational, educational, cultural, inspirational, and recreational needs of the residents of Orland Park. The library recognizes the needs of the community are of primary importance in selection. This is a diverse community and each individual’s needs will be considered in conjunction with the needs of the community as a whole. An effort is made to include information representing all sides of controversial issues as such material becomes available. The criteria for the selection of controversial materials are the same as for any other materials.
.... 
Objectives in Materials Selections 
The general objectives in materials selection are to carry out the library’s goals of providing the community with a variety of formats to meet their informational, educational, cultural, inspirational and recreational needs. 
Here two published letters to the editor of the Orland Park Prairie, as discussed above, reprinted as fair use, and as referenced in the 8/30/2016 FOIA response from OPPL cited by Mr. DuJan:


OPPL Hypocritical to Ban New Book

Orland Park Prairie
August 27, 2016

I was troubled to read an article recently that alleged that the Orland Park Public Library was banning a new book that is critical of the library. To me, this sounds like censorship and also a violation of the library’s own intellectual freedom policy. I think it also goes against the spirit of Banned Books Week, which is an event that the OPPL participates in annually.

The book in question is called “SHUT UP!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment.” The article I read stated that several requests were made from Orland Park residents asking the library to carry this book, and I am personally aware of at least one library cardholder who has persistently asked the library to carry the book. The OPPL has refused to allow the book into its collection, despite offers to donate a copy of the book to the library and demonstrated community interest in the book.

Since the book is carried by the Chicago Public Library and other libraries in the area, such as Tinley Park and Bellwood, I am left to assume that the staff at the OPPL has decided to engage in what I feel is viewpoint discrimination. “SHUT UP!” is a primary source account what transpired in our library in recent years, including reprints of incident reports and legal documents involved in complaints made against the library and its staff. The authors of “SHUT UP!” won several high-profile determinations against the library by the Attorney General and received court settlements.

The residents of Orland Park deserve the opportunity to read this account of what went on in our library that led to the squandering of money on legal battles. In my opinion, library staff should not be able to ban a book from its shelves because they do not like the contents of the book or because it might embarrass them. In keeping “SHUT UP!” off its shelves, the OPPL feels like it is trying to keep the truth from taxpayers about what’s been going on in there.

Jean Morrow

Orland Park resident



OPPL Silencing Its Critics by Banning Book From Shelves

Orland Park Prairie
August 27, 2016

Although the Orland Park Public Library Director Mary Weimar accepted the 2014 Intellectual Freedom (of censorship) Award, she reserves the right to ban materials with a differing opinion.

I was informed by Andrew Masura, head of Adult Services, that “Shut Up! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment” “does not meet the standards for selection, as defined in the policy.” The brief “Standards for Selection” policy include this sentence, “No library material shall be excluded because of the race, nationality, political or social views of the creator.”

Despite requests from patrons that the book be carried and the Library being offered a free copy for the community to read, the OPPL has chosen again to silence critics and cover up [indecent behaviors].

I see “Shut Up!” as a how-to book in dealing with runaway government entities.  Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan thoroughly document two years of verbal and physical attacks by library staff, trustees, and their family members since an Oct. 8, 2013, library visit to print out homeschooling materials revealed shocking behaviors.

We have a runaway board. Another example is lavish spending for Robin Wagner and Jason Rock to attend a San Francisco conference amounting to $3,655.18, plus salaries for four days. Both left their positions, assistant director and virtual services manager, in 2-3 months. (Safe Libraries, May 9, 2016)

I have been attending Orland Library Board meetings 2 1/2 years but learned so much more from the pages of “Shut Up!” Fox and DuJan are dedicated and persistent in their fight for citizens’ rights in an era of Big Government.

I do expect adherence to Village ordinances and State statutes in public buildings, merely common decency. I bought three books, keeping one for myself to highlight and make notes. Residents, we need to step up and speak out. Let’s put the “public” back into Orland Park Public Library!

Nanc Junker

Orland Park



Lastly, see also:




URL of this page:
safelibraries.blogspot.com/2016/08/freedom-to-read-hoax.html

On Twitter:
@ALALibrary @HillBuzz @iSchoolUI @MeganFoxWriter @OPPrairie @OrlandPkLibrary @VillageOrlandPk