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"
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."
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.
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|Elected Library Trustee Diane Jennings admits to making gay slurs.|
|VIOLATION of Freedom to Read/Intellectual Freedom Policy at Orland Park Public Library|
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
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.
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!
Lastly, see also:
- "Book Banned by Orland Park Public Library Is Accepted By Orland Park History Museum," by John Kraft, Illinois Leaks "Edgar County Watchdogs", 11 September 2016.
- "Orland Park Public Library Bans Book About Orland Park Public Library," by John Kraft, Illinois Leaks "Edgar County Watchdogs", 3 August 2016.
URL of this page:
@ALALibrary @HillBuzz @iSchoolUI @MeganFoxWriter @OPPrairie @OrlandPkLibrary @VillageOrlandPk
@ALALibrary @HillBuzz @iSchoolUI @MeganFoxWriter @OPPrairie @OrlandPkLibrary @VillageOrlandPk