THESE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR WERE POSTED IN THE OPINION SECTION OF THE WB NEWS THIS MORNING:
This first one is from John Jost, who has openly been opposing the West Bend Citizen's petition from the start. When one has a blog, they share their viewpoint and they post other's thoughts that share their viewpoint. There are no policies that govern blogs and state that one must post opposing viewpoints. In fact, what John fails to mention is that the people who liked this disgusting book had very warped ideas about what makes good reading material for children. So we have a large group that posts positively on Amazon and we trust their review? We think not. And why not? Because, as John must not understand, people can CHOOSE to leave a review. Therefore, one reads book reviews on Amazon with a grain of salt, as the weight of the reviews is skewed. One cannot know how many people found the book revolting and simply did not leave a review. (Kinda like an online survey.) I posted reviews from people who shared our thoughts. And I can. It's MY blog.
Furthermore, what is most amusing, is that John refers to the book referral I have up entitled "Marriage Under Fire" by Dr. James Dobson. Now, remember, this is my personal recommendation. What that has to do with his opinion concerning the library books is... um...nothing. In fact, if one reads the negative reviews, the common thread of objections to this book is the opposition to homosexual ideals. Clearly this does not apply to anything we are discussing with the library. Since we do not agree with those who gave a low rating to this book, we simply do not care. It is irrelevant to this situation. FYI, John, as stated above, I am not required to give "both sides" of book reviews. I give my viewpoint here for those who agree, and for those who don't agree, go read The Motley Cow.
Give full information about book ‘reviews’
In the continuing West Bend library books saga, Ginny Maziarka published a blog entry on her website about negative Amazon customer reviews of “Deal With It!,” one of the books she objects to.
I checked the book on Amazon. In fact, its rating from 88 reviews is 4.5 out of 5. (Seventheight) reviews give it a 4 or a 5, and what Ms. Maziarka did was copy excerpts of those (six) reviews that gave it a 1, the lowest rating. On the other hand, one of the books recommended on her Web site is “Marriage Under Fire” by James Dobson, rated by Amazon readers at a whopping=2 02.5. Ms. Maziarka, when one needs to twist the truth to make a point, one has no point.
John Jost West Bend
We find this next one interesting. We have received cc's from numerous people who have written letters to our editor supporting what we are doing, yet we have not seen them appear in the WB News as of today. Interestingly, here is a letter filled with GAY AND LESBIAN, SEXUALLY EXPLICIT books, recommending them to the children who are patrons of our library! What is amusing is that Mr. Goska made sure to counterpoint and interject "Huck Finn" and other novels to imply a balance and draw in the general public to coerce them into agreement. Ridiculous. We don't buy it. But nice try.
Celebrating Banned Books Week?
Will West Bend celebrate Banned Books Week this year? (Gee, we hope not.)
Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. (How AWFUL! THOSE TERRIBLE PEOPLE!) They object to profanity and slang, (GASP! STOP THEM! We want our children to have access to these books!) and protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups – or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore the latest problems to classic and beloved works of American literature (PLAYING VIOLIN TO ACCOMPANY THIS SAD STORY)
According to the American Library Association (sorry, yawning), more than 400 books were challenged in 2007. The 10 most challenged titles were: 1. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell 2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier 3. Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes 4. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman 5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain 6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker 7. TTYL by Lauren Myracle 8. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou 9. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris 10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
WE NEED TO REITERATE......we are not asking for BANNING on books. So once again, this letter DOES NOT APPLY to our situation.