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Copyright (c) 2009 Ginny Maziarka. All rights reserved.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Citizen angry librarians set to "trash talk" West Bend

Just wondering.....are the librarians taking vacation time to attend this conference? Just a thought. No big deal.


WEST BEND DAILY NEWS, 07/09/09
OPINION PAGE


Paid to trash talk city

It is time for the citizens of West Bend to address Mayor Kristine Deiss and ask her why she is allowing our paid community representatives, library director Michael Tyree and young adult librarian Kristin Pekoll as well as her appointed Library Board member Barbara Deters, the president nonetheless, to trash-talk West Bend at the American Librarian Associations upcoming conference.

Taxpayers should be outraged that the librarians are putting together power points and such to show the nation how they stomped on our community standards and shut down the community they promise to serve.

We are tired of being told that the American Library Association can tell West Bend what they can do.

We cannot, and will not, stand for this next round of ammunition being shot at our fine city.

We believe the youth in West Bend are worth every step of this fight, and the ALA , our librarians, and our mayor need to uphold the high standards we demand.

___________________

SO DO WE.

45 comments:

Loki Motive said...

I'm not sure how West Bend runs things, but it is not unusual for Universities to at least help with traveling expenses and admission fees.

That being said an ALA conference is more than an intellectual coven held in an ivory tower where librarians dressed in dark cloaks drink the blood of children and plan the inevitable over throw of world governments. There is some actual honest to goodness professsional development that takes place.

As much as you may disagree with some of ALA's policies, you can probably recognize the value of having a national professional organization of librarians. Creating a collaborative national network can be helpful for the advancement of any profession; for librarians it is especially important to maintain an ideal of open access and open inquiry both for themselves, as professionals, and for the community that they serve.

Therefore, I really don't see a problem with taxpayers theoretically footing some of the bill (if not all). If you disagree with the ALA's policies, you disagree with their policies, but you should recognize the value of their existence. Consequently, the value of a national conference, and the attendance of local librarians shouldn't be too difficult to justify.

Anonymous said...

FOr gods sake. THis is a professional conference, not a club meeting in someone's basement. These are professionals, and they will act profesionally. Based on your earlier post from the ALA, they will be discussing ways of handling challenges. There is no evidence there will be any "trash talking" -- if anything, I suspect the WB library might receive some criticism for how it handled the challenges.

So, let's not get our panties in a bundle before the event even happens

Anonymous said...

Loki- True that this conference is for professionals regarding libraries. So why would a lay-person like Maria be asked to attend? Also, who is paying for her expenses?

Also, if like you say; "it is especially important to maintain an ideal of open access and open inquiry both for themselves, as professionals, and for the community that they serve"...then why isn't Ginny or anyone from Safe Libraries invited?

Not implying anything...just asking.

Paige said...

The ALA conference and this particular panel is not the forum for a debate about this issue, so Ginny has no reason to be there. Wasn't this already covered on an earlier blog post? To quote Libby's excellent response, "But this will be a discussion for librarians and frankly, having you there would only hinder that discussion as it would surely devolve into a debate instead of staying focused on the topics at hand. Honestly, it would hinder any discussion because the panel should have the right to speak openly about how they feel about this situation, which they would not really be able to do if you were there." I also agree with Libby that it's unusual that Maria was asked to the panel.

Anonymous said...

It is perfectly appropriate for the library to pay for staff to attend conferences. Money is set aside for such a purpose. When I have attended conferences, hotel rooms and meals were paid for as well, and I did not use vacation time to attend conferences.

Maria Hanrahan said...

None of my expenses will be paid by the library or any other city of West Bend entity.

The scope of the panel discussion has been widely misreported. It is not a discussion about whether or not books should be moved, reclassified or labeled in West Bend. It is a discussion about how libraries, their staff, and their patrons handle book challenges.

No trash talking about West Bend will occur, contrary to Ruth's and WBCFSL's comments.

SafeLibraries said...

Maria said, "None of my expenses will be paid by the library or any other city of West Bend entity."

That sounds interesting.

Maria, who or what is paying your expenses or otherwise providing money? For what are the expenses being paid? For what is the money being provided? These are not trick questions. The ALA has already said it is paying for some things.

Maria, please specify who is paying or otherwise providing money, and for what. Please answer this for both the ALA conference and for your library efforts generally.

To be fair, absolutely no one pays me anything for my library work. What little I get from people clicking on my Google advertisements amounts to pennies, literally, as anyone having such ads knows. Once I almost received a large donation, but when the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom discriminated against me, I had no further need for the money and I never received it.

You raised the issue, Maria, now people want to know.

Anonymous said...

To quote you and Libby:
"But this will be a discussion for librarians..."
Maria is NOT a librarian.

Mike said...

Safe library,

If it is not being paid for with tax dollars it is no business of yours or anyone else's as to what money is being spent on and who the money comes from.

SafeLibraries said...

"Curiouser and curiouser!" Cried Alice....

Anonymous said...

Mike...the key word is "IF".

Paige said...

For God's sake, she's probably paying for it herself! They didn't invite you to come to the conference and that's the way it is. You have plenty of other outlets (i.e., this blog) in which to express your opinions.

Paige said...

Also to quote myself and Libby,

"I also agree with Libby that it's unusual that Maria was asked to the panel."

Anonymous said...

Good glad we could agree.

Loki Motive said...

Though I do not presume to speak for the ALA or the organizers of the panel, I personally don't see anything unusual with inviting Mrs. Hanrahan to the conference. As she pointed out in her earlier comment, "[The panel] is a discussion about how libraries, their staff, and their patrons handle book challenges." West Bend, here, is merely a case study in respect to challenges to Intellectual Freedom (or, if you'd rather, challenges to the distribution of pornography to children). IF/pornography mongering being a policy of the ALA, the case of West Bend will be used to discuss possible ways to deal with challenges to the policy. One effective way to do this is to utilize community organizers sympathetic to the library/ALA's cause. Mrs. Hanrahan is a representative of that methodology. Therefore, her presence is consistent with the scope of the panel.

If the topic of discussion was the appropriateness of the library/ALA's policy, then Mrs. Maziarka's presence could be useful as a dissenting opinion. But it's not about that.
"This session will feature librarians and community members who fought to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wisconsin."

One could argue that that statement is an oversimplification of the issues, that Mrs. Maziarka was, in fact, one of the community members fighting to keep the books on the shelves (just in a different place), but let's be blunt: Ginny is the antagonist in this story, Maria is one of the protagonist. The panel is interested in the protagonists.

Fair and balanced? Well not in a discussion of the validity of the policy, perhaps. But it never claimed to be that. So, continue to take advantage of the numerous forums that are available to you, but recognize that ALA is not one of those forums.

As for how Mrs. Hanrahan will be funding her trip: she will be using Sumerian silver ingots.

zombie377 said...

I am kind of wondering, would you really want to go to this conference? Wouldn't that be like being behind enemy lines?

SafeLibraries said...

It appears Ginny's characterization is accurate and the ALA's former characterization is misleading. Here's the old ALA message:

"The panel is ... about policy development and management of challenges...."

Now here is the new message:

"We have invited some of the library’s key supporters to share their insights."

That is the only description of what will be happening at the meeting. That is totally different than the ALA's previous description.

The "library's key supporters" are people who support the library, not the librarians themselves. It's Maria Hanrahan. Maria Hanrahan, not being a library employee, necessarily knows absolutely nothing about "policy development and management of challenges." She's never developed policy and she's never managed challenges within the library.

So either the ALA was wrong then, or the ALA is wrong now. One way or another, it appears Ginny is right.

Further, Ginny is one of the library's key supporters. Why should the ALA get to define who are key library supporters and not West Bend residents? Obviously the ALA has chosen Maria and not Ginny. Where's the intellectual freedom in that?

Will West Bend let the ALA set the tone by propping up Maria as a "key library supporter" while Ginny is not?

Ginny is supporting giving local people local control over the library. Maria is supporting giving the ALA control of the local library while claiming in Orwellian fashion that that empowers parents.

Now we know why the ALA deems Maria and not Ginny as a "key supporter." She's really the ALA's key supporter.

Here is the ALA's new description of the meeting from "Intellectual Freedom Programs at Annual: Your Comprehensive List," by Jen Hammond, OIF Blog, 7 July 2009:

Monday, July 13th

Intellectual Freedom on the Front Lines: West Bend Library Supporters Share Their Story


McCormick Place West, W-194a

8:00-10:00 AM

The West Bend Library in West Bend, Wisconsin faced an onslaught of challenges earlier this year – including a lawsuit demanding that Lia Francesca Block’s Baby Be-Bop be publicly burned. We have invited some of the library’s key supporters to share their insights.

End of quote.

Hey, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, I know you monitor this blog and have already commented, or Maria, et alia, will contact you. Get on here and leave a comment explaining this.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Must we continue to beat this horse to death?

You raised the issue, Maria, now people want to know. Actually, Dan, "Anonymous" raised the issue of who was paying my expenses, not I. Other than knowing that it will not come out of library/city funds, it is not anyone's business how my expenses will be paid, or how my "library efforts" have been funded. Do you ask WBCFSL to reveal the same information? No.

ALA conference speakers, and specifically this panel, will not only provide information for librarians and library staff, but also for trustees and friends of library groups/library supporters. The latter is how I fit in.

The two messages you quote from the OIF do not conflict with each other. The panel is multi-purpose and will likely include open discussion among the panel and attendees. I could ask of the audience, for example, how can library supporters best aid their library staff in dealing with book challenges?

As many others have said here, the conference is not a public forum and the ALA can invite whomever they choose. I wonder, if I had demanded equal time (the same amount of time the Maziarkas had) at WBCFSL's Town Hall Meeting on March 26th, would I have gotten it? Of course not.

Ginny is one of the library's key supporters.

How can one be a supporter of the library at the same time that they are actively (and very publicly) promoting it as "unsafe"? Via a float in the 4th of July parade no less, on a day we celebrate our freedoms. Please do not equate Ginny's type of "support" with mine; it's offensive.

Loki Motive said...

"Now we know why the ALA deems Maria and not Ginny as a 'key supporter.' She's really the ALA's key supporter."

YES! EXACTLY! BINGO! CORRECT-A-MUNDO!

It's an ALA conference! She is a supporter of ALA policy!

Why is that so hard to understand?!

Don't you guys have other things to complain about? Here, let me give you some examples: Did you know about this book called Ulysses that talks about sex? Isn't that disgusting? It's probably even at the library. What about Remembrance of Things Past? It's six volumes and it's all about gay people. And then there's this absolutely appalling poem called The Song of Songs in some collection whose name I forgot...

Anonymous said...

What libraries need to be defended from is small-minded people with too much time on their hands who think their life's work is to get other people to conform to their simple, provincial and superstitious world view. Do you censorship advocates realize there was an entire "age" caused because of views like yours? The Dark Ages. Go to the library and check it out.

Anonymous said...

Let Maria, the WB Library and the ALA have their little gathering so they can pat themselves on the back and tell each other what a great job they've been doing.

Let them cheer for themselves for keeping the community out of deciding what their "community standards" are.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Let them cheer for themselves for keeping the community out of deciding what their "community standards" are.

How is attending part of a conference going to do the above? WBCFSL says that they don't care what the ALA says and have indicated that West Bend does not hold the same "standards" as the ALA (although how anyone can presume to know this, or what the "community standards" are, is beyond me.) If that's the case, what does it matter that five people from West Bend are participating in this panel? You can't have it both ways.

Again, the panel is not a discussion of the merits of the complaint, nor is it a discussion of community standards. It's about how libraries, staff, boards, and supporters can better deal with book challenges.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! Guess what! I'm at the ALA conference in Chicago. It's great. Everyone here is gay and we're all sitting around discussing how best to force pornography upon minors. Oh, and we've been trash talking the WB library for at least thirty minutes now, but we're trying to save it up for the big forum later this weekend. Wish yall were here!

Anonymous said...

Maria - The first paragraph is about the ALA meeting. The second paragraph is about the library in general.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ ALA- So what you're reverting back to Kindgergarten? That's mature.

Mpeterson said...

So, you're saying "hurray!" because even more of our neighbors aren't able to understand federal court rulings about censorship in libraries?

And that it's a good thing when people who apparently don't understand something to complain that the people who do understand didn't invite them to the dance?

What we must have here is a problem with communicatin'.

Mpeterson said...

Oh, and telling the truth isn't trash talking, unless the truth is about trash which, in this case, it is.

SafeLibraries said...

Maria said, "Do you ask WBCFSL to reveal the same information? No."

WBCFSL, please reveal the same information.

Recall I wrote:

"Maria, who or what is paying your expenses or otherwise providing money? For what are the expenses being paid? For what is the money being provided? These are not trick questions. The ALA has already said it is paying for some things.

"Maria, please specify who is paying or otherwise providing money, and for what. Please answer this for both the ALA conference and for your library efforts generally."

Given you (Ginny) are not being funded to go to the ALA conference, please answer as much as you can.

Maria has a point. Let's be fair. (Although I had no reason to ask you previously and you did not raise the issue.)

Mpeterson, I like your humor!

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Interesting that the average citizen is being asked to account for their expenditures, but given the fact that there is not much to tell, here is your answer:

We have not had to spend a whole lot in the nearly six months since early February. Other then our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals. No organizations. Nothing more. That's all there is to tell.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a grass roots effort.

SafeLibraries said...

Okay, Maria, Ginny responded. You said, "Do you ask WBCFSL to reveal the same information? No." I have and she has.

Your turn now.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Sure, Dan, I'll reveal how expenses were paid. So far, the only expenses have been printer ink and photocopies, and materials to make signs and snazzy buttons and the like, and these were covered by myself and other individual members of West Bend Parents for Free Speech. Early on in my involvement (no expenses at that time), I did have offers of donations from individuals. I asked them to instead make donations to the library.

Ginny, how about the ORRs? And weren't there also some radio spots? The 1000 bookmarks at the parade and the parade float materials? Were these also covered by the individual donations or out of pocket?

SafeLibraries said...

Maria, I have a picture of former ALA leader Judith Krug wearing a snazzy button. Here's another button. And here's a lovely T-shirt.

Anonymous said...

I can personally say that personal money/donations were donated to cover the materials for the parade. Including the bookmarks, doors and banners.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

"Ginny, how about the ORRs? And weren't there also some radio spots? The 1000 bookmarks at the parade and the parade float materials? Were these also covered by the individual donations or out of pocket?"

Answer:
ORRS: Since February, almost all completely and entirely out of our own pocket; the rest was from West Bend citizens.

Bookmarks: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

Parade float materials: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

Radio spots: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

Newspaper ad: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

CDs: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

Photocopies: As stated, came from "..our own out-of-pocket expenses, which have been numerous, the only other contributions given to us were from private individuals."

Trying to think if I missed anything.......

And Maria, since I have itemized, seems you haven't told how you are funding your trip to the conference? Travel? Hotel? Your conference fee? You forgot some details, I think, but that's okay. Plenty of room here....

Anonymous said...

What if the ALA is paying all Maria's expenses? What would it matter? The ALA is a private organization, and they can invite and pay for whomever they want to attend their conferences. I don't see the point of this debate.

Kristina said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Kristina,

Thanks for your continued interest in the posts on my blog. I believe I have been quite patient with allowing your lengthy commentaries to go through time and again. Using my blog, however, to create new blog post entries is inappropriate. That is the sole privilege of the blog owner. If you would like to take the time to type up entire transcripts of my interviews done in public and post them on your own blog, that is the place to do so. Your comments, as in the past, are welcome here, Kristina, but should you continue to post full transcripts, you will be asked to unsubscribe from this blog, just as you were here http://www.bootsandsabers.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/west_bend_library_folks_to_hold_panel_discussion_at_ala_conference/ .

I noted on your blog, while looking for a way to personally contact you about this issue as well (alas, there is no contact informatin - but I did try...), that you state " West Bend Parents For Free Speech, also have their idea of community standards." http://justmythoughts-kristina.blogspot.com/

Could you please tell me what WBPFFS's idea of community standards is, Kristina? I have not heard this before. It interests me, and I am sure it interests the community as well. Thanks!

Maria Hanrahan said...

Kristina does not speak for West Bend Parents for Free Speech. As the founder, and as its members have agreed, I am the only one who does.

I never said anything about WBPFFS having an idea of community standards. But if I were to guess about any of the standards, I would hope that West Bend would want parents to retain the right to decide what is best for their children, and to support the rights of all its citizens.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Thanks, Maria, but Kristina states that WBPFFS does, in fact, have their idea of what West Bend's community standars are, see here: http://justmythoughts-kristina.blogspot.com/

So, Kristina, again, can you explain those standards? Is this true?

Maria Hanrahan said...

Kristina may very well believe that WBPFFS has community standards, but she does not speak for the group. From the WBPFFS website (posted months ago):

West Bend Parents for Free Speech does not endorse personal attacks on anyone, and requires all participants to act in a professional, courteous manner. Members of the group are not authorized to speak on behalf of the group; any statements made by participants should be treated as statements from private citizens/individuals, not as statements for the collective group. Any official statements for West Bend Parents for Free Speech will come from the founder, Maria Hanrahan.

I gave you a response on behalf of WBPFFS concerning community standards. If Kristina replies with a statement, she is speaking as an individual, not as a representative for WBPFFS.

Kristina said...

Ginny,
Interesting you removed my post for length? Yet, safelibraries posts long ones frequently. I was addressing you being a library supporter and how could a supporter say the things you have to the tv media otlets about the library. So I'm not suprised you deleted it. Truth.
As far as community standards and Maria, if you read the whole letter you would have seen I said families should decide what the standard is for thier individual family. No one else. That is the standard I was speaking of when it comes to WBPFFS.
By the way I was not asked to unsubscribe to Boots blog. They said they needed an Email correction which also makes no sense because I got notified via Email that a new comment had been left. So they have the right one.
Nice twist though..

WEST BEND CITIZENS FOR SAFE LIBRARIES said...

Kristina,

Please reread my comment. It stated "Using my blog, however, to create new blog post entries is inappropriate." I did not state I removed your post for it's length.

Maria, Thanks for your response, but I was asking Kristina the question.

Kristina said...

Ginny,
I repeat again, I was not creating a new topic. I was responding to Dan at Safelibraries and Loki's statements of:

Ginny is one of the library's key supporters. Why should the ALA get to define who are key library supporters and not West Bend residents?

My comment was simply saying why would someone who says they are "key supporter" of the lbrary why would you say such things about the library. I was simply posting your words to let others decide if a 'key supporter; of our library would say such things.

I have also answered the question you posed to me.

SafeLibraries said...

Ginny,
Please allow me to respond.

Kristina,
Some of what you quoted is material that Ginny has already admitted was inappropriate and she changed. She changed for the better. It is simply not fair to skewer her for such material from before her change.

Further, I see the point you are making that a library supporter might not say x, y, and z, but that is simply not the case. She may be pointing those things out in an effort to IMPROVE the library.

Indeed, the government of Sonoma County wants to improve the library out there. In doing so it was highly critical of how the library has run things in the past and still does. Just like Ginny. In Somona County, there is no BIGGER supporter of the library than the government that has been so critical. Ditto for Ginny.

See for yourself: "Somona County Wants Internet Filters; Library Director Sandra Cooper Defies Grand Jury Claiming 'Slippery Slope'; Local Library Policy Plagiarizes ALA."

Oh, read the common sense a citizen uses to oppose the library's false censorship claims, just like those by the West Bend library, the ALA, and the ALA's acolyte, Maria. I know, common sense means nothing to them.