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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fireside Books holds book signing Aug. 1 to promote gay book -

Just a reminder.... Gay community being pawned in an issue where homosexuality is not the issue. I continue to see this even on the blog. Diverting attention from the real issue of sexually-explicit books for minors. How about Fireside Books bringing in Esther Drill of "Deal With It" or Robie Harris, author of "It's Perfectly Normal?" That would make more sense now, wouldn't it? But of COURSE it would. Think about it.

This bookstore employee (correction, not "manager") openly does not agree with WBCFSL and believes in "all materials for all ages" just like YOUR library. It does not appear that Fireside Books aligns itself with other businesses in West Bend who have the best interests of minor children at hand. In an effort to send this message, the West Bend community is being treated to a book signing event. Somehow, Fireside Books just doesn't have the longevity and moral/ethical standards of long-time West Bend businesses who clearly do not display such arrogance in the face of parents and taxpayers in their community; therefore, our family chooses to boycott this business. The message goes two ways, Dennis.

BOOK SIGNING THIS SATURDAY

Ready or Not...They’re Gay:
Midwestern parents share personal story, tips for families of gay children - Authors: Paul and Hjordy Wagner

99 comments:

Non-Censor said...

I'm almost afraid to ask, but the curiosity is killing me. You've got a post about gay-themed books at a local bookstore, and your link to "Fireside Books" points to a video about God and UFOs in West Bend. Help me out here, I just don't get it. What is this about?

Anonymous said...

There definately places in West Bend where I will no longer frequent.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Non: Thx for pointing it out. Fixed it!

Loki Motive said...

What's the problem here?

Anonymous said...

I still fail to understand how the gay community is used as a "pawn."

Paige said...

So a privately owned business is having a book signing? I don't understand your issue.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

JHC, Ginny. You have got to be one of the most stubborn, single-track-minded person I've come across. You already beat this horse to death, clearly missing all of the arguments brought out against your over-heated rhetoric.

Go read the actual press release from the bookstore owners. They are offering this opportunity for the entire community to hear from another side of the debate. They aren't taking sides. No one is being used as a pawn, let alone these heterosexual parents.

You really need to get a hold of yourself. Just because you're "wielding the sword of truth", doesn't mean everything you disagree with needs to be filleted.

Methinks you only are reacting because the authors don't condemn their children for being gay.

Anonymous said...

CWBC-"Methinks you only are reacting because the authors don't condemn their children for being gay."
Whoa...wait a second. I highly doubt that Ginny would be happy with parents condeming their children. You are out of bounds.

Anonymous said...

Get over it folks. These are just two parents telling others about challenges they faced, LIKE ANY GOOD CHRISTIAN.

And, WISSUP, don't try to pretend this isn't part of the larger issue. This all started becuase Maziarka didn't like gay books in the YA section. Then, it turned to "sexually explicit", becuase smarter people told her that's what she could get changed.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

And glad to see you're consistent with the improper tag spamming of your posts. Mary Reilly-Kliss has nothing to do with this book signing, yet you tag the post with her name. Bravo!

Anonymous said...

CWBC - You most certainly have some anger management issues.

Please remember that Ginny is an a average citizen on a blog. If you don't like what she tags or how she tags may I suggest finding another blog to nag.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

Anger management? Heh. My comments are pointed and direct, but hardly revealing anger.

Ginny never used to tag her posts, then she suddenly started tagging them all with the same (incorrect) tags. I pointed that out months ago, and while she now shows diversity in her tag selection, they often are incorrect.

These aren't amateur mistakes, and she should be ashamed of her attempts to mislead (bad Christian!)

(and, am I the only one with the sneaking suspicion that "Anonymous" is merely Ginny writing comments with a different voice.)

Anonymous said...

Again, if Ginny wanted to post or tag things incorrectly (either by choice or mistake) or have poor spelling that is her choice. If you don't like it you do not have to read this blog.

BTW you do have a bit of an anger issue. You continue to show up on a blog and nag and calling people names. Now that's not very nice now is it. Nope, it is not.

Anonymous said...

No, that is not her right. She claims to represent the majority of parents in the community. She claims to represent "community standards". As such, she has a responsibility to be accurate, fair, and even-minded about how she writes, blogs, communicates, describes, and spreads her gospel.

Misleading tags in posts is problematic. Perhaps she should speak for herself, rather than having you speak for her?

astudent said...

Anonymous, you're correct in saying that if we don't like it, we don't have to read this blog.

What you fail to see is how Ginny fervently preaches how she knows our community morals and morays. I personally came to this blog wanted to be informed of my morals and ethics, and can only assume that CWBC was curious as well. Before Ginny presumed what the entire community believes is appropriate, she should've made sure you can deal with the majorities' backlash as to their real beliefs.

And if you, Anonymous, feel that YOU DON'T HAVE TO READ SOMETHING IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT, maybe you and Ginny should take some of your own advice.

Anonymous said...

I'm not speaking for her, I'm speaking for myself.

Many on this very same blog are making incorrect statements, but I don't hear you nagging about them?

It's funny how you can pick and choose who you want to tear down.
Again, not very nice of you.

Anonymous said...

blog tags are mostly used to seperate blog topics for the bloggers own personal use, or if someone following a blogger wants to see what that blogger has written about that subject.

It isnt like shes trying to trick people into following her blog from a google search...

-=-=-=-

I believe Ginny is accusing Dennis of using the two authors as pawns because she is trying to make the case that Dennis is taking advantage of the controversy in West Bend to drum up some extra business for his book store by bringing topical authors in for book signings.

I gueeeees I can kind of see what shes pointing out from a certain point of view, but personally it just seems like a good business decision on Dennis' part. Since I'm a supporter of capitalism, I dont have a huge problem with it.

-=-=-=-

On a quick note to respond to Non-Censor at teh top of the comments. The whole deal behind God and UFOs is from a book signing Fireside Books had I believe last year, where they brought in an author that wrote a book trying to reconsile biblical miricles and many supernatural events in the bible from creation all the way to the prediction of Revelations as outside influences from aliens, and how extraterestrials and their high tech sci fi doodads are behind the Christian Faith.

Three cheers for sacrilige!

FreedomRocks said...

I believe there is a psychiatric diagnosis reserved for someone so delusional & grandiose that they presume not only to speak for all West Bend parents, but for all of Wisconsin.
There are obviously issues here, which would likely account for the fact that the esteemed wissup founder has as her 'profile badge' a picture of herself on a fence with an arrow pointing to her genitals over the word bad.
Profoundly telling!!

Non-Censor said...

OK, I THINK I get it now. The bookstore has the effrontery to invite writers of a gay-accepting book into the ultra-religious town of West Bend, where they just don’t cotton to that sort of thing. The book store is obviously a bad citizen, and an example of that is the video about an earlier speaker at the same book store, who was promoting some kind of “God was an astronaut” hokum. I guess that’s another affront to the ultra-religious citizens of West Bend? All of this is an attempt by the store-owner to confuse West Benders into thinking that the debate is about homosexuality instead of about sexually explicit books for minors. Except that that it’s always been about homosexuality, since that’s what set the Maziarkas into motion on this issue in the first place, and the whole allegation about library obscenity is a tissue of lies invented so Ms. M. doesn’t have to stand up in public and say what she really wants, which is for the library to hide any books that say gay is OK.

I’m glad we cleared that up.

Anonymous said...

I admit that Ginny has a goofy way of trying to go about proving her points, but I dont think you're entirely accurate on your comment there Non-Censor.

Anonymous said...

Non-censor make no sense.

Tru dat.

WestBend451 said...

Ginny is badmouthing the bookstore in online reviews:
http://www.insiderpages.com/member/5357627547

Loki Motive said...

She links to that in the post itself... though it is in a fairly illogical place.

Anonymous said...

Okay???

Anonymous said...

Great, now Ginny's got the conservatives boycotting a local business. During these economic times, how is this good for the community?

Mary Reilly-Kliss said...

Ginny----I have questions relative to this post.

1. On July 28, 2009 10:18 AM, CWBC asked why my name had been tagged to the Fireside book signing diatribe. Why, indeed? Yes, I work there, as does Dennis, and, as chance would have it, I am scheduled to work that morning. If you tag us, then why not the owner and the other 9 or 10 hard working employees of this successful, locally owned business?

2. Why have you tagged the West Bend Library? The WBCML is not financially supporting this event, and it does not appear that the book is in their collection.

3. You also state that it does not appear that Fireside Books aligns itself with other businesses in West Bend who have the best interests of minor children at hand.

a. Which local businesses, specifically do meet that litmus test?

b. What specific policies of Fireside Books and Gifts are not in the best interests of minor children?

4. You also state that Fireside Books doesn't have the longevity and moral/ethical standards of long-time West Bend businesses. Since moral/ethical standards would be a qualitative rather than quantitative judgment, I am not sure how one would measure that. However, if a business has been in the community more than 25 years, wouldn’t it meet the longevity criteria?

5. I am saddened that you would promote boycotting a locally owned, independent business in these tough economic times. Someone with the initials jg m commented on the www.insiderpages.com website that Fireside Books “Has issues in the community and has openly taken a stand against citizens concerning sexually-explicit books for minor children. Our family, and many others we know, are boycotting this business.” Whether or not these are your initials, word has it that you are responsible for this post.
The unsubstantiated claims that the store “has issues in the community” and “has . . . taken a stand against citizens concerning sexually-explicit books for minor children” surely merit an explanation to the owner and staff of Fireside Books and Gifts.

Thanks for your time,
Mary Reilly-Kliss

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Mary,

I have questions relative to your concerns:

1. Why does it matter? Why do you care what I tag anything? It's my blog. I can enter Mickey Mouse if I like. As a matter of fact, I just did.

2. Again, what does it matter? Really. Think about it.

3. Because that is what I think. It doesn't appear that way - to ME. My lifelong (parents, grandparents, great grandparents) family heritage within this community is my litmus test. Perhaps you can explain why you would offer what you call a "local" (choking!) author your "support" (choking again) in this manner. Eau Claire is not local, by the way. Germantown, Slinger, Kewaskum, that would be local. Let's go back to commentary from way back when..... Uh huh. Connect the dots, Mare.

4. Depends who you are comparing yourself to.

5. Saddens me that Fireside Books would do book promotions using the gay community in the face of a very controversial library issue. It's kind of like the president making a racial issue out of an arrest of his friend when nothing of the sort existed in actual fact, then insisting that race relations need repairing, when nothing happened to evidence that.

Mike said...

But the very controversial library issue wasn't about gay people. It was about obscene books. At least obscene by your definition.

Sadly, your ability to come up with a cogent response to very reasonable questions has not improved throughout the entire library book debate.

Anonymous said...

"It's kind of like the president making a racial issue out of an arrest of his friend when nothing of the sort existed in actual fact, then insisting that race relations need repairing, when nothing happened to evidence that."

Watching a lot of Fox News, eh?

Anonymous said...

Are you saying shes wrong?

And I still dont understand why anyone cares about blog tags. It doesnt do anything for anyone other than the blogger and people searching the bloggers... blogs.

Blog tags are greatly irrelevent on blogger.

Anonymous said...

Actually I do see Ginnys connection. It's been know that the owner of Fireside is against moving books at the WB Library. While Ginny and her supporters support moving books that contain sexually explict materials, others have assumed falsely that this is a focus on homosexuality. Any book gay or straight that contains sexually explicit obscene material we would like moved (not banned or burned).

So that is the connection.

If Ginny and her family do not want to do business with Fireside books, that is their choice. Does this mean others will listen...maybe, maybe not.

About tagging...unless you are being falsely tagged, I don't see the issue.

Loki Motive said...

For someone so concerned about the categorization of books at the public library, you seem strangely dismissive of the importance of categorizing your own work accurately.

Perhaps this is merely a cataloger's myopic perspective, but if you're going to categorize something it seems imperative that you do it accurately lest you invalidate the entire practice.

Anonymous said...

It's funny how people want others to be accurate and yet at the same time repeat false information, the the WBCFSL will be banning or burning books or homophobia. When in fact we only wish to move books, get parents involvement and include both gay and straight books.

Loki Motive said...

Some of the repetitions in the comments are certainly false, and it is rather obnoxious to see them again and again, however some are different perspectives on the same circumstance.

As has been repeated multiple times, many people that comment on this site believe that parents are required to be more involved at this point than they would be with the proposed arrangement.

Moving books is problematic because it disrupts the current contextualization of the books that many people, including the librarians, feel is accurate and helpful.

And although you've moved beyond homosexuality, the fact that the issue was introduced with the "out of the closet" list on the website set a precedent for a concern that many feel is rooted in homophobia.

Though you obviously don't agree with the other side, it would certainly be beneficial to attempt to understand their perspective.

On a different note, it would be really nice of the anonymous posters would at least sign their name with a pseudonym. Considering the plethora of opinions expressed in anonymous posts, it becomes rather difficult to address one specifically.

Anonymous said...

Loki- It is refreshing to see people discussing the issues rather than name call. That gets us no where.

We can all agree that parents should be move invovled in the lives of their children, the sad fact remains that many are not. This, in my opinion, is the heart of this issue.

While it would involve some work in order to move the books and define what "obscene" is, it would be worth it for a few reasons:
To ensure that children who aren't typically allowed read such materials don't.

To ensure that those who do read them, read them with a parent. That way the parent can have an open discussion about the books.

It would also encourage parents to come to the library, reconsent and perhaps be more involved.

It is also true that books on the YA Zone library were indeed those that referred to homosexuality. However, only the books with sexually explicit materials...both gay and straight are the issue at hand.

I do not agree with the other side and I have listened. I've also suggested ways to end this issue. I do think a good compromise would be for parents to reconsent to a library card. It would give the power back to the parents. Many have even suggested voluteering to call library patrons and paying for sticker for the reconsent.

Let's bring this back to discussion and stop the name-calling and slander.

Loki Motive said...

I think the fundamental issue is the way to handle sometimes controversial material.

I think we can all agree that one of the most valuable resources of a library is open access to material to facilitate open discussion and multiple perspectives. The way towards knowledge is through the exploration of differing opinions. A well balanced library supports this. There you can find religious texts, from ancient to modern, from Eastern to Western. You can also find secular humanist texts and dialog (or synthesis) between them all. Democracy, Communism, Socialism, Fascism, Anarchism, all of these should have their say.

To me, one of the most important dichotomies is the dangerous and the safe. This may be a point of departure. Probably a much larger difference of opinion, however, lies in who should have access to this. I feel that restricting by the rather arbitrary legal definition of an adult is problematic; the other side, clearly does not.

Let's move beyond the problematic analogies previously proposed. Books are an entity unto themselves, and the processing of them by an individual is a complicated process informed by everything from their socio-economic background to the physical environment in which they read it. The ideal of the European Common Reader is long gone. People come to texts with such a diverse background that what the get out of it is impossible to forsee.

But that is the exciting part of unrestricted access. It does not presume prior knowledge. Instead it encourages an open exploration. If one text confuses or enrages you, another will excite or enlighten you. Most importantly, it may allow you to re-evaluate the previous text.

You may counter that children are not equipped to engage in such intellectual pursuits. That may be so, but allowing them unfettered access is the first step in encouraging it.

Loki Motive said...

One of the great things about material that adults often view as obscene is that it sails directly over the heads of children, something that is often forgotten in this debate. Think back to your mental state as a child. Could you possibly process even the beginning of Joyce's Ulysses, Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, or even a non-fiction text like Psychopathia Sexualis? I know I couldn't. Sometimes I could hardly make it through the Young Adult books written for me. If I came across something as esoteric as the previous examples I would discard it quickly. It would be beyond boring.

This, I feel, is the virtue of these texts in an open environment: they become available when they need to, they leave everyone else behind. If a child, or more likely, a young adult has questions about these issues they will seek these books out, otherwise they will shy away from them with embarrassment. Or perhaps, if they are particularly precocious and have been encouraged to do so, they will seek out clarification. Perhaps from other books in the library, or, maybe ideally, from their caregivers.

I feel that some of what I've said here is agreed upon by both sides. How this openness, curiosity and self-awareness should be fostered, however, seems to present an enormous chasm.

To me, labeling a book obscene does nothing but predispose a reader to view it as obscene. It destroys a primary aspect of open access: it contextualizes the book in a negative light. It says: this book is filled with bad things. Things you need to keep away from. To young adults fueled by hormones and curiosity, it says: this is the good stuff. Look here to find titillation. It completely erases the option of viewing the text as a source of answers or knowledge. It is simply pornographic.

This is my major issue with labeling, flagging and or moving, beyond logistical and financial concerns (which are legion). It encourages irresponsible reading rather than discouraging it. If the system you propose was put into effect, it would provide an open list of "dangerous" dangerous books. Perhaps they couldn't check them out at the library, but they could get them at Barnes and Noble or Borders. Now children know that these books are controversial. They are curious. They will read them, and my fear is that now they will start to read the books and skip the boring parts that give the sex scenes, the context. They will go right to the instructions for blowjobs and giggle. Then they'll try it out because that's the only thing they've learned from the book and the library.

Anonymous said...

Loki- True is could go over the heads of some, yet could be misconstrude by others and understood yet by others.

I understand the freedom part and wanting open horizons in regards to reading. However, when it involves minor children and I think 11,12,13 and maybe even 14 is too young to fully graps the context the way it is intended.
Yet, it these books should be available to those who want them.

Giving parents the right, (as they should being the parents), to set boundries for their children and the library would be doing a great service in helping parents achieve this.

I guess all that I am asking, others can speak for themselves...is that I would like the library to give the parents the choice of weather their children can read/check out these books. One would think that the library would want to work closely with parents.

Anonymous said...

I also forgot to mention that this would also help for those children who do not have close parental supervision.

Paige said...

Parents have to sign the form in order for their children to receive library cards, no? If they are not willing to monitor what their children are reading, it's not the library's fault. The parents are encouraged to "consent" at every step of the transaction.

Anonymous said...

See it's people like Paige who are not willing to compromise that makes the conversation nearly impossible.

The reconsent would take all the blame away from the library, but I see you are unwilling to listen and compromise.

Maria Hanrahan said...

You contend the gay community is "being pawned in an issue where homosexuality is not the issue." Then please explain why you are announcing a boycott of Fireside Books in a post about the store hosting a book signing, according to your words "to promote a gay book."

If you truly feel that boycotting Fireside is worthwhile, that's your business. But announcing such a thing and encouraging others to do the same in relation to an event concerning a book that offers "sensible guidance for parents and teachers of gay students and provides suggestions from the GLBT community on how to make the coming-out conversation more loving and sincere" (from Fireside's press release about the event) clearly shows your true colors.

Anonymous said...

My roots in this community go back more than 150 years and I take great pride in West Bend. I do not take kindly to ANY group painting our community with a brushstroke as careless and black as Ginny's group has done.

The library issue is not one that can be solved by compromise.

If allowances are made for the books in question by Ginny & Company, then what of the next group of books that come under fire?

If the Library 'compromises' this relocation issue, then anyone taking issue with books on various topics being located in areas of the library they deem as inappropriate would expect the same compromise. The next thing you know, we've bastardized the entire system and sacrificed a valuable institution.

Rather than compromise, people need to take personal responsibility. Period.

And PLEASE, quit inflicting damage on the local economy and innocent people!

Anonymous said...

"Rather than compromise, people need to take personal responsibility. Period."

People should, but they don't. So what we let the children flounder? If you say you love this community, of which I am a part of you should take more stock in our young people...not just your own.

I prefer to compromise, others do not.

Local MLIS student said...

Please provide evidence that a child has floundered or otherwise been harmed by the presence of these books.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how I am not "compromising." Expecting parents to understand what their children are checking out from the library isn't that crazy. The books are in the "young adult" section. I really don't understand where a "compromise" comes in. The library is there to provide access to materials. Parents sign for their underage children's card, and are therefore responsible for what their children check out. Don't sign for the card if you're not willing to be on the ball and keep up with what your kids are reading.

--Paige

Dennis Allen said...

I've decided to break my promise to never post a comment on this site.

Since Ms. Maziarka has not responded to an e-mail I sent to her directly about the blatant lies and unsubstantiated rumors she spread in her blog about the couple visiting the bookstore tomorrow--let me just say this:

A person who judges people before meeting or talking to them or reading their book--anyone, in fact, who judges people at all--is making a grave, potentially damning mistake.

Ms. Maziaka has judged me, the store I work at, the authors visiting the store tomorrow, and their book--all without doing one iota of research into any of these subjects. And then she spreads her vile--unsubstantiated--opinions to others.

Calling the authors of the book "pawns" is absolutely despicable. The Wagners are wonderful people who have written a wonderful book that explains how they dealt with their situation in a loving, compassionate way. They try to avoid the typical political and religious debates that often surround this issue. Their book seeks to convey their personal experiences raising their sons and accepting their sexuality.

They have driven across the state from Eau Claire--at their own expense--to share their experience with people in our community.

And Ms. Maziaka demeans them.

This is an invitation for those of you who condone--even support Ms Maziaka's views. Set aside your prejudices. Come and listen to this couple, try to put yourself in their shoes, ask them questions. You don't have to agree with them, but you should respect, and care about, and be decent and civil to them.

That's what Christians ought to do. Christ would not be holding up a nasty sign outside the store tomorrow morning.

Dennis Uhlig

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

Thanks for posting that, Dennis.

Anonymous said...

Student- Really...is that what you have to say? You obviously don't have children. If I have to explain...

Anonymous said...

Paige- In case you are unaware...WBCFSL are at odds with the WB Library and its board. In order to solve the issues between the two, they both need to compromise.

The library wants the books to stay in the library and not be moved.

WBCFSL wants the books in the library and be moved in order to protect the children.

A compromise would be to keep the books in the library, move them to a section where only those with parental consent can view them and check them out.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Dennis: excellent post, thank you.

Anonymous Kelly: The library did make some adjustments, renaming the "Out of the Closet" booklist as "Over the Rainbow." They have also ordered books from the Maziarkas' list of suggestions ("ex-gay" books). They have also re-written the Materials Reconsideration Policy and to make it the process even more clear to library users. These were all adjustments made since the book challenge was initiated.

You hold on to this "we must protect unattended children" issue like a dog with a bone. Kelly, if you leave your children unattended in a store, a restaurant, or your neighborhood, do you relinquish your rights to parent them? Certainly not. Do your responsibilities disappear? No way.

The library does not act in loco parentis. Period. End of story.

And again, any policy which would allow the segregation of books based on subjective criteria (and again, all proponents of this idea refuse to address how this would work or who would distinguish the good books from the bad) opens the door for the public to demand that books on other subjects be moved to "protect" the community, too. As Patti Geidel of the library board asked, what is next? Religion? Politics? Science?

Anonymous said...

Maria- Why do you continue to refuse to let parents reconsent, while re-informing them of the possibilty that their children could have access to obscene materials in the YA Zone?

If a child is unattended in a store and falls due to a slippery floor...the liability is the stores for not posting "slippery when wet".

By not fully devulging the books that are in the YA Zone to parents and not letting reconsent the library (IMO) is like the business that did not put out a slippery when wet sign.

Paige said...

Honestly, I understand your concern and I'm not just trying to give you a hard time. But this: "By not fully devulging the books that are in the YA Zone" makes no sense. The books are in the YA Zone. If you don't feel that your child should be reading YA literature, don't allow him/her to browse that area. If you're okay with it, look at what they want to check out before they check it out. Keep their library card in your possession so that they can't check items out without you there. Isn't that a compromise? YA Fiction, simply because it may contain some explicit language, should not become the "back room" of the video store. By your logic we should just rope off that whole section and put up a big sign that says "OBSCENE MATERIALS HERE."

Loki Motive said...

"By not fully devulging the books that are in the YA Zone to parents..."

Well, come on, this makes it sound as if they are hiding what material is in the Young Adult section, but the location is right there in the online catalog. There's even reviews for the book on the same catalog page so you can get more information about the content of the books. All of this information is freely accessible by parents.

Anonymous said...

It is not however, on the parental consent form at the library. Which I think it should be. How hard would it be to add a line or two to the form? Seriously.

Paige said...

Are you serious? Does it really seem that ridiculous to expect parents to realize that since the library contains information from/about a variety of different subjects and viewpoints, they might not find everything personally appropriate?

John Jost said...

I went to Fireside Books this morning and bought a fifteen-dollar book entitled "Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain".

That was my personal contribution to an excellent bookstore which, like our excellent library, carries a wide selection of works.

Anonymous said...

Paige- Never assume. You know what happens when you assume.

Are you really that opposed to adding a line the consent form so parents are FULLY aware of what is in the YA Zone?

We know what is in the library, but the YA Zone is geared for children 11-17. Yes, I'm serious about informing parents and protecting children.

Local MLIS Student said...

Anonymous: "Are you really that opposed to adding a line the consent form so parents are FULLY aware of what is in the YA Zone? "

It simply isn't that black/white of an issue. The problem here is that forcing the public library to add a line on the consent form saying "By the way, there are books about sexuality in the YA Zone" is that it is singling out an arbitrary subset of content. Will the next group come and say there should be a line noting there are books about evolution? String theory? Slavery? Islam? Any arbitrary highlighting of presumed "controversial" content is extremely problematic for a public library.

Further, the consent form only addresses whether someone is pre-authorized by a parent to check out the book. It does nothing to prevent reading the book in the library itself. Clearly, if people really are that concerned about a YA accessing one of these books in the YA section, simply moving it to the adult section would do nothing go prevent someone who wanted to find the book from finding it. (Young adults know how to read the cataloging system, btw).

Anonymous said...

A. So you wouldn't support supporting parents because of what may or may not happen in the future? In that case we might as well not drive a car because we might get in an accident. Fine add to the line religion along with sexual explicit materials...whatever.

B. That is why I would like to see the books moved along with parents re-consenting. Kids would have to want to use the system to find the books. They would then have to go into the adult section to find them. All the while adults are there. I'm confident a good percentage would not go through the hassle. I guess we could add stickers to the books so anyone watching would know what book the minor child is reading.

Do you really consider 11, 12, 13 and 14 year olds young adults? I think they are minor children.

Paige said...

"Are you really that opposed to adding a line the consent form so parents are FULLY aware of what is in the YA Zone?"

Yes.

"I'm confident a good percentage would not go through the hassle."

Much like you apparently don't want to go through the hassle of parenting your own children and keeping on top of what they read.

Anonymous said...

I agree, and we should place some kind of alarm on the books so anytime they're taken off the shelf, a loud buzzing occurs, drawing attention (and shame) to any kid who dares peek inside.

And we should bring back chastity belts, too, just to be safe.

Anonymous said...

(that comment direclty above was in response to Anon's left on July 31, 2009 11:52 AM)

Maria Hanrahan said...

Maria- Why do you continue to refuse to let parents reconsent, while re-informing them of the possibilty that their children could have access to obscene materials in the YA Zone?

Kelly: Let me break it down for you yet again. Parents don't need to reconsent. Parents can monitor their children's use of the library, including keeping possession of their library cards if necessary. No extra work or resources required in order to enact this. (Your policy would require the library to provide staffing to manage this reconsent process. Volunteers can't call up all the parents of minor library patrons; patron info is confidential.) You can't classify materials that do not meet the legal definition of obscene as obscene. You want to call materials obscene or inappropriate based on someone's (yours? Ginny's?) opinion of the material. Your "standards" do not apply to the entire community, and the entire community does not agree with your opinion.

Keep the responsibility in the hands of the parents....as it should be.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness. We keep rehashing things we gone over a thousand times.

Yes, parents should be responsible
No, parents aren't always responsible
Yes, protect those who don't have parental involvement
Yes, keep the books in the library
Yes, move the books
Yes, to letting the parents reconsent
Yes, to adding a line to the library card form w/ consent
No, reconsent would not involve any more time, just adding a line to the form.
No, minors are not library patrons the parents are, that's why they sign the form.
Yes, let the community decide what is obscene. That is the libraries policy "community standards"

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Where do I begin.....?

CWBC, 07/28:

An "actual press release" would actually have made it to the newspaper. Placing a few paragraphs on a blog and calling it a press release does not make it so. But I digress...

Funny you speak on behalf of Fireside books and state they are "offering this opportunity for the entire community to hear from another side of the debate." Yet you continue with "They aren't taking sides." Since you are representing Fireside Books with this statement, perhaps you can tell me what author they will be offering next to our community to lend insight into the opposing viewpoint, since they aren't taking sides and all.

Maria Hanrahan said...

An "actual press release" would actually have made it to the newspaper. Placing a few paragraphs on a blog and calling it a press release does not make it so. But I digress...

Ginny, you are dead wrong. Definition: press release - NOUN: An announcement of an event, performance, or other newsworthy item that is issued to the press.

Obviously, not all press releases are published. The New York Times's masthead logo, "All The News That's Fit to Print," dates back to 1896. A common pun of this is "All the news that fits, we print."

perhaps you can tell me what author they will be offering next to our community to lend insight into the opposing viewpoint, since they aren't taking sides and all.

And what exactly would the opposing viewpoint to the Fireside Books event on Aug. 1 be? Raising two gay sons with malice and hatred? Rejecting your children? Encouraging hostility and repugnance in the community?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Here we go again:

a student: "Before Ginny presumed what the entire community believes is appropriate.."

FreedomRocks: "presume not only to speak for all West Bend parents, but for all of Wisconsin."

The mistaken assumption here is using the words "entire" and "all". Never have said I speak for all, or the entire, just the majority. Thanks!

Maria Hanrahan said...

@Kelly/Anon:No, reconsent would not involve any more time, just adding a line to the form.
No, minors are not library patrons the parents are, that's why they sign the form.
Yes, let the community decide what is obscene. That is the libraries policy "community standards"


You ask for all minor library patrons' parents to grant reconsent. That means they all have to be made aware of this new policy in some way and sign a new form to "reconsent" to the library card. This would require time and resources and burden the staff with unnecessary work.

Children with library cards are library patrons. A patron is anyone that uses the library; it doesn't matter their age. They have the right to equal access to public library materials. One can say that those that don't even have library cards but use other library services are patrons.

You can keep saying the community should/will decide its standards, but how exactly will you do this? Take a poll? Not accurate. Add it to a ballot? Not legal.

You want to determine "community standards." How are you going to get roughly 30,000 people (and that's just city of West Bend) to come to a consensus on what is "obscene" and what isn't???

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Loki Motive, 07/30: I really actually agree with some of what you said to a point.

This was a great statement "I think we can all agree that one of the most valuable resources of a library is open access to material to facilitate open discussion and multiple perspectives. The way towards knowledge is through the exploration of differing opinions."

Open access for adults falls into everything you stated in that post, and I agree. We must part the waters when it comes to minor children, though. I must respectfully state that I cannot apply those same statements completely unless they include some provision of reasonable commonsense protection for minor children.

Thank you for your reasonable and respectful debate.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Maria:

One comment -

Silly me. It certainly WAS an "actual press release."

What was I thinking?

Thanks for the Websterism! Love those dictionary citations!

Just some guy said...

Maziarka: "Never have said I speak for all, or the entire, just the majority. Thanks!"

Would love to see some empirical evidence to support this claim.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Ginny:

By the way, I guess you didn't see the front page of the Daily News today, and the article about the Fireside event? The article in which you were quoted as saying WBCFSL hasn't taken a stand on the issue, and a few sentences later say you won't frequent the store anymore...?

So the Daily News did use the press release after all!! Imagine that!

Anonymous said...

The bottom line is this: Protecting unattended children is too much work for Maria and her peeps.

I'm not keep rehashing the same arguements over and over again.

You know what is a lot of work...filling out my tax forms, but I still have to do it.

Paige said...

"I'm not keep rehashing the same arguements over and over again.

You know what is a lot of work...filling out my tax forms, but I still have to do it."

You are indeed rehashing since you made this argument in an earlier thread of comments on one of Ginny's posts. Again I say: there is no comparison to filling out YOUR OWN tax forms and trying to recategorize and reclassify a large number of books in the library's collection (since you'll also want to reclassify newly purchased items or books that you haven't discovered yet as obscene).

"Let the community decide." What does that mean?! You keep saying this, but offer no examples as to how it would actually take place. I know that I and several others would be interested to know how "the community" would make this decision.

Further, say you cordon off the "obscene" room of YA books--what if a child puts a hold on an item from another library in the consortium or through interlibrary loan? This is a service available to any patron and does not require parental permission.

Finally, "The bottom line is this: Protecting unattended children is too much work for Maria and her peeps." No, the bottom line is that policing what unattended children read is not the responsibility of Maria or her "peeps."

Anonymous said...

bla bla bla w/e

Anonymous said...

That's the problem...it should be.

Saudi Arabia said...

"That's the problem...[protecting unattended children] should be [the responsibility of Maria and her peeps]"

So, we've finally come down to what you really want: morality police, determined, presumably, by a majority vote of the community.

DOes that sum it up?

Maria Hanrahan said...

One of my children participates in a soccer program. One mother has a child that participates in this while his younger sibling watches from the sidelines. I've noticed that this child often bothers other parents (and their young children), asking to play with their toys, eat their snacks, etc. The kid also wanders off and sometimes does stupid things that could result in minor injury to himself or another child. This all goes on while his mom talks to another mom or uses her cell phone and pays little attention to the kid.

By the logic presented here, it is not only my right to discipline this child, it is my RESPONSIBILITY? Please, Kelly, tell me you don't believe that's true.

WEST BEND CITIZENS FOR SAFE LIBRARIES said...

Sorry, I must have missed something in today's paper. I did not see a "press release." I saw an article written about a controversial action taken on the part of a local bookstore within our community. Nothing more. Was there something else?

WEST BEND CITIZENS FOR SAFE LIBRARIES said...

According to this post, I stated, "...therefore, our family chooses to boycott this business."

Maria? Can you explain where I told others to do the same?

You see, blogs are like online diaries or personal commentary.

My blog, my personal commentary. MY FAMILY chooses to boycott this business means just that.

You may leave your comments here; however, if you don't care for the personal commentaries and journaling, by all means do not feel like you are held hostage. Really!

Maria Hanrahan said...

Sorry, I must have missed something in today's paper. I did not see a "press release." I saw an article written about a controversial action taken on the part of a local bookstore within our community. Nothing more. Was there something else?

Obviously, you do not understand how press releases work. Press releases are sent to newspapers and other media outlets. Sometimes they are printed verbatim, but usually the goal is for the paper to contact the organization that issued the press release to interview them about the story and publish a feature story that expands on the info in the press release. Press releases are also used to encourage the media to attend an event and cover the story in person by sending a reporter to witness the event, interview attendees and key players in the event, etc.

So the Daily News either received the press release or heard about the potential of some of your supporters picketing at Fireside (chatter on the blogs) and decided to do an article. It's not complicated or unusual.

Maria Hanrahan said...

According to this post, I stated, "...therefore, our family chooses to boycott this business."

Maria? Can you explain where I told others to do the same?

You see, blogs are like online diaries or personal commentary.

My blog, my personal commentary. MY FAMILY chooses to boycott this business means just that.


I can read, and I understand what you wrote. But I can also read between the lines. You can pretend that you're merely using this blog as a personal diary. But when you discuss community issues like this and you have a large portion of the community following your blog, it is crystal clear that you are trying to influence others. You certainly didn't create a review at the insiderpages.com site to encourage people to frequent Fireside Books!

if you don't care for the personal commentaries and journaling, by all means do not feel like you are held hostage. Really!

Much as I would like to stop following your blog, I feel compelled to read it and correct the misinformation I find and publicly speak out against your stance on the library issue. Since I'm not going away, I invite you to actually address my (valid) points and questions when I comment on your posts, instead of merely responding with statements along the lines of "it's my blog and I can say what I like" and "don't read it if you don't like it."

I would love to see you answer questions about how your proposed changes (at the library) would work and who would oversee them. You continue to ignore requests for that, and you've gotten this request from many. Regarding the bookstore event issue, I'd love to hear a response to a question I asked several comments ago. And what exactly would the opposing viewpoint to the Fireside Books event on Aug. 1 be? Raising two gay sons with malice and hatred? Rejecting your children? Encouraging hostility and repugnance in the community?

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

CCWB: I'll say this as respectfully as I can. I have allowed you to post time and again on my blog. I've tried to give you your say, yet your personal attacks come one right after the other...to the point of harassment. Therefore, this is simply a first request that you tame your commentary and stick to the content of the blog post. If you cannot do what I request, I will ask you not to post on WISSUP in the future. Thank you.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Rolf: FYI, I do not censor commentary. However, I am sure you noted when you left your commentary that ask for appropriate language usage and reserve the right to remove commentary. You personal attacks are not appreciated nor welcome. The language and harassment on the commentaries for this blog have gone beyond reasonable. Yes, I may determine what reasonable is. I am sure someone will ask for my personal guidelines. I won't be lending any responses to foolish questions that waste my time. I will be pulling in the reigns on harassment and foul language. No apologies.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Could I ask what comments from CWBC and Rolf you felt were personal attacks?

Concerning CWBC, their last comment was days ago, and you have posted other comments since. If CWBC personally attacked you to the point of using the language in your second last comment, why did you not bring this up sooner, like when the supposed attack was made? Thanks.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Maria:

No. The request was directed towards others, not you.

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

So glad to hear the book signing went off without any protestors! LOL! Just thinking of that little group of people who went there to "fight." LOLOLOL!!!!!!

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

ROLF: Poof!

CCWB: Poof!

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

As you will note, CCWB is no longer posting here. This is because I feel the harassment CCWB has delivered on this blog has been an ongoing issue that I have been patient with for way too long. I feel CCWBs rhetoric hinders the intelligent conversations taking place, is used as a distraction, and that CCWB is trying to draw attention to himself. I gave one opportunistic warning, now poof!, gone.....

We'll miss ya.

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

This is not a court of law. I do not need to provide "evidence" of anything. Blogs are free. Anyone at any time can do as CCWB did....sound off to the world in your own kind of way by creating your own blog. Make your own kind of music, so to speak. Just don't come to my blog and expect me to follow "your" rules. Thank you to the rest of the commenters, though we may disagree. The majority or you have been posting fairly reasonable debate.

WestBend451 said...

This is kind of ridiculous, eh? Arbitrary & caprecious comes to mind...given Concerned Citizen really wasn't all that out of line, and seemed to just be looking for some logical explanation.

Silencing ones critics is rarely a good move

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

That would be critic without the "s."

CCWB is hardly silenced, as we all know.