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

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

West Bend is the fall guy

In a prior blog comment, Maria Hanrahan (WBPFFS), West Bend Parents for Free Sex, um, I mean Free Speech (ooops, sorry 'bout that) stated about the ALA Conference:

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

According to the WB News today, that was not exactly a truthful statement WAS IT?.....

"Five representatives of the West Bend Community Memorial Library expressed some frustration with the media, but said their actions were vindicated with the way the fiery issue of books that dealt with homosexuality and teenagers played itself out last month."

AND

"It was a rough process at times as the Library Board had to be careful in its response in accordance to open meeting laws as well as advice from the city attorney, officials said Monday."

AND

“We felt very hamstrung by the idea that we had to stick to library procedures because the minute you step away from library procedures and start to acquiesce to ad hoc complaints, then you lose control of how things function at your institution,” said Barbara Deters, Library Board president."

AND

"Representatives of the board vented some frustration Monday with the way the local and national media covered the story, citing inaccurate coverage."

AND

“The blogs tend to be more inflammatory than effective,” said Mary Reilly-Kliss..."

AND

"Library Director Michael Tyree echoed that sentiment."

AND

“This has shown me that sensationalism and catchy sound bites are the things that reach the editor and takes over talk radio,” he said. “Rational discourse does not sell.”

Uh huh. Right.

28 comments:

Local MLIS student said...

Sounds like they "trash talked" the local media and blog coverage of the issues, not the community itself.

Unless I'm missing something?

Anonymous said...

That seems pretty mild to me. It sounds like they made an effort to be professional in their comments and expressed some human frustration. They are not library borgs.

Local MLIS student said...

Proving the point about the criticism of media coverage, the article seems to have some facts wrong. For example, you weren't prohibited from attending the conference, but rather merely refused an invitation to participate on the panel itself. Right?

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

"West Bend Parents for Free Sex, um, I mean Free Speech (ooops, sorry 'bout that)"

How very mature of you, Ginny.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Ditto to Concerned West Bend Citizen's statement.

Trash talk? That's quite a stretch. As Anon pointed out, the comments are mild.

I'm hoping an objective party that attended the panel discussion will be able to post their comments about the exchange of information and ideas.

Loki Motive said...

Given your examples of trash talk, I don't understand how you would have ideally wanted the panel to play out. Librarians finding frustration, and references to the blogosphere seem the most pointed remarks here. An opinion even marginally against the community of West Bend doesn't seem even remotely evident.

Or by "trash talk" did you mean statements expressing disagreement with people that disagree with the library. If you meant that, then yeah there's some of that here.

Tizzy said...

"West Bend Parents for Free Sex, um, I mean Free Speech (ooops, sorry 'bout that)"

Hmmm, is this not a perfect example of the much touted "trash talking" which the owner of this blog seems to be obsessed with?

Could we please, in the words of the Library Director, have some "rational discourse", rather than red letter rants?

Anonymous said...

I dont approve of Ginny making the "Free Sex" comment, but I dont really understand how you guys can balk at her maturity or question her motives behind the comment.

I mean, theres plenty of research thats been done that proves emperically that promoting this type of literature among youth raises their risks of that sort of behavior.

You guys do know that, right?

Misrule said...

How about you post some actual references to this alleged "emperical" (sic) research, Anonymous? (Honestly, do you people honestly think you can catch homosexuality from a novel?!)

Mpeterson said...

West Bend is the fall guy?

Ginny doesn't live in West Bend.

West Bend did not bring complaints that were unconstitutional coming out of the box.

West Bend didn't tippy toe around the question of whether or not these materials were legally obscene.

West Bend didn't continually change it's complaint and then go outside of the rules when it didn't get what it wanted to right away.

West Bend didn't stage a HolierThanThouGodIsOnMySide parade.

West Bend didn't take sex manuals out of the adult non-fiction section and suggest they were downstairs in the kids section of the library.

But: West Bend did listen to the beautiful lesson in civics Ginny received from the Library Board.

I'm still not sure why Ginny hasn't heard their message about toleration and working out our differences through the rule of law.

That, Miss Ginny, is the question. In what way does the library's action violate the US Constitution? And don't you think you're bound by the same rules as the rest of us?

hiho
Mark

Anonymous said...

Mpeterson said: "West Bend didn't take sex manuals out of the adult non-fiction section and suggest they were downstairs in the kids section of the library."

Hadn't heard about this. Do you have references?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

"Ginny doesn't live in West Bend."

I live in the Town of West Bend and am a patron of the West Bend Library. I am a taxpayer, and a portion of my taxes still do go to the City of West Bend. Nevertheless, the West Bend Library does service Germantown, Kewaskum, Hartford and Slinger libraries as part of the SHARE library system. Are you saying that people who do not live in West Bend, including these other residents whose libraries share resources with West Bend should shut up?

"West Bend did not bring complaints that were unconstitutional coming out of the box."

True. West Bend librarians and Library Board said NOTHING. That was the problem.

"West Bend didn't tippy toe around the question of whether or not these materials were legally obscene."

Nor did I. The community feels they are inappropriate. Obscene, not obscene; porn, not porn, makes not different. They do not represent the community standards. I have said that and am saying it again. No tippy toes here.

"West Bend didn't continually change it's complaint and then go outside of the rules when it didn't get what it wanted to right away."

Go outside of the rules? What rules? The three-step policy that was never followed through with by our library board? WHO went outside of the rules?

"West Bend didn't stage a HolierThanThouGodIsOnMySide parade."

You didn't like our float? The residents of West Bend did!

"West Bend didn't take sex manuals out of the adult non-fiction section and suggest they were downstairs in the kids section of the library."

Can you explain this, please? All books given as "examples" to the librarians and library board were labeled Young Adult. Some were in the YA Zone, some were labeled YA and placed in the YA area up stairs. Up/down, all around. Still YA. Still inappropriately classified.

"But: West Bend did listen to the beautiful lesson in civics Ginny received from the Library Board."

Brainwashing. Get it right, Marko...brainwashing.

"I'm still not sure why Ginny hasn't heard their message about toleration and working out our differences through the rule of law.

That, Miss Ginny, is the question. In what way does the library's action violate the US Constitution? And don't you think you're bound by the same rules as the rest of us?"

I am wondering, Marko, why you feel it is so wrong for parents and taxpayers to have books labeled as to content and shelved so as to reflect the standards of the community we live in? Why exactly is this such a terrible thing? It can be done, you know. The library can comply with the taxpayer's request to do exactly what is being asked. It is perfectly reasonable, and even admirable, to request such compliance from our taxpayer-funded library. Parents want this. The community wants this. You can't shake that fact.

Paige said...

"Why exactly is this such a terrible thing? It can be done, you know. The library can comply with the taxpayer's request to do exactly what is being asked. It is perfectly reasonable..."

Again, I have to ask, and I'm not trying to be snarky here--HOW do you expect this to be done? Do you know how cataloging and classification work? Aside from the books that are the focus of this issue, do you expect that newly acquired materials go through some sort of review process before being classified, or is it just that a patron might "catch" the item in the "wrong" place, make a complaint, and have it reclassified?

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

"Parents want this. The community wants this. You can't shake that fact."

Seeing as though there are only 1000 names on your petition (unconfirmed how many are local taxpayers), and the handfuls of people who come out to cheer you on at your rallies or parades, how is this an established "fact"? How do you know you speak for the entire community? All I'm seeing is your opinion, and a minority who agree with you. Is that how we should govern?

(And don't give me the BS appeal to "common sense", cuz if it indeed were "common sense", then every other library in the area would be doing what you've asked. The fact is they're not (see my blog post, which I'm not allowed to paste here)

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

OK, CCWB, let's do this.

First, let's clarify:

WBCFSL turned in 1500+ signatures.

Next, let's toss all the petitions in the trash. We both know that

a) the library board does not recognize them anyway and
b) unless they are "official," they are nothing more than a teaching tool of sorts.

Moving right along, I did not say I speak for the "entire" community; only the majority. :-)

You stated "All I'm seeing is your opinion, and a minority who agree with you. Is that how we should govern?"

This, in effect, could be said to you; and I am.

Common sense is really quite a reasonable request.

C. E. Stowe "Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done."

Anonymous said...

if you've got a 'majority' of the community behind you, why is it just you and Dan retorting to the comments made on this site? RARELY is there anyone who agrees with you that comments here.
and again...HOW will all future books be categorized?? you always have lots to complain about, but NEVER a suggested solution.

Amanda said...

How do you know you're speaking on behalf of the majority? Do you have ANY evidence to support this? Have you really received e-mails, calls, or letters from 14,000 people?

You keep on asserting that you speak for the "community", that the "majority" agrees with you, but you have absolutely nothing to support that.

Anonymous said...

"I live in the Town of West Bend and am a patron of the West Bend Library. I am a taxpayer, and a portion of my taxes still do go to the City of West Bend. Nevertheless, the West Bend Library does service Germantown, Kewaskum, Hartford and Slinger libraries as part of the SHARE library system. Are you saying that people who do not live in West Bend, including these other residents whose libraries share resources with West Bend should shut up?"

Just because your library shares a catalog and resources with neighboring libraries does NOT mean you have a say in their collections. If you don't live in West Bend, you have no say in that library. Period. Use a different library!

But that being said, you did have your say. And it was dealt with openly. And you lost. Get over it.

Kristina said...

Ok folks, take a breath for a sec... I am all up on Ginny's residenial status. However lets clarify a few things.
Yes, she lives in the township. She does pay taxes that do go towards the library but she pays them to the county, not through the city.
With that said, my issue with the taxes is this. When the city has to consult with the city attorney on these matters, which we know she has put in a lot of time advising, reviewing things or what have you for the city and the library, the city attorney than bills the city for that time. Therefore that expense is what is being passed on to the taxpayers of the CITY of West Bend.
I understand but do not agree with her point about the library being apart of the SHARE system. Heck, my mom listens to audiobooks and many of them come through that system. However, the library any materials come through also have their own policies and have the choice of if to have or where to shelve the books under their roof. If a SHARE participating library does not have them they cannot be sent here. Yes, that system also works in reverse. Our books can go to their libraries but again that is where parents ned to be with the kids or look at what they bring into their home. Parents need to set the 'standard' for their family not a seperate group of people.
By the way Ginny, I mant to ask you the same question you have asked me. What are the community standards you are seeking? I stated what my standards are. THat being stated above. I am just curious as to what you mean by that?
I apologize if there are more spelling errors than normal. I have had a maor splitting head ache since about 6 tonight.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Moving right along, I did not say I speak for the "entire" community; only the majority. :-)

Please give stats on the data you are using to determine this. A few lines before, you indicate you're not using the petitions as your gauge, but what else could you use to determine the majority agrees with you?

If you are using the petitions, yes, you may have collected a few hundred more than those on the West Bend Parents for Free Speech (oops!, I meant....wait, I did mean Speech!), but all that means is that of the citizens that signed the petitions, you had a slight majority. That does not mean you have the majority of the community agreeing with your "standards." Same with letters to the editor, number of members of the groups, etc.

Again, give the majority of the people that are commenting on your blog posts what they are asking for; an explanation of your idea of the community standards and the criteria you are using to back up the idea that the majority of the community agrees with you.

I've also got a suggestion for a name change, since you had such fun with my group's name.....WBCFSL = West Bend Citizens For the Suspension of Liberties.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Maria,

I've lived here all my life. I have networked with hundreds of people. I KNOW my community. Just like aldermen know their constituents, people who network within their community for many, many years KNOW their community. Have you lived here nearly 50 years? Can you personally say you have this experience?

Your little parody of my comments was cute, but it's missing something... Tizzy? Can you whip up another comment about "rational discourse." Or perhaps our fearful Anonymous friend and faithful flamer or CWBC could question your maturity....

No, guess not. Those comments are only reserved for me to avoid the blog topic.

Paige said...

"Just like aldermen know their constituents..."

Or, maybe, just like librarians know their patron base?

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

If you KNOW your community so well, why didn't someone raise an issue with these books long ago? if you KNOW your community so well, why aren't there tens of thousands of people rallying in support of your viewpoint? If you KNOW your community so well, why does it seem you are always fighting an uphill battle with the issues you decide to take on? Seems you might not KNOW those 30,000+ people served by the WB library as well as you believe.

Maria Hanrahan said...

Ginny,

Your logic is interesting. You say you've networked with hundreds of people in your 50 years here. So have I in my less than a decade here. Still, I would not presume that those hundreds, perhaps thousands, of connections spoke for the tens of thousands we have residing in the city of West Bend. Unless you have about 15,000+ supporters in your corner, you are not representing the majority.

From what you say above, you are basing your idea on your feelings and beliefs about how others in the community feel, based on your experiences here, rather than on any raw data or hard facts. Let me suggest to you that many of the people you KNOW in this community are against your efforts. People that may have supported you in other ways and in other efforts aren't necessarily with you on this topic. I would imagine that people that you KNOW well and think of as friends or that live in your neighborhood are against the changes you want at the library.

And I KNOW that I did take the opportunity to be a little snarky with my name comment. But your group is trying to suspend the liberties granted to others, by suggesting that parents no longer have the right to decide, on an individual basis, what is or isn't appropriate reading material for their kids. Your policy/system would take that right away from parents. So I KNOW that my comment has some basis in fact and is an intelligent quip.

Do you honestly think you can say the same?

Rolf said...

Hey, folks,
There was no trash talking of West Bend at the conference. There were a lot of of facts and statistics. Like, circulation up by 5.7%, over 1300 new library card holders, and childrens summer reading program breaking all previous records. That says an awful lot about what the community thinks. There are about 59000 library card holders in the county-- so a majority of them would be closer to 30000 than 15000.
But, you know what? The First Amendment is not particularly democratic. (with a small "d") We don't put these rights up to any majority vote. If a majority of people decided that the country should adopt Jehovah's Witness as the state religion, it still would never happen. The First Amendment creates LIMITS on what the government-- and in those same respects-- what the majority can do. These freedoms are not owned by the governemnt or by any group, they are owned by each and every individual and no group or government can take it away from the. Ginny, if you want to have some clout in this area, why don't you start a movement to repeal the First Amendment? It sounds like what you really want to do
And let's go to one other basic issue. And that is your use of abusive, intemperant, and extreme language. You claim you don't want any books removed. You say that you are not a book banner or book censor. Then why do you and your sycophants use terms like obscenity, child porn, materials harmful to children, smut, filth, and porn shop? Where would you have the smut moved to? Next to the obscenity or next to the child porn? How would you like books marked? As filth or as just plain smut? If you were sincere in your aims you would try to be reasonable.
If you were a reasonable person actually looking for rational discourse and dialogue you would use a language conducive to that purpose. You wouldn't use language that is emotional, inflammatory and downright abusive. I don't believe that you have any desire to reach an end to this controversy. You are too enamored of your own power, celebrity status, and hunger for the limelight. You are committing the sins of pride and arrogance. But you just have to look at this recent post. The comments are running against you. Your regulars are weak and tired. You are running out of steam. You'll soon be finished whether you want to or not.
But then again, there is still politics. Why don't we ask all of our city council members if they have library cards? If they don't-- then why not? If they do-- do they use them. I'd hate to think of our Common Council as a bunch of know-nothing ignoramus's, but there is a good chance that they are. Let's start caring about and talking up our own city and our library. It's a good city and a good library.

PsiCop said...

Rolf (@7/16/09 8:05pm) is absolutely correct. Matters of constitutionality cannot be put up for a vote. They also cannot be thrown away because of petition signatures ... no matter how many are collected.

Men like Thomas Jefferson feared "the tyranny of the majority." They had every reason to do so. They structured the country in such a way as to prevent it.

And no amount of sanctimonious outrage on your part can change that.

Anonymous said...

"How do you know you speak for the entire community? All I'm seeing is your opinion,"

Let the community speak and then you will know.

"(And don't give me the BS appeal to "common sense","

Common sense is B.S.? Maybe the common sense needs to start in West Bend.

"if you've got a 'majority' of the community behind you, why is it just you and Dan retorting to the comments"

...because I've been on vacation or busy.

"But that being said, you did have your say. And it was dealt with openly. And you lost."

If you believe in something with a passion, you don't let it die. If that were the case this country wouldn't have been founded.

"She does pay taxes that do go towards the library but she pays them to the county, not through the city."

Doesn't the county give money to the city? So she is paying taxes that support the library.

"by suggesting that parents no longer have the right to decide, on an individual basis, what is or isn't appropriate reading material for their kids."

Let's give the power back to the community, like it is suppose to be and let them decide, instead of letting the library decide for us. Let the community decide what is obscene.

"why don't you start a movement to repeal the First Amendment? "

Because the library itself states that what is obscene shall be detirmined by the community. So let the community decide.

"How would you like books marked?"

I've heard this said before and I agree. I would like the parents to reconsent to their own children reading these books. A sticker would be placed on their card if the parent granted permission to read such materials.

"Your regulars are weak and tired. You are running out of steam. "

Or are we just busy working, raising our families instead. Perhaps we are working on our next step.

Anonymous said...

Are you for real? You and your town need something better to do with your lives. You think your kids can't just flip on the TV at any time of day, go online or use their mobile phone and see much worse.

You should be happy the kids are reading at all! Try focusing all this energy on something that will really make a difference in your community.