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

Friday, July 3, 2009

West Bend Librarians/ Board Members reach for celebrity status among peers

Here's the latest gossip.


Publication:APD - West Bend Daily News;
Date:Jul 3, 2009;


The fight over which books should be allowed in the young adult category of the West Bend library will be the subject of a panel discussion during the nation’s largest gathering of librarians this month in Chicago.



West Bend Community Memorial Library Director Michael Tyree, Young Adult Librarian Kristin Pekoll, Library Board Chairman Barbara Deters, former library Board trustee Mary Reilly-Kliss and community organizer Maria Hanrahan, who started West Bend Parents for Free Speech, will conduct a panel discussion about the West Bend book controversy Monday, July 13, during the seven-day American Library Association (ALA) annual conference.

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So, West Bend, how do you feel about the librarians that you pay to represent you appearing as "special guests" to speak about how they shut you down? Use West Bend as their example of how others can follow suit and bow to the ALA's policies instead of community standards? Reduce a community to nothing more than a "yes man" to the ALA? Not only do your tax dollars pay the salaries of these librarians, they pay for them to work against your values as a community. Apparently, they are proud of it, too.

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No city money is being used to pay for the locals to participate in the ALA conference, Tyree said. Their expenses are being covered by the organization. “It’s a two-hour discussion,” Tyree said, “We’re a new addition to the ALA schedule.” “I’m definitely excited to participate,” said Pekoll, a seven-year veteran of the West Bend library. “I’ve never had an opportunity to go to ALA before.”

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I was hoping to receive a thank you note from Pekoll for helping her along to her first ALA conference. It's the very least she could do since she would not have achieved this attention had WBCFSL not brought it to the attention of the community.

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The panel discussion is sponsored by the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF), Intellectual Freedom Committee and the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Yes, we know them well. They are the organization that came in and trumped parent/taxpayer wishes. For some reason, the ALA/OIF seems to think they know West Bend better than it's citizens do. We shouldn't be surprised, I guess, since this is their common practice.

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“Meet the librarians and community members who are fighting to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wis.,” is how the June 30 ALA news release announcing the panel discussion describes the event.

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As opposed to WBCFSL, who is fighting to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wis. Since we agree, we think we should be able to attend, as well! We can explain why our only difference is that we would like the books appropriately placed according to community standards, and that parents really DO care what how their library represents them, and expects them to follow through, as well.



Pekoll said the library is putting together a PowerPoint presentation that includes some graphics, pictures of the library and city and clips from the June 2 Library Board meeting that included more than two hours of public comment about the YA books.

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Wow. I hope that isn't being done on taxpayer time. We will be asking that this same PowerPoint presentation be made available to the citizens of West Bend. After all, we want to know how we are being represented to the nation!

17 comments:

Amanda said...

As always, your primary fallacy here is suggesting that you represent West Bend in its entirety, rather than some (relatively small) portion of it. 2,000 signatures does not a mandate make - not in a city of 30,000. You are not the only taxpayers - those West Bend residents who've commented on here or started blogs that oppose you pay taxes too. That's what makes this so ridiculous, you see. The WB library didn't "shut down" the city of West Bend - it shut you down. That's not the same thing.

And I would be very surprised if the librarians were not going to ALA on "taxpayer time". Attending the conference is professional development - teachers get paid for in-service days, and librarians get paid to attend conferences. You have an awful lot of disdain for the fact that being a librarian is a real profession with educational requirements and a code of ethics - and, believe it or not, professional conferences.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Amanda,

Perhaps you misunderstand me. My question about compensation was directed towards the creation of the power point.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

By the way, I know exactly how they are being compensated for the conference.

Tom H. said...

Glad to hear they're going to be presenting at ALA. And as for the expense behind the Powerpoints, it is perfectly OK to be doing that on work time. How much of their valuable time has already been spent on this needless exercise in protecting access to their collection already? Of course they should summarize what happened and do it as part of their activities as professionals. That's part of what professionals do. Even though they've been invited to present, I'd have absolutely no problem with tax support for their attendance and participation in the ALA conference. More power to them. Thank goodness they are willing to stand for freedom of access to all kinds of materials by all kinds of users, including young people!

Kristina said...

WOW again.. Another ill informed post. You are fighting to keep books on the shelves? Hmmm. Really you know EXACTLY how they are being compensated? Interesting.
You speak for your group and as an add in to Amanda: the author of this blog, Ginny Maziarka IS NOT A WEST BEND RESIDENT. She lived in the township. Not the city.
Your memory is selective. Perhaps you should review your own video footage for your own quotes.
Your point here is mute. But keep trying as I am sure you will. Why don't you drive to Chi-town and ask to be let in the conference? However, if you do take the complaint your filed with you. ot the one your lied to the news about re-filing in April, because of course we all know you didn't.
As far as celebrity status, you thrust them there. Your constant media blitzing.
So again,your point here is mute, but I am sure tha won't stop you.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

That would be "moot", Kristina, not "mute."

SafeLibraries said...

"As far as celebrity status, you thrust them there. Your constant media blitzing."

I don't think so. I think the book burning request by the CCLU is what made this story international, etc.

"[P]rofessional conferences."

Professional conferences I attend present ideas in a balanced fashion. Hearing from only one side of the story is not balanced.

And it's especially egregious where the so-called "Office for Intellectual Freedom" is hosting the unbalanced event.

SafeLibraries said...

"Meet the librarians and community members who are fighting to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wis...."

Ginny is not seeking the removal of materials from the shelves. The CCLU is. Perhaps the conference is about the CCLU and not WISSUP.

"Pekoll said the library is putting together a PowerPoint presentation that includes some graphics, pictures of the library and city and clips from the June 2 Library Board meeting that included more than two hours of public comment about the YA books."

Pekoll, please consider creating your presentation in HTML format instead of PPT format.

Also, please note that what Deborah Caldwell-Stone said about me was false and misleading. Please allow me, or others similar maligned, to have a statement included as part of your presentation.

The ALA's OIF may be unbalanced, but you do not have to follow that example. And now that you are put on notice, it would be especially bad to be one-sided.

Concerned West Bend Citizen said...

Ginny said: "That would be "moot", Kristina, not "mute.""

Ginny, perhaps you should take the advice of your friend, SafeLibraries, who said on this very blog, paraphrasing, "Respond to the issues, please [not the grammar]".

Kristina said...

"That would be "moot", Kristina, not "mute."
Ok point taken, but is that all you have to my comment? Again not answering up for you own comments to the press.

SafeLibraries said...
"As far as celebrity status, you thrust them there. Your constant media blitzing."

Ginny has been great at contacting the media about all the little things. She is the one who has repeatedly stuck her foot in her mouth with her own statements. You can see them here. justmythoughts-kristina.blogspot.com
She has yet to answer my questions. That is all I am saying.

SafeLibraries said...

Kristina, I didn't say that. You did.

Anonymous said...

Who cares it's librarians supporting librarians (yawn). If they do anything on the tax payer dole...we will find out. Or should I say Mark Belling will find out.

Kristina said...

SAFELIBRARIES SAID "Ginny is not seeking the removal of materials from the shelves. The CCLU is. Perhaps the conference is about the CCLU and not WISSUP."

While the CCLU has nopt helped Ginny in her fight, she has in fact asked for certain books to be removed from the shelves. That is the language in her ONE AND ONLY complaint she filed withthe library. I understand her complaint has evolved, however, the library by law can only hear the complaint filed in writing with them. Her ORIGINAL and ONLY written complaint which she also read allowed on several TV news casts stated she wanted 2 books Geography club, and Perks removed from the library. Hat was only part of it. So as far as her later stating that the media got it all wrong and was ill informed, she is actualy the one who told them that. If it direct quotes you are seeking they can be found on my blog. No paraphrasing, all out of her mouth. As well as her talling channel 12 she actually has refiled her complaint in April. Tha was said the night of her Silverbrook meeting.
So Ginny did a fine job all by herself of stirring this pot. The CCLU jump on board after the broadcast on VCY. It was at that point they saw an opening and jumped in. She is the one who kick started the CCLU.
I just am frustrated because of the repeated use of the word NEVER by Ginny She has NEVER asked for the removal of any books? WHAT? Lie.
If she wants to be heard clearly than she will have to in fact for real refile against certain titles like she was told she could. She cannot just talk on blogs and to the media and continue to change her list of requests.
The golden rule is put everything in writing. She has only done that once. It would be her chance to clarify exactly what se is asking and not have it continued to be debated in public on blogs, TV, or newspaper.
It really is a very simple solution but instead the same argument goes one on many blogs about the samething over and over again. She could put an end to it and follow what they told her she could do. Instead she keeps feeding the fire.
And Dan, to answer a question from a wile back if one of the reasons I did stay quiet after my complaint against Vrana was because of what happened with Ginny, not TO her, but because she kept talking about it, I wil answer a resounding yes. Not all of the reason, but part of it.
I kept quiet let it fade, and it did. There was no chatter when the date of the hearing was released and only 1 person from the community that was not the ethics committee, myself, city attorney, etc. were there. The paper and I think the radio station. That was it. It all went by quietly and frankly very professionally. I than addressed it on my blog as you know before the media had a chance to print it.
I still am amazed you found it less than an hour after I posted it. If Ginny were to handle this that way or at least in a similar fashion, file the new complaint, make 1 public statement about it and them stay quiet even if others are talking or whatever about her or the issue let it go and wait until the resolution it may have turned out better for her.
It was not easy to read all the stuff written about me on the blogs, but you do what you have to do to get a resolution. As you are aware with this technology info gets passed so quickly and things can get twisted and distored easily. If you don't feed it it tends to die down some.
Ah well....

SafeLibraries said...

Kristina said, "If Ginny were to handle this that way or at least in a similar fashion, file the new complaint, make 1 public statement about it and them stay quiet even if others are talking or whatever about her or the issue let it go and wait until the resolution it may have turned out better for her."

Ginny, looks like good advice to me.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

You bet!

Tom H. said...

The original request was for the removal of the books listed on the GLBT YA website, wasn't it? Is it true that there have been no specific requests since then? If not, then the official request is the only one and the intermediary statements don't really count as formal requests.

About whether GM or the CCLU brought all of this into the national spotlight: the challenge and related coup d'etat against the library board were certainly in the national press before the CCLU got involved, but of course they brought even more attention because of how extreme there suit was (is?). Either taken separately is ridiculous and deserves to be highlighted at the national level in the press and in professional circles. I am sad and embarrassed for it to be West Bend's fine Public Library that gets this negative publicity because of the opinions of some religious extremists who want everything to be their way. There are plenty of progressive citizens in West Bend who think it is unfortunate that our town is being ridiculed far and wide. I hope the press is made aware that the town has a varied population and do not share the views of GM or SafeLibraries. And because we are so varied, we should keep all the materials in the library where they logically go, including the GLBT materials written for young adults in a section accessible to young adults.

Kristina said...

Tom H. said...
The original request was for the removal of the books listed on the GLBT YA website, wasn't it? Is it true that there have been no specific requests since then? If not, then the official request is the only one and the intermediary statements don't really count as formal requests.

Tom,
That is correct. There has only been one formal written complaint filed. The original according to her media statement called for removing of 2 specific books Geography Club, and Perks Of Being A Wallflower. She also requested the other books in that section be reshelved in the adult section and the link to the LBGT books on the libraries web page be taken down.
A few weeks after that she was still saying the samething but had added she wanted balance brought to the collection. Weeks after that when her complaint came under major fire she changed it to she was not asking for the removal of any books but reclassifying them and balance bring brought to it. It morphed from there into not wanting removal but reclassification to adult section and a change in library policy.
However, the ONLY complaint ever formally filed was removal of 2 books, and reclassification of the rest.
Tom if you want to know her exact words and evelution of them you can check out my blog. I have all her quotes to the TV posted there. Just click on my name in blue. It will take you there. It should be like the second one maybe 3rd down from the top.
There you will find how she changed her complaint. The only ones I do not have up yet are the ones she has made to VCY. I have not had time yet but it is on my to do list. I have them saved on my DVR.
I hope that answered your questions Tom.