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

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kewaskum Trustee "shocked" with West Bend Library Director

Received this email/blog comment today from Kevin Scheunemann, owner of Kewaskum DQ and Village of Kewaskum Trustee.

_______________________________________________________

As a Village Trustee in Kewaskum who asked for a courtesy copy of the open records West Bend for Safe Libraries requested, I am very proud of two things in Kewaskum Village government:

1.) Our village staff immediately worked diligently on complying with the Wisconsin Open Records Law on this request!Unlike West Bend, there was never a talk of lawyers, or the need to hire a lawyer to stall or block open records of this nature. I find West Bend's position of stalling and delaying release of open records unacceptable. This is NOT good government.This is a clear sign West Bend is ashamed of its mature material labeling and locating policies in its library.

2.) After reviewing the open records produced in the Village of Kewaskum I am very proud of our Librarian! He treats constituents and library patrons with courtesy and respect. By comparison, in the Kewaskum open records request, emails from the West Bend librarian are rude, discourteous, and demean the very public constituents the director is supposed to serve! I WAS ABSOLUTELY SHOCKED BY THE WEST BEND LIBRARIAN COMMENTS! If any member of village government staff acted this way toward constituents, I would push to have that person removed.

The Library Director's behavior in West Bend fails the most basic standards of public service.

West Bend's problem is lack of good government and city officials willing to tolerate bad government. Clean, honest, and open government is essential. I wish and hope West Bend would start down that path.

Kevin Scheunemann
Kewaskum Village Trustee
______________________________________________________________

I will agree that my interaction with the Village of Kewaskum was pleasant and respectful. All was in order and turned over in a timely fashion by personnel that ensured they were doing their best to fulfill our request.

I met with Steev Baker and found him to be honest, personable, a good listener, a proud dad (smile!), extremely likeable, and cares very much for the community he serves. He is not afraid to do what he feels meets the needs of the Kewaskum taxpayers, patrons and children, regardless of the fiasco our West Bend Library put taxpayers through when parents asked for this same courtesy. Baker recognizes that even though the Kewaskum Library is part of the SHARE library system, he is under no obligation to bow to the American Library Association and its' persistent misleading harangue concerning censorship. He also recognizes that the ALA does nothing for the public library financially or legally; therefore, no loss here. His top priority is to serve his patrons according to their community standards. What a novel idea.

The fact that our mayor rejected our request from the very onset of the library issue to openly dialogue with the city attorney on our behalf is evidence we need CHANGE (not the Obama kind) in West Bend.

Methinks change is a-comin'........

Thanks for the honest commentary, Kevin.

10 comments:

Local_MLIS_Student said...

"[Baker] is under no obligation to bow to the American Library Association and its' persistent misleading harangue concerning censorship. He also recognizes that the ALA does nothing for the public library financially or legally"

Right. As I've tried to correct you numerous times on this blog (with no response), the ALA has no direct influence whatsoever regarding the daily operation of local public libraries. They are merely a professional organization for librarians.

So, none of this should be a surprise to you. Further, it is wrong to say that the ALA is somehow directly involved in the management or decisions at the West Bend Library. Nothing further could be from the truth.

Maria Hanrahan said...

I met with Steev Baker and found him to be honest, personable, a good listener, a proud dad (smile!), extremely likeable, and cares very much for the community he serves. He is not afraid to do what he feels meets the needs of the Kewaskum taxpayers, patrons and children

Insert "Michael Tyree" for Steev Baker and "West Bend" for Kewaskum and the same applies. (Never met Steev in person, but he strikes me as an impressive guy, too.)

regardless of the fiasco our West Bend Library put taxpayers through

The "fiasco" was started and fueled by you, and putting blame on the library for defending the right for its patrons enjoy intellectual freedom and the freedom to read what they choose is appalling.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

No, Maria, I will not insert Michael Tyree's name there. Michael Tyree was professional and respectful. He did not go to greath lengths, as Steev did, to explain his personal philosophy concerning librarianship nor did he offer to take it to another level and give insightful information concerning the SHARE library system, etc. Tyree, in fact, could use some customer/patron service classes from Baker.

Appalled? Really? So are we. If our librarians had been open to "listening" and "dialoguing" from the start, the FIASCO would most likely have been avoided. Instead, games were played and parents were ignored. I could go on, but it is so redundant to other posts on this blog. Just help yourself. The evidence is there. Have a nice holiday weekend!

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

MLIS: You are so far off base on this one. Can you explain why Deborah Caldwell-Stone came racing in to the rescue then? Why she spent a month scheming, planning and working on power point presentations and the like with our librarians? Oh yes, the ALA was VERY involved, if not in CONTROL. Puppetmaster, in fact.

Maria Hanrahan said...

I disagree with you that parents were ignored. Library staff members met with you to discuss your concerns on two separate occasions. The library board scheduled a public meeting to address the issue and gave all interested parties the chance to speak. The library board did not vote the way you wanted, but that does not equate to "ignoring" your complaint or concerns.

Your statement implies that if the library board had changed things (moved books, etc.) to your liking, that it would have been ok, even though, by your logic, they would have "ignored" the constitution and the parents that asked to protect the library from censorship and remain the ones that decide which books are and are not appropriate for their kids.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

Try as you might, Maria, you remain incorrect. Pekoll was unwilling to discuss our concerns. Tyree refused work with our concerns despite our openness to suggestions or dialogue. We were promised (after the first library board meeting was postponed) personally by both Michael Tyree and, then president, Katherine Engelbrecht, we would have an opportunity to explain or position and concerns without time constraints. Obviously, if the board were REALLY interested in what we had to say and REALLY were open to serving parents and taxpayers/patrons in the community, they would have made sure that we were given what was promised. That promise was broken. This never happened. We were given the same funky two minutes as all others at a meeting that was in the works for a month. We were not informed of the meeting. We were not included in any kind of way other than the usual media communication. This was not a third step for us. This was NOTHING. This was a denial of the West Bend Library Board to serve it's citizens according to it's own policy. It is SHAMEFUL.

Maria, you continue this merry-go-round with me and it is tiring. I am not typing that information again. Go back, look at archived posts and read answers to your redundant statements. You keep trying to hold your head above water, but your weakness is causing you to sink.

You are wrong. The library board was wrong. The mayor was wrong.

The City of West Bend Residents are aware, alert, and informed, and they are not finished yet.

Aaron Drews said...

Ginny, you claim to represent "the City of West Bend Residents". I am a resident of West Bend, and I am completely opposed to your viewpoint. Even socially conservative residents are uncomfortable with what you are trying to accomplish. So in actuality you represent a very small percentage of this city's citizens.

Also, I still fail to see why you feel the need to control what some people are allowed to see, and some are not (i.e. censorship). Shouldn't this be at the discretion of the individual, or in the case of a child, that child's parents? You maintain President Obama's administration can be infallibly likened to that of Adolf Hitler. Are you aware that censorship was and is a major part of every communist or authoritarian regime in history?

I assure you that your goal of moving homosexual material to a seperate section of the library will never be accomplished. I will also tell you why. 1.) The action is offensive to both the homosexual community and its supporters. 2.) The library is a PUBLIC institution and its administrators already support intellectual freedom. 3.) You have the support of only a small percentage of people.

I could go on but the point is that you have lost the war. Deny it as much as you like, but the people of this city do not want a new tide of discrimination and harassment against homosexuals to infiltrate their society.

SMITTY1037 said...

Am I correct in saying most (or all) of the smut in contention in the WB library are not in Kewaskum?

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

This would be true, Smitty. It can be obtained through the SHARE Library System, but it is not housed in Kewaskum.

SMITTY1037 said...

Funny. I don't see Maria and her porn-pushers fighting to get these materials INTO these libraries.

My wife knows Steev and thinks a lot of him. I don't want to speak for him, but I wonder if, at some point, he thought to himself, 'I wouldn't read this smut to MY KIDS. Why would I put these into the community library?' Something Maria is incapable of comprehending...

Hat tip to Kevin too. I have had issues in the past and sent emails to Ktown board members. Kevin is consistently the only one to respond...