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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Timeline Outlines Hijacking of West Bend Library

Publication: West Bend Daily News;Date: Aug 19, 2010;Section: Opinion;Page: A6


Timeline outlines hijacking of library

    Over one year past the efforts of West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries to work with the West Bend Library, Young Adult librarian Kristin Pekoll, and Director Michael Tyree, let’s re-visit the outcome: Children are exposed to sexually explicit materials in the young adult section of West Bend’s Community Memorial Library, and this won’t be changing any time soon.

    During last year’s battle with our Library Board and the American Library Association (ALA), more than 1,500 citizens had voiced their concerns, requesting easy identification of such materials and appropriate placement in the adult section of our library; a request was made to place porn filtering software on our public computers. This common sense approach to assisting parents was rejected; these requests were met with a resounding “no.”

    Our library board caved to the pressures of a national organization instead of meeting the requests of the community they serve. The ALA went on to use West Bend as an example of its power over the people with a special invitation to our librarians and board members to share this victory at an annual conference.

    In what appears to be a continued assertion of authority, the ALA gave $1,000 to Maria Hanrahan, founder of West Bend Parents for Free Speech, to help in the “fight.” What, in my opinion, appeared to be a bribe could very well be what sealed the deal and motivated others to gravitate toward the ALA.

    Those who value our library, contribute to, support and regularly use the library should ponder this quote from a California group opposing Proposition 81 in 2006: “The values espoused by the American Library Association are so divorced from the values of our community that we would seriously consider ... going back to the days of a city library under local control, rather than giving one thin dime to an institution controlled by an organization that believes in ‘all materials for all patrons regardless of age.’”

    West Bend would do well to take heed of the above verbiage and consider what has become of our fine library under the auspices of the ALA.

    West Bend parents/taxpayers should take the time to educate themselves on what took place behind the scenes during the controversy by visiting https://westbend.pbworks.com. This same timeline is also entered into the archives at the Wisconsin Historical Library and is an extensive effort that has taken over a year to build. It is filled with numerous emails and other forms of communication that have never been seen publicly, which will reveal the efforts of our library board members and librarians to raise their fist at the parents of West Bend. The correspondence on this timeline includes conversations from city leadership such as Mayor Deiss, attorney Mary Schanning, attorney Warren Kraft, Nick Dobberstein, Barb Deters and more.

    Most importantly, this timeline will also confirm the covert involvement of national organizations to oppress small communities, undermine community standards and push the liberal agenda of the American Library Association.

    If you didn’t believe it before, you’ll believe it now. West Bend’s public library has been hijacked. It is no longer a safe place for your children. Families beware. Take action to protect your children and the conservative values of the city you call home.

    (Ginny Maziarka is a local blogger, town of West Bend resident and president of Eagle Forum of WI/Washington County, formerly West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries.) 

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