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

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

ACLU - We are not afraid

West Bend News today.

The Milwaukee chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says that when the West Bend Community Memorial Library Board takes up the complaint filed over gaythemed books in the library’s young adult collection, it should follow young adult policies that ensure materials are accessible, inclusive and appropriate for young readers.

Emilo De Torre, ACLU of Wisconsin youth and programs director, came to West Bend’s City Hall last week to learn more about a formal complaint made by Ginny and Jim Maziarka of West Bend on what they called questionable materials within the library system. The meeting was postponed because the large crowd attending exceeded the room’s capacity and would have resulted in a fire code violation.


A friend of mine lent some info...

According to the ACLU's comments, parents are to protect their children from the library now, and apparently this is what the library recommends to children...

"Kids...stay out of the library!"

Here are some interesting WI Statutes on Crimes Against Children.

948.11 Exposing a child to harmful material or harmful descriptions or narrations ...... (2) Criminal Penalties (a) whoever...loans to a child any harmful material....

948.055 Causing a child to view or listen to sexual activity.... (See post below on the book "Deal With It." ) or http://wissup.blogspot.com/2009/03/west-bend-library-is-this-for-your-kids.html

948.05 Sexual exploitation of a child .... (1m) Whoever ....promotes...distributes, any recording of a child engaging in sexually explicit conduct may be penalized... (p) if the person knows the character and content of the sexually explicit conduct involving the child and if the person knows or....that the child engaging in the sexually explicit conduct has not attained the age of 18 years.

Then, there is this for libraries:

948.11 (4) Libraries and Educational Institutions.... (b) carry out the essential purpose of making available to all citizens a current, balanced collection of books.....that reflect the cultural diversity and pluralistic nature of American society.

We have very specific statutes guarding children with regards to what they see, read and hear concerning sexually explicit material. The library is not above the law.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the info. I'll have to go over it in more detail later. I did hear last night that the meeting was now scheduled for a Wednesday night. Right at the time our churches have Wednesday evening services. My, how convenient for them to schedule that during that time. Let's suppress the religious folk. ;) But the ACLU will be there, no doubt. I'm sure they don't have mid-week church services. I don't see that the library updated that info on their website, so we see if that is indeed true.

West Bend Citizen Advocate said...

They did reschedule for a Wed. night, but we requested a change and they have graciously complied. I'll put out the new date on this blog once it is finalized.

Thx, Carrie!

Call Me Mom said...

I heard about this meeting on WVCY. Keep up the good work Ginny.

SafeLibraries® said...

Regarding "Deal With It," the book was listed on the ALA's "Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 2001 Top 10."

Likely as a result, a librarian bought the book for hundreds of New York City public schools. When parents found out, the books were removed:

City's Ed. Boobs, by Carl Campanile, NY Post, 13 October 2003.

"Embarrassed [New York City] Department of Education officials yanked an eye-popping book from 371 middle and high schools because it contains sexually graphic material - including crude street language - that somehow landed on the recommended reading list for students." "[T]he sexual primer was mistakenly put on the list of suggested classroom library books and was delivered to schools." "Parents were outraged."