For Saturday morning West Bend News coverage, click HERE.
Dear Mr. Tyree,
We received your email with your requests to begin the complaint process over again as well as your cancellation of next week's board meeting on the 26th.
Let us reiterate:
To date, this is what we have done:
1. We sent an original letter outlining our concerns about the homosexual materials in the library as well as on the website.
2. You could not accept our letter as a complaint unless we filled out the "official form", so we complied and resubmitted the letter with the form. Keep in mind, we did not reiterate every point on the form as it was not possible. The letter with the complaint form should have sufficed.
3. We complied with Step 1 of the complaint procedure, meeting with the Young Adult librarian, Kristin Pekoll. We went over our complaints and brought along additional books that contained not only homosexual porn, but heterosexual porn. We explained that we additionally had issues with the list of books containing sexually graphic and pornographic. Attached is a copy of the minutes of our meeting with this librarian. Following that meeting, we were invited to move on to Step 2 off the complaint process.
4. We complied with Step 2 and met with yourself. We went over the same issues again with you. You explained to us that, while you understood our concerns, you could not really move the sexually explicit books to the adult section (as sexually explicit was our opinion and librarians do not have opinions). You also stated that you would not set the books in a separate section as no other library practiced that; therefore, you were not interested in that procedure, either. As for balance, we were of the understanding that you were presently looking into some books that we had suggested, but could not make promises. At the conclusion of that meeting, you told us that the next step would be to meet with the library board.
5. You obviously clearly understood our requests. Since that time, we sent an "addendum" that included other sexually explicit books to add to the original list we provided to you. We did not feel this "altered" our request, since it was the same issue, just more books.
6. We never withdrew our request. We do not consider our request withdrawn simply because the City Attorney feels we "omitted" something on it, only to start the process over again in a rather ridiculous manner, book for book.
7. We complied with Step 3 of the process and met with the board, only to have the meeting cancelled because of a very large turnout and a room that was beyond capacity.
We would like to clarify that our original request stands. We made them clear in the letter and email communications, as well as the required library complaint form. The purposes of meeting with library staff were to engage in dialogue, which we did, and we were asked to clarify our position from time to time as we went through the process. To date, all of our issues have been addressed by your staff. Based on your responses to our meetings, there is no reason for us to believe that going through more staff meetings a second time would yield any different response from the staff. There is no point in breaking up the request into sub requests and starting all over.
We have been through this process once now and we have not withdrawn anything. All we have done is respond to your requests for clarification and more specifics, which we have done carefully and thoroughly.
We insist on our appeal rights as we feel your withdrawal of our complaint is in gross error. We wish to proceed with the staff decisions that have already been fully discussed.
03/21/2009 TODAY'S COVERAGE in WB News:
In their responding e-mail Friday morning, the Maziarkas called Tyree’s decision “the library board’s attempts to unilaterally withdraw our appeal without our permission and duck the issue that has now garnered much public attention so as to maneuver the issue out of the public eye and scrutiny with delay and the use of more private meetings with staff.”
“They know what is in these books and they know they will be shamed by any public airing of it,” Ginny Maziarka wrote to the Daily News. “We would like to clarify that our original request stands,” the Maziarkas wrote to Tyree.