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

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Random book banning thoughts and more...

From Illinois Family Institute

1) Book banning in the library is a myth and not at the door of school or public libraries. Banning begins at the door of the publishers. Publishers decide what will be printed and circulated on their publishers' book lists. Librarians simply buy what they want from the list. Since no library is exactly the same as another, all that occurs in any library is the choice in selection. Hence, censorship is a myth as the issue at hand is book selection and not banning.

2) When taxpayers' money is spent for library books/materials, taxpayers expect the best to be bought... They do not expect money to be spent on porn-laden reading material. Common decency demands such, as it is innate to all human beings.

3) Despite what is claimed, libraries do stand in "loco parentis " as do all other public entities serving children. We certainly expect the local park to take care of minors and watch out for them. To do otherwise is to neglect their duty to the taxpaying citizen. Staff is on hand to protect children from injury and assault, and not just let them play .

4)The public library has the same responsiblity to protect children from assault -- only in this case it is the assault of their mind as with porn-laden books like "Deal With It" or "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." When the state gives out driver's licenses, they have an obligation to protect us all on our streets and roads. The same is true with a child's library card, The library has an obligation to "Do No Harm" to young minds and emotions as they move around the library using their card as the right of passage to do so.

5) The issue in public libraries is not about parent rights. This pits one parent against another. The issue on hand is rather this important question: Is it right to sexualize children 11-12-13-14 years of age or younger and have taxpayer dollars subsidizing it?


Call Me Mom said...

Excellent post Ginny. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Kathleen said...

I have to disagree with #3 and 4. As far as I know, schools are the only things that serve in loco parentis. Not libraries, not parks, not churches, not shopping malls, not museums, not movie theaters, not city hall. Of course adults would help a child in distress in any of those places, but they are not held liable for everyone's personal safety. Libraries are repositories for ideas, not all of which are agreeable to all or suitable for all ages.

Furthermore, there is a vast difference in maturity, experience, and reading ability between the ages of 12 and 17. Plenty of 14-15 year olds read weighty classics such as War and Peace, and also pulpy romance, sci-fi, and general fiction from the adult area of the library, so would those books need warning labels too?

SafeLibraries® said...


I believe in loco parentis in libraries disappeared as a direct result of the ALA's unilateral action, again showing how local communities including West Bend are under the ALA thumb:

"The ALA then moved to deny that librarians, who had been acting in loco parentis for children in the library for quite 100 years, any longer had that right."

Here's more from the same source:

But in the library's case, we are confronted with the strange spectacle of established authority rejecting its own responsibility to children and their parents.

Article 5 of the Library Bill of Rights does not actually mention in loco parentis, but the Intellectual Freedom Manual lays down the new rules.30 Many libraries, used to a tradition of local control, continued separate card files for children and continued to act as authority figures responsible to the community. In response, the Office of Intellectual Freedom drafted an "Interpretation of Free Access to Minors" and sent it to librarians all across the country. (It was this statement that cut off the partnership between parents and librarians and caused what parents see as a betrayal of their trust.)

The Statement labels as "unprofessional," any librarians who continue to notify or act for the parents. Librarians who do not follow the ALA line are accused of being "in violation of Article 5 of the Library Bill of Rights."31 I asked Ms. Krug if librarians were legally bound to follow the Statement of Interpretation. "no," she said. "It's a philosophical statement. But 55,000 librarians adhere to it."32

Anonymous said...

There are also plenty of young children who are good readers and read up. These very kids could be reading these books with sexual explict content. That does concern me.

Jitterbits said...

"We certainly expect the local park to take care of minors and watch out for them. To do otherwise is to neglect their duty to the taxpaying citizen. Staff is on hand to protect children from injury and assault, and not just let them play ."

Do you mean the staff at the library, because I've never heard of a public park being "staffed".

And dag nabbit, why is this even an issue. It is a parents responsiblilty to determine what is appropriate for a child. Not the governments, not Hollywood, not publishers and not libraries.

I read a comment about this on another blog that states "So you can basically “STEER” what will get checked out. So if these books are placed in eyesight of young people, they will get checked out. THat is what you are saying, right? Just like if you chose instead to put Pride and Prejudice in an accesible spot or Huck Finn or Shakespeare.

I've studied Shakespeare extensively, and I can certainly tell you that the material he discusses would probably not be deemed appropriate for children if it was written in a language the everyday modern American could understand.

So here's to Shakespeare. Our greatest and smuttiest author.