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There are a few issues that are innately important to me. Some of them are so important that I proselytize. One of them freaks me out and I just start ranting:

Librarians getting fired because they think freedom of speech is important is dead center in my freakout zone.

Artists getting banned for outlandish statements. Punishing people for talking about sex in ways that sound wrong. Oh, thought police, no.

Here's what I just posted elsewhere when [ profile] snurri talked about how four members of the library board in West Bend, Wisconsin got booted:

<<Wow. One is a middle-of-the-road guide to teen girls' health that must have a passage about lesbianism or masturbation, one is often required summer reading for students in Massachusetts, and I remember hearing about Geography Club but I forget why. I just wrote a little rant in my f-list about this, but what freaks me out is how freedom of speech, by it's very nature, only applies to books a person hates. You want to ban it? You can't. It's freedom of speech. I want to ban it? I can't. It's freedom of speech. Even the most repressive regimes in history have been in favor of speech they liked. How come I live in a world where Ferlinghetti won this one once and for all and other people don't? How come whenever I hear something that offends me to the core, I think, "Awesome. Celine Dion isn't my bag, but I think people have the right to listen to her...">>

I want libraries open. I need books. And I could care less what other people read.

Some people want libraries to be like this:


Above hours valid from:
Valid From August 21 until Further Notice

Holidays Closed:
All legal holidays


[I yanked this table off of a library in Lexington's website where they accidentally list hours for a building that had a serious water leak. But the library got a new building. It is open. I just talked to their reference desk and the librarian rocked.]

Date: 2009-04-29 05:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ug. Yeah, this far more sinister than the puff-bit of knuckle-headed principal forces book on coworkers story.

Date: 2009-04-29 05:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I read your post first, then I got a bit wackier as my thoughts kept a-ramblin'...

Date: 2009-04-29 06:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, FWIW, this isn't about firing librarians, and if you follow the story back by searching, this is just the latest round in an ongoing battle.

The mayor just faced a revolt by conservative aldermen, who made her library board picks subject to their approval. Nobody's been booted, really, terms just haven't been renewed. If I read it right, these refusals are retaliatory and about this particular fight, over these books. Now the mayor has to make new appointments, and submit them to the aldermen for approval, and...

...this should all be going to court sometime soon, I'd think. If not sooner, it'll probably land there if this ever gets anywhere near firing librarians.

Date: 2009-04-30 01:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, it's true that I launched into a rant. Obviously, it's one of the topics I'm wacky on and thoughts that had been in my head for a few days popped out without caring how well-grounded I was. I read two links without following, but the word "dismissed" was used so I just ran with it. Thanks for the better intel.

Date: 2009-04-29 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Coincidentally, I grew up going to the Lexington public library system. I moved away when I was nine, but when I spent a summer there at age 19, they still had me in the circulation system.

If I've learned one thing from the internet, it's the whole "interpret censorship as a bug, and route around it" thing. Actually, that goes double: as town libraries become regional systems, and systems link up statewide (go go gadget university library resources for free!), censorship of print books has gotten a lot more difficult to do subtly, so we hear about cases when they do happen. And even when a book is too scary scary to check it out of a library, chances aren't half bad that parts of it'll be on Google Books, or pirated someplace online.

Date: 2009-04-30 03:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Librarians getting fired because they think freedom of speech is important is dead center in my freakout zone.


How come whenever I hear something that offends me to the core, I think, "Awesome. Celine Dion isn't my bag, but I think people have the right to listen to her..."

Double-Agree. And with that it proves you are an evolved human. May we beat out the other genetics!~

Crazy West Bend.

Date: 2009-05-07 04:12 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Hi everyone,

Just following my little town's latest tempest around the web and landed here. The entire business is being whipped up by a handful of zealots... but those of us here on the barricade appreciate your support. :^) It gets more and more surreal with every day.

Thanks again!




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