Libraries Fight Challenges to Graphic Novels


At the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, a librarian from Jessamine County, Kentucky, spoke firsthand about dealing with calls for censorship in his library, and an expert from the American Library Association discussed how to handle challenges to graphic novels at the panel titled "Burn It, Hide It, Misshelve It, Steal It, Ban It! Dealing with Graphic Novel Censorship in Your Library."

Full article at Publisher's Weekly


The ALA attacks me personally in this article. Just one more in a series. For the record, what she said about me is false, as usual.


(1) I don't see the personal attack. The website nor your name are not specifically mentioned.
(2) What false statements have been made?

"...but there are also organized groups, using names like "family friendly," "citizens for decency," or "safe libraries." "[They] say they are there to protect kids, that they are there to protect parents' rights to raise their kids the way they see fit, and they think this gives them the right to dictate what is in the library," she said. "They can often take a challenge in a community where a concern is raised by a single parent and blow it up into a major conflagration."

I don't see these as false statements. You do claim to want to protect the children. You do claim you want to protect parents' rights to voice their opinions. And you don't understand that by taking out these items, you are infringing on OTHER parents' rights. And I have seen you, on this site and on your own, take stories of challenges and make mountains out of molehills, uninvited and unwanted in many cases.

No false statements, just the plain and ugly truth.

You see, you have read her statements, and you see them as true. You then look at my work, now wearing ALA-colored glasses, and you conclude she is accurate. No surprise. Since what she said is not true, since you do not seek my input until now without the instant conclusion she is correct, anyone can see the effectiveness of the ALA propaganda.

I do not "dictate" to local communities. I merely provide another viewpoint, and I back up that viewpoint with case law, then I advise the communities to make up their own minds now that they know the truth.

The truth? My support for the truth is the US Supreme Court. The ALA's support for the truth is the ALA. The ALA lost big in United States v. ALA, US Supreme Court, where the ALA attempted to have the Children's Internet Protection Act declared unconstitutional. It spent a million bucks only to have the Court find CIPA constitutional and say,

"The interest in protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is legitimate, and even compelling, as all Members of the Court appear to agree."

Now, along comes the ALA and it says protecting young library users from material inappropriate for minors is censorship. It says anyone who avails himself of library materials reconsideration policies is censorious. It says anyone who helps such people in their efforts are censors themselves who dictate to local communities. Why have a materials reconsideration policy if anyone who exercises it is called a censor?

I am allowed to point this out to local communities without being labeled as a censor or a dictator.

Now look at what the ALA says about the issue. You looked at my site, now look at theirs. Do you see anything? See anything missing? That quote above from the US Supreme Court is missing. The ACLU expert saying in ACLU v. Gonzales that filters are 95% effective and no longer block health-related information is also missing. Essentially, the truth is missing.

Another example, you have to love how the ALA promotes acceptable use policies when they never stop criminals from acting act. You have to love how the ALA promotes privacy screens when everyone knows that they fail to act as expected.

Heck the ALA even whitewashed rape in a Massachusetts library, and when I pointed it out, it changed the title and text of the article published in American Libraries that had a cover tribute to Judith Krug on it. I see that as an admission that it got caught in that particular propaganda attempt, and I love I got them to change the wording in the very magazine where the very cause of the problem was featured on the cover.

I understand it is hard to think the ALA is intentionally misrepresenting things. I know it is easy to believe that anyone who takes a different position is instantly a censor. You think what you want. I will continue to advise communities how they are being misled. Many communities are listening, but you won't read about it in American Libraries.

I challenge Deborah Caldwell-Stone to a public debate, in person, back and forth, on these issues. It is easy for her to attack and mischaracterize me when I am not around, but my experience of having ALA pull out of a FoxNews broadcast on Banned Books Week on which I was to appear, and the ALA's violating Court rules to deny me access to its library law training tells me the ALA will do anything to avoid having just such a public debate.


I don't need to read other people's comments about you. I have formed MY OWN opinion of you, based on your posts here and on your own site. I DON"T "ALA-colored sunglasses". ALA doesn't come into play when I look at a book challenge or a PARENT'S right to CHOOSE. Choice means having options available, not eliminating them. I could care less about ALA, unlike you. And I don't have to seek your input. It's there on your site, and here as well. You gave your opinion that the statements are false; I gave my opinion that they are true. See, you gave your input FIRST.

Maybe the article didn't mention the quote about filters being 95% effective is because the article was NOT about CIPA or filters at all. Maybe it was because it was about GRAPHIC NOVELS, or am I blinded by the "ALA-colored sunglasses" that I can't see the mention of CIPA or filters? The main issue I have with you is that you stray into this tangents about ALA lies and CIPA when the article is not about that. Do you have any arguments pertaining specifically to graphic novels? If so, use them and not CIPA and all the other issues you try to bring in. I cannot follow your rants about other things and I have not failed to notice that you never stay on topic. That is from years of reading your comments here and visiting your site. That is NOT from some random person's comments in an article.

AND not everyone who disagrees with you is "brainwashed" by the ALA. That is another thing I have noticed. Anyone who disagrees with you is "drinking the ALA kool-aid" and so forth. It's a "me vs. the rest of the world" mentality, and rather a paranoid one at that.

My CIPA comment was not about the graphic novels, it was merely an example of what I was saying.

As to graphic novels, or any writing whatsoever, I do not oppose them. Indeed I promote the works of various authors:

Your comment indicates to me that personal attack is more important than discussing issues. We all know personal attack is a logical fallacy used to cover up inherent weakness in one's own argument. Might that be why the ALA employs such a tactic?


What personal attack did I use against you? I stated my opinions, formed solely off of your own comments and tactics of debate that I have seen over several years. I pointed out that your comments about CIPA were irrelevant to the discussion of graphic novels. What's so personal about that?

So, your comments about CIPA were an example of what? The ALA lies and brainwashes us? I'm not following the argument here, simply because you bring in examples that have nothing to do with the original article. If you used examples that correlated directly to the article about graphic novels, I could follow it and it would be a more believable argument.

Reading your comments with AndyW below, I think you and I differ on the term personal attack. When I criticize your argument/debate tactics, that is not personal as I see it. If that's the case, I have seen you do that to several people who disagree with you by lambasting them for ad hominem attacks, often where there are none. While I do disagree with your opinions, I do it respectfully. Not liking, and expressing my opinion on, your tactics and the way you deliver your arguments isn't personal. Personal would be trying to get at you on some "real" level--name calling, discrediting, making fun of your website design, etc. The only comment I made that comes close is the paranoid mentality of assuming everyone who disagrees with you is Pro-ALA. That's a logical fallacy of some kind, isn't it, to lump everyone in only two categories, "with me" or "with ALA/against me"? And the word paranoid wasn't to "diagnose" you, it was just to draw a comparison and point out the illogical reasoning of assuming anyone who disagrees with you is automatically wearing "ALA-colored sunglasses".

No personal attacks, you say?

And I quote:

"I cannot follow your rants about other things and I have not failed to notice that you never stay on topic."

"Anyone who disagrees with you is 'drinking the ALA kool-aid' and so forth."

"It's a 'me vs. the rest of the world' mentality, and rather a paranoid one at that."

I take that as personal attack. I see no substantive issues being discussed, you have made me the issue, and I see no civility.

Our conversation does not really go anywhere. It is just designed by you to distract from the real issues. You hide behind anonymity and could even be from the ALA's OIF. I doubt I'll respond to you further, unless you continue to attack in a manner I must explain.


"I see no substantive issues being discussed". Because you go off-topic and derail the conversation. My pointing out that FACT is not a personal attack. If you need to go and re-read the discussion. You divert from the topic by talking about CIPA (as an example) when a more relevant example would have been about GRAPHIC NOVELS. As I said, we differ on our opinion of personal attacks.

And then you go on to attack my CHOICE to post anonymously. (Because while there is a choice offered on this site, I will continue to do so. If you don't like the anonymity available on this site, complain to those that run it and don't attack someone for exercise their personal choice on how they want to post.) Not that I should explain myself, but I feel I must...I post anonymously simply because I am a "nobody" in the professional library world, in comparison to many others on this site. I am, however, a long-time library employee and I care a great deal about many issues posted on this site. It's that simple. No grand conspiracy.

The worst detractor from the discussion here is you. And paranoid mentality again, by thinking I could be from the OIF. Really? There is no more to say because you will twist it all back around to the ALA (and by that, I mean ALA AND everyone who disagrees with you) is out to get you.

For those of you that have not looked at the Safelibraries website you should. It is a model website for bad design.

Safelibraries may come back with a response saying that I am attacking his website because I disagree with his views. Wrong. If I agreed with everything on that site I would still think it was seriously disorganized and hard to read.

You don't want to have a website that uses the batshit crazy template.

Actually, I agree with you. SafeLibraries is ugly. It even won the "Daily Sucker" award for Friday, January 4, 2008, from "Web Pages That Suck" at

I can't stand its appearance. It needs major work. I just don't have the time, and my blog now has current content anyway.

That said, if anyone donates money or time to me, I can have SafeLibraries beautified and perhaps made more useful and easy to maintain.


delusion of grandeur

Psychiatry. A popular term for what the Am Psychiatric Assn terms 'delusional disorder, grandiose subtype'; DOGs are characterized as 'delusions of inflated worth, power, knowledge, identity, or special relationship to a diety or famous person'. See Delusional disorder.

McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

delusion of gran·deur (grnjr, -jr)
A delusion in which one believes oneself possessed of great importance, power, wealth, intellect, or ability.

The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

SafeLibraries, since I got threadjacked by the Anonymous Patron poster, I'm re-posting my questions so you can answer them without the other interplay.

(1) I don't see the personal attack. The website nor your name are not specifically mentioned.
(2) What false statements have been made?

And since I have another question from one of your replies above.

(3) "[...] and the ALA's violating Court rules to deny me access to its library law training"

Could you explain how they are denying court rules?

Thanks, AndyW, I'd be happy to elaborate. First, let me add the quote again, this time with highlighting:

"...but there are also organized groups, using names like "family friendly," "citizens for decency," or "safe libraries." "[They] say they are there to protect kids, that they are there to protect parents' rights to raise their kids the way they see fit, and they think this gives them the right to dictate what is in the library," she said. "They can often take a challenge in a community where a concern is raised by a single parent and blow it up into a major conflagration."

1) So my web site is specifically named.

2) She says that I "dictate" and "blow things up," both of which I take as a personal attack. It certainly does not address the issues I raise, and neither of those claims are true -- actually, the ALA blows things up, like when it claimed keeping a bestiality book from children was racist:

Further, the very same Deborah Caldwell-Stone has attacked me before:

3) The details are spelled out here:

You know what, AndyW? I feel robbed by that experience because I missed the chance to hear Judith Krug herself talk on the issues involved. Her replacements were/are mere shadows, as evidenced by the current situation. I intended to go get actual training in actual library law, I was entitled to do so, and only the ALA's repeated actions to exclude me personally and based on its investigation of my background kept me out. Remember, that very office claims privacy and equal access are sacrosanct. Apparently not.

Thanks again, AndyW, and thanks for injecting civility and issue-oriented questions back into the conversation.


(1) I went back and looked at the article again. Your website is not mentioned. "Safe Libraries" is mentioned. I tossed the term into The Google and flipped through about ten pages of results (apparently it is a computer term as well). You do not have a lock on the "Safe Libraries" moniker; there is also a "West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries" and "Citizens for Safe Libraries" (which might be the same group, sometimes people didn't copy the name properly). So, either the article author means you, them, or the two of you together.

(2) As I can't tell whether the article means you, them, or both of you, I can't say whether it is a personal attack. However, I don't think its a stretch to presume that the "they" refers to any organized group whose original intent is the removal of library material for whatever reason. So, as you see yourself lumped into the 'they', I could see it as an indirect personal attack. (A direct personal attack would be calling you out by name or making it rather clear otherwise, I would imagine.)

(3) I read through the correspondence. It says attorneys representing libraries. As noted in their replies to your emails, it says your status is 'inactive' or 'retired'. To me, it's like showing up to a dog show without a dog and demanding entry into the contest: you're missing the basic criteria for entry.

Would you say that you were denied access to information based on prejudices of an organization? Because I'd find that very ironic.

We may yet agree.

Caldwell-Stone has targeted me before. In West Bend, WI. In a lecture at an ALA annual meeting I was targeted as well, though I do not know the specific author, other than the ALA's OIF. In at least the West Bend matter, she discussed SafeLibraries and other groups (if I recall including some of the other groups she mentioned in the recent PW article) saying substantially similar things, though in much greater detail, as she said here. No, I have no lock on safe libraries, but in the context of her past comments, it is hard to deny she had me in mind.

Now, as to being 'inactive' or 'retired,' that is true. The ALA is big into privacy. Why did it investigate my background? Have I no privacy? I also have an active law license that has not expired since it never expires. I told them but that when they told me that I don't get it, they won't allow me in. The ALA is big into equal access. But not for me. That is the definition of discrimination.

Further, AndyW, here is something you need to understand that may not have been clear. 'Inactive' or 'retired' attorneys are not only welcome in continuing legal education [CLE] classes, they are required to take them to be reinstated as an active attorney. The Court Rules apply to 'inactive' or 'retired' attorneys as much as they do to "active" attorneys. Do you not see the irony in the so-called "Office for Intellectual Freedom" blocking my access as it did? Did you know they had 60 slots available and only 16 or 17 slots were filled? Exactly what would have been the harm had I learned a little bit more about library law? What did the ALA fear? Is it not unfair that people claim I do not know library law when it was the ALA itself that blocked me from its class which was open to any attorney whatsoever under Pennsylvania Court Rules? The ALA's claim to only allow certain attorneys is fine on its face, but when combined with the course providing CLE credit under Pennsylvania Court Rules, credits I could have requested and used to return to practice, the ALA improperly blocked my access to that class. It violated Pennsylvania Court Rules. That's bad in and of itself, but when it's the ALA's "Office for Intellectual Freedom" doing that, that is really bad. The Annoyed Librarian is correct in her condemnation of the OIF that intellectual freedom is only the intellectual freedom to agree with the ALA, and what happened to me is further evidence.

Do you understand better now?


And here's why:

Material Collection policy position -
ALA: no limit on material or access to materials
SafeLibraries: restricted access based on community values

Legal continuing education legal classes -
SafeLibraries: no limit on access to the class, regardless of position
ALA: restricted access to lawyers who are representing libraries that follow ALA legal positions

So, here's a community (the ALA) restricting its institutional content (the attorney CE classes) based on its own community values (not giving away its legal playbook to critics), and you don't find this a tad ironic? I'm not exactly a Constitutional scholar, but the First Amendment allows you to express yourself but does not shield you from social consequences. Why should the dues of the ALA membership go towards training someone who is an openly hostile critic of it?

I think if you did have a case for discrimination, you would have hauled their asses to court because I have yet to meet a lawyer who thought twice about presenting this apparent open-and-shut embarrassing case regarding an organization for which they are openly hostile towards. If you have them bent over a rock (as you seem to be implying), then why not pull the trigger and get a court to compel them to include you in the training? It sounds like a slam dunk to me.

So we do agree.

Only money/time keeps me from suing.

I will try to attend the class again. If I am rejected again, well, we'll see what happens.

Being blocked as I did in this case, by the way, is not a "social consequence." It's more of an actionable injustice. If a woman who dresses provocatively then gets raped, is that a "social consequence" or is that a crime?


I think the rape analogy is a bit extreme. I would certainly hope you are not equating yourself to a rape victim because you have been denied a CE class due to your stated opinions.

I am thinking of this more along this analogy: If I have a cousin who doesn't like my wife and repeats this opinion publicly for a long time, this cousin isn't going to get an invite to family gatherings. That's a social consequence.

I don't know why anyone bothers to debate with Dan. He has made his stance on things well known at every opportunity he gets. This is not an attack because I think a majority of people are like this. We can only change our own minds. It is one thing to have a discussion to understand one another, but I think he represents himself very clearly.

Just ignore him. That's what I do.

Subscribe to Comments for "Libraries Fight Challenges to Graphic Novels"