Freedom of Weird Expression in Libraries?
BJ Hampton writes \"Who wants to stand up for the “civil rights” of the anonymous toe-sucker who recently made an appearance at the Antelope Valley Community College Library? The current debates about internet filtering are apropos here. Do professional librarians truly want to abandon their role as trusted sources of information for their communities to become dumping grounds for any view, irrespective of its accuracy, honesty, appropriateness, and values? Regrettably, many have confused the first amendment’s prohibition against government regulation of speech and expression with a guarantee of an audience or a tax-payer funded forum. If such is the case, then the toe-sucker deserves praise and support as a “bold presenter of a minority view”, rather than prosecution.
Libraries must not allow the glitter of new technology to blind them to the need for safety, security, and judgment exercised for the benefit of their community. This story obviously highlights problems of standard crime prevention, but should also raise issues regarding the role of the librarian’s judgment in setting standards for the allocation of library resources.\"