ALA: Brainwashing Your Kids

originally posted at SHUSH

     The latest edition of American Libraries has a wrap around advertising promotional
materials for Banned Book Week (coming in Sept.). The theme seems to be the circus with banned books
placed in animal cages. There are a number of different items including posters for different age groups. This
is the one advertised
for children:

     On first blanche there is the obvious King and King issue. When I get into debates
about these materials I always hear (*always*) that "the parent bears the ultimate responsibility for their
children". So much for that. ALA is obviously promoting the book to kids whether parents are for it or not.

     On a second look the whole poster is amusing, especially with the recent
hullabaloo over the children's book on Cuba in the Florida schools. One of the big arguments supporting
the book has been whether its appropriate to get into the various political issues involving Castro and
his dictatorship in a child's book. And yet, here's ALA with a banned books poster directed at children and
even bracelets
for kids showing the covers of the banned books. None of these books are actually banned. Its just an excuse
for ALA to be wading knee-deep into what are very contentious and highly politicized issues and pushing
their own views onto kids.

     Nuts, every liberal one of them.

Comments

BS

There are no banned books in the US.

This is why the average American thinks the ALA is full of crap, well at least the ones who know of the ALA, or those that know you need a MLS to be a librarian.

the link

you gave is not loading here is a better one.

Simple-minded crap

Ever stop to think that maybe the ALA is only promoting those books to the parents that don't mind teaching their children tolerance and respect for other people's basic humanity? That the posters aren't aimed at the reactionary, hate-monger lunatics who demand to control what you see because it offends them?

Let's take your apparent assumption one step further: since I have no need of feminine hygeine products, shouldn't the advertizing industry make an effort to see to it that I am not bombarded by such advertizing when I watch the boob tube, as well as that women aren't bombarded by useless advertizing for male products?

And in what way does your being exposed to promotions of materials you don't agree with create a requirement that you consume such materials? In the end the choice is still yours whether or not to expose yourself, or you child, to such materials.

You want to save the easily offended? Ban everything.

Re:the link

The links work okay for me, are you talking about the image? Cause that comes up too.

for the sake of those readingRe:Simple-minded crap

"...ALA is only promoting those books to the parents ..."

I realize Nellis is a braindead bottom feeder but for everyone else, the poster is for *children*, the bracelets are for *children*. ALA is not interested in what the parents think.

Re:BS

Exactly correct.

There are no "banned" books, contrary to what ALA may want others to believe. This campaign is about using propaganda to create a public perception of intolerance on behalf of the crew cut cadre and victimization upon purveyors of puerile sexual indoctrination et al. Any of my collection development fraternity care to explain how the De Hann's "King and King" can enjoy shelf space in 734 collection nationwide (WorldCat) but Shelby Steele's politically incorrect "White Guilt" has only been bothered for purchase in 596?

Too bad this isn't Havana, ALA could take a week off in September.

maybe go the other way?

Civilized people, long ago, stopped accomodating bigots who were against interracial marriage, women's sufferage and other bedrocks of decency and pluralistic democracy.I'd like to see ALA go a step further and say "We are advertising these books to anyone, because there's nothing wrong with being gay. Deal with it, you grunting, medeival hate-monger."Put THAT on a bracelet.I don't know what the status of the "flap" about Cuban books is, but the stance should be that, within reason, access to all viewpoints is the ideal to which we strive (yes, I know I just split an infinitive. I'm a CRAZY LIBERAL.)All of those books on the bracelet have been challenged or banned in some cities.Greg, the right to read and think freely is soaked in the blood of soldiers, Marines, sailors, airmen and patriots, blood that the Cuban librarians are shedding to this day. I would think you would appreciate the similarity of the situations.

suck it up

In the marketplace of ideas, sometimes no one wants to buy your ideas.Why is it always the free-market worshipping capitalists that have trouble remembering that?

Re:suck it up

Are we discussing public libraries, where selection is not based upon "free-market" demand but rather the arbitrary tastes of those with an MLS, or Amazon.com?

Ruminate on this and you may encounter a teaching moment.

Re:suck it up

Mmmm, condescension.Most library collections are created based on the tastes of the population it serves, their budget and their assessment of the book's quality and representation of the genre.This "liberal booga booga booga commie pinko indoctrination" fantasy some people posit is just that. A fantasy.

Re:suck it up

Most library collections are created based on the tastes of the population it serves, their budget and their assessment of the book's quality and representation of the genre.

Yes, I'm quite familiar with these criteria for selection, aka Collection Development Policy. And like a resolution, they have no binding power as a policy, but are left to the discretion, mood, tastes, politics or quality of hair day of the collection development librarian to interpret as they please.

But if we accept the first criterion you mention here, taste of population, then you would assume a correlation between WorldCat holdings and book sales in general. Agree? But thisis not true. And it's not because of your second criterion, budget, but most likely your third, assessment or in some cases censorship by non-selection. Less sexy and more subtle than ALA's type, but with identical results.

Re:maybe go the other way?

I would think you would appreciate the similarity of the situations.

An adult does not equal a child, or child an adult, no matter how hard you try to make it so.

Re:suck it up

I don't agree that that library holdings and book sales are correlated. So your conclusion that it's not true is not suprising.Again your argument seems to consist of "librrruhl librarians are censoring books about Jesus and freedom, but you'll have to take my word for it."

Re:maybe go the other way?

... and apples =/= oranges, grits =/= groceries and the Mona Lisa was a man. Say, this IS fun.Less snarkily -- what's your point?

Re:maybe go the other way?

My point is there is no similarity in the situations.

Re:suck it up

I don't agree that that library holdings and book sales are correlated.

So it would give you no pause if say two bestsellers such as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or The Da Vinci Code were held in less libraries than say Michael Savage's Liberalism is a Mental Disorder or Coulter's Godless? Of course we no this not to be true.

Re:suck it up

...know this not to be true.

My arse

"Most library collections are created based on the tastes of the population it serves"

Oh, please library collections are based on what the collection development librarians want to buy. My last public library had 4 copies of Michael Moore's book and 12 copies of the 911 report. There were never any holds on the Moore Book and the 8 leased copies of the 911 report went back untouched. It was a white middle class area with a great deal of >65 y/o patrons. They just didn't care about that stuff but I had to have the latest James Patterson and Janet Evanovich. When I took over collection development I tried to order things patrons wanted and I got a lot more requests for John O'Neil's book about Kerry than for Clinton's My Life.

So please do you really believe most library collections are created based upon the tastes of the community. I ordered all of the patron's requests, but I also tried to strike a balance between all viewpoints. After all I didn't have to read them I just had to order them. I also learned early on that reviews in 'professional' journals are garbage. I was better off with the NYT and the local paper's reviews.

Re:suck it up

Whee no what ewe ment

Re:suck it up

Or you can't look here if you want a real world example.

Re:suck it up

Eye'll reestaht mie powint.Library collections are created for different needs and by different forces than book sales. They may have something to do with each other in the case of wildly popular titles but the deeper you look, and it doesn't take long, they less they have in common.

Re:My arse

My experience has been the opposite. I have worked in a SCORTCHINGLY liberal city that had balanced collections.At my current library I am in charge of adult non-fiction. I am also a fire-breathing dragon of a leftist Democrat atheist. I consider it an act of patriotism for me to buy books by Ann Coulter, Billy Graham, Sean Hannity because it's my job. I personally regard the three people I listed as, at best, idiots. But that's not for me to say nor should it affect my purchasing. I base my decisions on what my patrons want.Your assumption that this doesn't happen based on a small sample may be as flawed as my assumption that it does.

Re:My arse

It might be, but that is my experience.

I too ordered books by my 'idiots' and if patrons requested them I ordered them to arrive more quickly rather than in my weekly order.

One would hope that all librarians ordered the stuff that people wanted no matter how dopey we might think it is. Then again I think Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh are big fat windbags so I can order from both columns and think they are crap.

Re:maybe go the other way?

Fine. Let's put it this way. What's wrong with kids reading a book about gay people? And what's wrong with the ALA promoting that book?And in spite of your feeling that the ALA oozing filth into the minds of our youth it's still the parents who have the final say on what their kids read. Which do you think is a more powerful presence in a child's life: the ALA selling bracelets that no one buys or the parent that ostensibly is driving them to and from the library? Are you SLIGHTLY overestimating the influence of ALA? They don't have much to do with my life and I'm a librarian.A child's exposure to the world depends mostly on how much effort a parent is willing to invest in shielding them from certain things.I'll bet we could find parents that object to children reading about evolution. Should the ALA refuse to promote books on biology and astronomy?How many wingnut constituencies do we have to babysit the feelings of? I'm not going to pull any books on geology or petrochemistry because the drum-circle, homeschooled, bio-diesel, canvas tote bag carrying earth shoe wearers hate the oil companies. Anti-gay bigots get the same treatment. Want to have your feelings and opinions validated? Stay home and talk into a mirror.

Re:suck it up

They may have something to do with each other in the case of wildly popular titles but the deeper you look, and it doesn't take long, they less they have in common.

"Wildly" popular in the eyes of collection librarian? Like the "wildly" popular Michael Moore, Molly Ivins, and Al Franken? You'd think a "wild" name like Savage, whose book The Enemy Within equaled Moore's Stupid White Men on the USA bestsellers at #12, would qualify here. The truth is that it is held in less than half of Moore's tome.

Wild indeed.

Re:maybe go the other way?

A child's exposure to the world depends mostly on how much effort a parent is willing to invest in shielding them from certain things.

So its necessary now to shield children from the library? Simply because parents don't want to expose their kids to sexual issues at a young age doesn't make them bigots.

Re:BS

There are no "banned" books, . . .

Tomeboy, this is a clear and present hypocrisy. Your position has consistently been that there is no such thing as selection, that every book turned away from a collection is censored. If that is the case, then every book that failed a selection process is a banned book.

Get your dogma straight and stop trying to bullshit the rational minded.

Oh, and another point for those of you who are weak on civil liberties: Banned Book Week isn't about banned books alone, it is also about those that have been challenged. Funny thing, it seems to me that a work called Vamos A Cuba has recently had the dubious pleasure of both categories until the reactionary hate-mongers were orded to put it back on the shelves.

Re:maybe go the other way?

An adult does not equal a child, or child an adult, . . .

Oh, yes they do. In one very important distinction you just don't seem to get. Both are human beings, first, last, and always, and before anything else they might be in the privacy of their lives. Children are not stupid just because they are young.

Re:suck it up

It may also be because Savage's book is hateful trash that gives most people a rash when they touch it.Savage said former president Jimmy Carter "is like Hitler." He also said it about Wolf Blitzer and Bernard King (conservative news hosts) and George Soros who, no matter what you think of his politics, survived the Communists and the Nazis in Hungary.So we can see that Savage is both NOT crazy and a load of laughs. Mmm hmm.So, while I did buy the steaming bag of crap that is his "book", I can understand why any librarian of any ideological stripe would draw the line at the humanitarian who wrote: "Human rights ... think people who want to rape your son."Might that one particular author be sliiiiiiiiightly beyond partisan politics and too far in to psychosis for consideration?
   

Re:maybe go the other way?

It's necessary for parents to shield their children from everything, at least since Fred Rogers died. The world is not made of nerf and Precious Moments figurines.And what's sexual about two gay men living together or raising children together? I'm talking about social life and family structure. Why do you keep thinking about gay sex? That's weird.

Re:BS

I beg to disagree.

What I have stated, quite clearly and consistently, is that CDP's are tools used by some to preclude the selection of books based on personal bias. A reality of which you still struggle with. This has been on my site for nearly 5 years now.

...As much as I love librarians I am neither foolish nor naive enough to accept that their collection development selections are free from personal bias. I know too many. And as collection development librarians understand the methods in which most patrons find books, biased (emphasis mine) collection development serves as the perfect tool (emphasis mine) to censor.

Re:suck it up

Case in point: I had serious reservations about buying those ridiculous Kevin Trudeau books "Natural Cures the FDA Doesn't Want you To Know About" or whatever. On the grounds that they were willful, knowing lies and that Trudeau had been investigated by the FCC for circumventing the laws governing "fact" vs. "opinion" on tv ads. I didn't seem unreasonable to me that someone could think that taking coneflower and bloodroot would cure their bone marrow cancer and wind up dead because Kevin is a hell of a salesman.Ultimately I decided that people have to make their own health decisions. I still want to hit that guy with a chair.

At last! An issue! Elections coming too!

This entire journal entry is nothing more than a desperate attempt to gain some attention (for some is better than none) by my favorite ALA candidate. You go, Greg! Zap them lefties! Show 'em for what they are! Some publicity is better than none!

IS EVERYONE READING CHUCK HERE??????

One for Blake's archives !!!. Outstanding stuff! I think we've finally arrived at the nexus of this issue.

Obviously you are another librarian that finds Savage offensive in spite of his public popularity. And yes, for many in our fraternity, including yourself, he is too far in to psychosis for consideration hence his poor numbers in WorldCat in spite of being a best selling author. But you are honest Chuck, perfectly encapsulating my point. And shining the light of reality squarely in Fang's face.

May I use your comments here, perhaps on my web page, for future reference as an example of liberal "mind think" for biased collection development within our profession?

Re:At last! An issue! Elections coming too!

You must be Fatwalker.

Re:maybe go the other way?

It's necessary for parents to shield their children from everything, at least since Fred Rogers died. The world is not made of nerf and Precious Moments figurines.

True but since libraries are taxpayer funded and since they promote their resources directly to children on a regular basis they are obliged to make things as nerfy as possibly where kids are concerned.

And what's sexual about two gay men living together or raising children together? I'm talking about social life and family structure. Why do you keep thinking about gay sex? That's weird.

And most if not all parents would prefer their children to avoid that particular structure if at all possible.

all caps is very 1997, dude

Quote whatever turns you on, big guy.Savage is one example. I didn't buy any books by "Bush Secretly Planned 9/11" theorists either.Deep breaths. Deeeeeeep breaths.

It's not about you or me, Greg.

"Most parents?"Just like all those parents who wanted to keep their kids away from the dirty nigras and miscegenation.I'll pass. Being gay is a natural part of the human condition and in no way makes you immoral, deviant or dangerous.Even though I disagree with it I would buy books that tried to make a scientific case that gays are any of those things (not that there is a scientific case for it.)But don't make this about the fact that you believe gays are deviants, or that I think they're not. It's about building a balanced collection and you substituting your judgment for your patrons won't help matters. It will make them worse.

Re:suck it up

I find your exemplifier of right of center literature distressing to say the least. Michael Savage? Seriously?I'll take Buchanan, Buckley, Noonan, Bush (H.W.), Kissinger, McNamara or O'Rourke. But Savage? Damn.

No duhRe:It's not about you or me, Greg.

Being gay is a natural part of the human condition and in no way makes you immoral, deviant or dangerous.

Never said it did but I have said its not always natural and that sexuality can be as much a choice as it is genetics. Which means parents have a right and a responsibility to influence their children as they see fit.

Re:maybe go the other way?

Simply because parents don't want to expose their kids to sexual issues at a young age doesn't make them bigots.

No, Greg, but their insistence that they are either appointed or allowed to prevent my children from being exposed to sexual issues when I allow my children to be so exposed is a strong indicator that they are indeed bigots.

Re:IS EVERYONE READING CHUCK HERE??????

And shining the light of reality squarely in Fang's face.

What's the matter Tomeboy? Can't fight your own battles and feel the need to hide behind someone's skirts?

Your posting was a rank hypocrisy and your ducking the issue does not make it go away. Kindly explain to the class how you reconcile the dichotomy in your unsinn?

Re:BS

There are no banned books in the US.

This is why the average American thinks the ALA is full of crap, well at least the ones who know of the ALA, or those that know you need a MLS to be a librarian.

What do you mean by this? Books are banned from school and community libraries all the time when someone stirs up a big stink.

Re:IS EVERYONE READING CHUCK HERE??????

Not an appeal for help here Fang. Trust me. Just making sure EVERYONE has an opportunity to see the justification and logic supporting my contention of "passive censorship" clearly articulated. A real-life glimpse for those like yourself who have no clue about the bias in selection. I would suggest that you and Chuck have more to discuss from this point on.

But I must say you are taking good notes from me, . "Hiding behind skirts" and "unsinn" (sic).

Imitation is ...; )

Re:all caps is very 1997, dude

all caps is very 1997,

Well you got me there Chuck. Certainly nothing as nouveau as dude.

puzzled

How does my "admission" that I try to have balanced and reponsive collection evidence of anything other than exactly that?

Re:BS

Nope. Liberal media.

Re:No duhRe:It's not about you or me, Greg.

So wouldn't the best solution be to have all the viewpoints represented and have all the parents make up their minds themselves?orAren't some things just plain wrong, like bigotry and discrimination? What if someone told your library director, or ALA, that they couldn't buy or advocate for books that glorified the interracial marriage lifestyle and that they didn't want their kids exposed to it?It would be filed under crazy, that's what would happen.

Re:the link

When I tried it last night it wouldn't load. Probably a problem with the servers or something.

Re:IS EVERYONE READING CHUCK HERE??????

If your viewpoint on selection is correct then every book rejected from a collectin is banned book. A position that is in diametric opposition to your other statement that there are no banned books in the U.S. Stop ducking the issue and explain the dichotomy.

And if you have something to say to me then say it to me directly instead of couching it within snide remarks to others. Or shall I add "coward" to the list of your failings?

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