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

Flame war! W00t!!!!11!1!1!!!!! ROTFLMAOLOMFG!!!11!!!!!!!!111!! Fl4m3 w4rz r t3h l33t!!!!!!!

OK, I'm pretty sure that we are not going to come to an accord on the nature of homosexuality. Let's leave that where it is, shall we?How about the original question: So wouldn't the best solution be to have all the viewpoints represented and have all the parents make up their minds themselves?

I doubt you ever considered voting for me.

You keep equating race and sexuality, the two aren't even remotely similar.

I'm just another peasant who votes and actually considered casting my vote in your direction. Now I have a doubt...or two (after reading some more of your journal)...or three (after visiting your website)...Thank God we still have free elections.

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?

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

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.

Nope. Liberal media.

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

all caps is very 1997,

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

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 ...; )

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.

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?

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.

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.

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.

Inside voices, please. "Coward?" C'mon. Just guys talking here.
   

Considering ALA is creating materials directed at children that pretty much undercuts any opportunity for the parent to make that decision.

I suggest you revisit my viewpoint of selection before distorting my position...again.

...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.

"Every book" are your words Fang. Not mine. And a pathetic commentary for a self-anointed logician to deliberately conflate my thoughts.

And here we have Chuck, a liberal librarian (I assume) sharing with us his prejudices in collection development. Telling us...one particular author be sliiiiiiiiightly beyond partisan politics and too far in to psychosis for consideration, as if the use of a DSM IV is commonplace with a CDP. A librarian that supports protecting others from deranged albeit bestselling authors. Unabashed censorship with justifications like "beyond partisan politics" as a means to filter and you can't get your arse off your mitts to peck out just one knee-jerk, jackboot, fascist, Rethuglian or slivering shit for Chuck.

And you never will.

Instead you shoot the messenger. Remarkable. And rather than throw yourself into a predictable fit of self-righteous indignation when shown this flavor of censorship, your vitriol leads you bury your noggin firmly in the Blake's sandbox after one last swipe at that coward tomeboy.

This coward still maintains you are a fraud.

Shall I chalk that up as another example of your inability to communicate?

No, just another installment of your intellectual dishonesty.

Verstehen Sie mich jetzt, ja?

It's quite obvious when others read the context of my quote, "there is no difference" has absolutely nothing to do with censorship but with the subject of my piece, . . .

Do tell? Funny, you seem to have failed to get that point across. Shall I chalk that up as another example of your inability to communicate?

Yet another attempt to obfuscate.

I wrote:

  • For whatever reason, many of my colleagues refuse to accept the concept of a selection policy for Internet resources. I am told this is censorship. However many of these same folks use a selection policy for collection development. What is the difference?

    There is no difference. First let's look at the American Library Association's definition of "collection development".

    A term which encompasses a number of activities related to the development of the library collection, including the determination of the library collection, including the determination and coordination of selection policy, assessment of needs of users and potential users, collection evaluation, identification of collection needs, selection of materials, planning for resource sharing, collection maintenance, and weeding. (ALA Glossary of Library & Information Science, 1983)

    It's quite obvious when others read the context of my quote, "there is no difference" has absolutely nothing to do with censorship but with the subject of my piece, that;

    Internet resources are no different than print collections

    I say "when others read" because you knew this beforehand. You knew that what you selectively lifted from my Takes had nothing to do with my alleged belief that all selection is censorship. You knew that right Fang? You knew that equal consideration of internet resources in collection development, not all selection as censorship, was the subject of my piece. That "no difference" was in equating pixels on a CRT with ink on a page. And that anyone bothering to read your attempt to impeach may actually believe your window-dressed piffle. Of course you knew this hence your pitiable attempt to deceive by only using on 5 sentences from a 20 paragraph piece. All out of context.

    And all this to save your Fanged Face.

    Yes pitiable.

    Nonetheless if you're hellbent on digging, I'll be here to clear the dirt.

. . . I am neither foolish nor naive enough to accept that their collection development selections are free from personal bias.

But you are so foolish and naive as to assume that no one has any capacity to set aside their personal biases long enough to judge a thing on its own merits. Your position is one of reductionism, and shows contempt for the greatness of humanity that many people aspire to. Stop projecting your shadow. Just because you are too spineless to challenge your own basic assumptions and become something better than a defeatist wallowing in self-pity doesn't mean everyone else is.

Here's a clue: everyone has prejudices; the rational person attempts to control his prejudices and takes them into account; the bigot allows his prejudices to control him. You wrote:

Filtering is a Collection Development Issue

For whatever reason, many of my colleagues refuse to accept the concept of a selection policy for Internet resources. I am told this is censorship. However many of these same folks use a selection policy for collection development. What is the difference?

There is no difference.

. . . after which you expend several screenfuls of bandwidth demonstrating that you have no concept of "restrictions that are reasonable as to time, place, and manner." But then, in the same load of bullshit you also conflated everything objectionable under the rubric "obscene" without differentiating between indecent, pornographic, or obscene, and without taking into account that "obscene" has a legal definition and materials cannot be found to be so until tried by jury.

If, as you propose, it is all censorship, then it necessarily follows that every book rejected has been banned. But I'll be happy to entertain any logically consistant arguments to the contrary if you can formulate one.

As for Chuck, he strives for understanding. He clearly demonstrates that he attempts to take his prejudices into account. You are just misinterpreting the thrust of his comments, and probably doing so deliberately.

My criteria are here.

Let me also be clear. I do not advocate the pulling of books like King & King from public libraries, my arguments has always been that they belong in the parents collection which most Children Departments have.

Oh sorry, I should have been more clear. I'm meant what should the standard be for excluding certain kinds of books or web sites?

Age for one. That may seem another simple answer but 99% of the people I debate with don't even want that (see CIPA and DOPA)

What can I say? My LCSH schtick just KILLS at the regional ILS meetings.If I have misrepresented your position, please allow me to clarify myself: I am confused because you seem to be saying that there needs to be standards used to "protect" children from certain books or issues. But I can't figure out how someone is supposed to figure out what these books or issues are.More succinctly: If you insist there should be standards, what should those standards be?

Here's what I don't get: how is it that it's wrong for a collection development librarian to insert their own judgment into what people are "allowed" to read but a good thing to act in loco parentis for every child that walks in the door?

I also can't help but notice that you condemn lefist librarians for inserting their politics into librarianship but support the injection of politics that you agree with (gays are icky.)

You keep misrepresenting the arguments Chuck. I don't know as I've ever said its wrong for a librarian to insert their own judgement on what people are 'allowed' to read 'in a public library'. Considering I came up with a list of books that should be banned from the library I would be directly contradicting myself. However, that list is fairly short and again there's a distinction about how adults are going to be treated vs kids.

As for the second, I condemn leftist librarians for bringing non-library political issues into the profession and I condemn leftist librarians for letting their personal politics dictate their responses to library issues in ways that are shrill and completely unreasonable. There are many library issues that can and are argued from both sides of the political aisle and I have no problem with that in any way.

And for someone who accuses me of disdain I'm getting a kick out of your subject headings.

Or "flapjackalope." The judges will accept either.

Here's what I don't get: how is it that it's wrong for a collection development librarian to insert their own judgment into what people are "allowed" to read but a good thing to act in loco parentis for every child that walks in the door?I also can't help but notice that you condemn lefist librarians for inserting their politics into librarianship but support the injection of politics that you agree with (gays are icky.)

I give. A "Flapjackrabbit"?

It may be a bit unfair to bring you into this debate with Fang, Chuck. But I have always maintained, from personal experience, that the brand of censorship served up by ALA types is a distortion meant to portray conservatives as holding a monopoly on collection control. We've all heard about the Baptists, soccer moms and PTA types that want to remove a book here and there. Nothing new. But what about the institutional censorship of collection development librarians? How much more pervasive and insidious must this type of untraceable censorship be?

That said, you have with your comments re Savage given justification to pooh pooh an author based upon your personal distaste for his "hate". This judgement should never be part of a CDP or selection.

For the record would you agree that 1)preclusion based upon personal prejudice is tantatmount to censorhip and 2) it is institutionally practiced by some in our profession?

And here we have Chuck, a liberal librarian (I assume) sharing with us his prejudices in collection development.

Don't we all have prejudices? If you want a collection development librarian with no opinions, prejuducies or biases I think you might find lots of people aren't comfortable working with a slice of dry toast.

Telling us...one particular author be sliiiiiiiiightly beyond partisan politics and too far in to psychosis for consideration, as if the use of a DSM IV is commonplace with a CDP.

I was using "psychotic" in a colloquial sense not a clinical one. Much the same way I am using "humorless" right now.

A librarian that supports protecting others from deranged albeit bestselling authors.

Actually what I said was I could understand why a librarian would regard some books as so hateful and libelous as to regard them as unpurchasible (sp?). I did not say I condone it. Further, I said on several occasions that I take great pains to buy books I don't argee with or like if I feel they will be of interest to my patrons. In fact I've said it now three times. I buy things for my patrons based on my professional judgment not on my personal beliefs.

Unabashed censorship with justifications like "beyond partisan politics" as a means to filter and you can't get your arse off your mitts to peck out just one knee-jerk, jackboot, fascist, Rethuglian or slivering shit for Chuck.

I'll admit that I have no idea what the above paragraph is supposed to mean, so here is a picture of a bunny with a pancake on his head:
http://students.law.drake.edu/lawReview/images/bun ny_pancake.jpg

I give simple answers when there are simple answers to be given. And you can say I talk with disdain but writing off the parent/child issue and ignoring just how often kids come into libraries without adult supervision is simply ignoring the reality of public libraries in order to support your own arguments. I've said it a dozen times and I'll sure I'll say it hundreds more, unless libraries start closing their doors from the time school lets out until the time parents get home then they are taking responsibility for those kids coming through the door.

If by "parents" you mean "people who supervise their children via cell phone" then yes those kids are doomed to get "gay" on them in the library.Greg, I know that you are somewhat of an evangelist for conservatism in librarianship and in all honesty I think it's good. I do think ALA is too ideological. I think many of the book reviews in our literature are too political and even, dare I say, liberally-biased. I think a diversity of viewpoints is good.But it seems that when challenged or quizzed on your points you either react with disdain or give one sentence answers to honest, substantive questions. I don't think that will help you win anyone overm win a seat on the Council, or integrate a more conservative voice into ALA.

"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.

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.

...know this not to be true.

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.

My point is there is no similarity in the situations.

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

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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