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Our Israel-bashing libraries

David Goldman shares This One from in which George Baker, veteran library director, finds a very disturbing trend, one that he says raises distinct questions about professional ethics and accountability, that is taking root in our libraries.


Here's the site that lists Fateh and Hamas under "Palestinian Political Groups & Parties," thus revealing the "website's bigotry." Yahoo! does the same thing.I have nothing but sympathy for people who have suffered at the hands of others. But those who exaggerate or otherwise relish in their victimization, in some sort of perversely gleeful garnering of sympathy are a different matter.

Just as libraries shouldn't be afraid to take a stand against terrorist organizations such as the IDF (Israeli Defense Forces).

Abigail - Your answer exemplifies the dilemma public libraries face today. Historically there would be no question about an organization like NAMBLA or the KLAN having a voice in the library. No chance.

However in today's world these groups have been given legitimacy via organizations like the ACLU. Hence my tired old mantra that libraries are on the verge of being politicized out of business. As for ALA, they are no help. In fact they exacerbate the problem by pushing the political envelope to the left. (sorry, I don't mean to bait with this statement) Hence the slippery slope.

What I am trying to say is that the line you are trying to draw between unpopular views and crime is fading fast in today's public library. It's all about relativism.

There's a difference between unpopular views and inciting crime. That's where I'd draw the line, given unlimited resources. Given limited resources, I think it's important to provide services as fairly as possible, not in proportion to your agreement with different groups. The God Hates You fan club is different from the Let's Kill Kittens society, right?

be given a forum at the library as well? The library should not be afraid to take a stand against these types of messages.

Actually, AP, if those are interesting to you, I suggest you present them to your local library as programming suggestions. You can discuss gorgonzola dolce versus gruyere, and their relative effects on Earthly tides to your heart's content.

I realize you're being sarcastic, but it's not obvious to me why those particular groups would be automatically excluded from library programming, just 'cause their beliefs are ridiculous. If the community needs to have its ridiculous beliefs discussed in a public forum, why not?

well at least it would be fun.

maybe someone from the committee for the surrealist insurrection of the normal (CSICON) could organise an events programme for you? in that case I will urge all libraries to program events for promotion of the flat earth society and those who believe that the moon is made out of cheese ..all for those who wish an open forum in the library...(sarcasm off)

I'm sure if you look at every library program and offering with an agenda in mind, you can find examples of "unbalanced" presentations. Libraries are supposed to be open forums, not balanced forums. If you don't like what's being shown, bring in your counter programming.

The librarians named in this article have behaved in a disgraceful manner. They have, indeed, violated the ethical obligation of our profession to be neutral and fair, when on the job. I feel their obviously biased actions have hurt all of us.