Protesters Mount Campaign By Inserting Bookmarks in Library Books

PORTSMOUTH NH — Thousands of bookmarks promoting two organizations’ points of view recently created a headache for public libraries on the Seacoast. The two groups were the School Sucks Project and Freedomain Radio.

The School Sucks Project Web site calls for an end of public, government-funded education in the United States, charging that it is ineffective and values obedience over creativity. Freedomain Radio bills itself as a philosophical radio show.

It’s not a new phenomenon at libraries, but Portsmouth Public Library Director Mary Ann List said several in the area were hit recently with a scourge of bookmarks promoting an unspecified political cause between the pages of books. The messages tend to be politically or religiously focused, she said, and libraries typically strive to remain disassociated with that type of propaganda.

The latest dispersal was the largest Cathleen Beaudoin said she has ever seen. The Dover Public Library director said, while she’s found pamphlets and the like within small groups of books in the past, as well as such oddities as a $100 bill, an endorsed paycheck and a strip of bacon, nothing could match the number of stuffed books (over 5,000) that cropped up in May.


Too bad the "School Sucks Project" isn't called the "Public Libraries Are Great Because They Enable Homeschooling Project."

Actually, they object to libraries! I am the director of one of the seacoast NH libraries affected (or afflicted) with 5000 bookmarks.
Here's a comment yesterday from their Freedomainradio Forum: "Just think of the bookstores that don't exist because of your government operation, which doesn't have to compete in the marketplace by providing a good or service that people find valuable enough to pay for voluntarily."

And another comment from the FMR Forum: "I'm sure that the labor-intensive bookmark-removal project was a real drain on the activities that were previously scheduled for those 30 hours, such as standing around and ignoring the long line of waiting patrons. That's 30 hours of loafing and hiding from customers that they'll never be able to get back."

Nice people wouldn't you say?

"Actually, they object to libraries!"

...but then how will they get their message out? Pay for air time? Buy an ad in the newspaper? And when the Net goes the way of cable television, will FMR's followers pay a premium for visiting their website?

I agree with the public school message, although likely for different reasons than them.

Fortunately, we haven't had a lot of bookmark stuff here.

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