Access to information is declining after Sept. 11

The Orlando Sentinel has another story on FOI stuff being Flouted around the country.
They say since Sept. 11, it has become much harder to get such information from the federal government, a growing number of states and public libraries as heightened concern about national security has often trumped the public\'s \"right to know:\"
At least it\'s not only happening in Boston.


More Info on Michael Moore\'s Latest Book

From Library Journal
HarperCollins Dumps-Moore Rewrites Stupid Book?

Media outlets from Drudge Report to PW NewsLine last week claimed Michael Moore was furiously rewriting Stupid...Moore says he is just waiting for already printed books-as many as 100,000-to be shipped...

The full story from LJ


Request prompts policy over book in school library

Most challenged book stories go something like this:
Angry parent: \"Your books are ruining the world Satanist!\"
Angry librarian: \"Shut up Nazi!\"
ALA: \"Come to our conference, we got donuts!\"
School Administrator: \"Duuuh, me read good\"

This One has a bit more information. Interesting to note is the challenger disagreed with the committee\'s use of American Library Association policy in the decision, because it may not say the same thing as the school policy.

\"If you read the U-32 library policy, that (bill) is not even mentioned\" he said.
The story described the ALA\'s recommendation for educational libraries as essentially stating that any expurgation of a library\'s materials is a violation of the ALA\'s bill of rights.
I bring this up as a possible example of \"Waving the ALA guidelines around\"


Michael Moore\'s New Book Censored by HarperCollins

Filmmaker and author Michael Moore\'s new book won\'t be on the shelf to buy for that last minute holiday gift. There is nothing on the web about this (that I could find - please correct me if I\'m wrong) but in an email to the Progressive Librarians Guild listserve (PLGNet-L) Ann Sparanese reports that

[Moore] told the assembled
audience of 100+ people that his publisher HarperCollins had informed him that they will not be selling/distributing his new book \"Stupid White Men and Other Excuses for the State of the Nation\" -- already printed -- because the content is offensive. He reported that the publisher also told him that he (Moore) is being \"intellectually dishonest\" not to state that GW Bush has done a good job in the last few months. Moore said that he has been told that the book will NOT be distributed as is, will be destroyed, and that if he will rewrite AND pay for the repinting of the book HarperCollins will publish the new version!!.

Read on for the full email, published here with Ann\'s kind permission.


Are graphic novels next?

Someone passed along
on a [not the largest] public library in
Quebec being forced by the city council to remove 180
comic books from the regular stacks in Hull\'s library.
They are stored in a separate room accessible only by
employees. Hull\'s city council passed the motion in
response to public complaints that the library carried
pornographic material, that was accessible by children.

\"The books were originally on shelves right next
to the main desk, in the direct line of vision from the
counter. They were always visible to us. We would
know if children were taking books from those
particular shelves.\"


The Problem With Community Standards

Ever vigilant James Nimmo passed along word on The movie
Fat Girl being banned in Ontario because it
violates \"community standards.\"

First it was delayed, refused for a second time to release it, while the director says he Is Stupified, and People Are Not Happy Aboot This.
It may help them here though, as newspaper advertisements in Chicago, Philadelphia and Seattle, where Fat Girl opens on the weekend, will carry the words \"Banned in Canada\" in their copy, not a bad Idea, eh?


Reisman bans Mein Kampf from Chapters and Indigo

Cabot writes \"Heather Reisman, chairwoman and CEO of Indigo Books and Music Inc., has ordered all copies of Mein Kampf pulled from the shelves of Chapters and Indigo bookstores and deleted from the company\'s on-line ordering service.

Full Story \"

\"We consider it hate literature,\" she said. \"With freedom of expression, the line is drawn on hate literature. It\'s a corporate decision. It\'s what we stand for. It\'s our point of view.\"


Un-depositing material

Mary Minow passed along This Story on a recent government order that caught some local librarians by surprise and made the people who spend their professional lives providing information to others a bit uneasy.

The Government Printing Office ordered the libraries to destroy public information — specifically, a CD-ROM on reservoirs and dams prepared by the U.S. Geological Survey. The reason for the order: national security

\"“In some cases, removal of information may be justified,” he said. “The problem is it’s happening on an ad hoc basis with no criteria of what should be removed. In some cases, the agencies [are] forgetting the reasons the information was disclosed in the first place.”


The Post-September 11 Environment

ombwatch.org is maintaining A List of changes in public access to government information since the September 11 terrorist attacks. This list is updated on an ongoing basis. New additions will be posted to the top of the list.


Rising Fears That What We Do Know Can Hurt Us

Another great submission from Hermit.Hermit ;-) writes \" The LAtimes is reporting Reporting on the GPO\'s order to have government records destroyed at Federal Depository Libraries. The article also mentions the removal of info from fed and FAS.org websites and the reduction of F.O.I.A. requests granted. The article reports that \"while documents have been pulled before because they contained mistakes or were outdated, this was the first time in memory that documents were destroyed because of security concerns, said Francis Buckley, superintendent of documents for the printing office.\"
Lively discussion Slashdot.\"

Fiona points to discussions on Kuro5in as well, and adds \"It is incredibly disturbing that a government agency has the power to order libraries to do this. \"



Subscribe to Censorship