Boulder Ex-Librarian Tells His Tale in "Long May They Wave"


Christopher J. Power wanted to display a huge American flag at the Boulder (CO) library after 9/11, but was discouraged in doing so by former library director Marcelle Gralapp, whom Power deemed to be 'excessively politically correct'. During a budget crunch in 2003,
Power, who wrote the library's master plan, found himself snubbed by library officials and ultimately out of a job. Here's the self-published book's website and here's the report from the Rocky Mountain News.


I think we've played this game before. As such, I'm quite confident you fully understand my "viewpoint".

It must be difficult for you to hear from someone that has purchased more books than I dare say you have physically put your eyes, much less mitts, on. Have seen collection development policies drafted and used to "un-select" material not in vogue with managerial tastes. Witnessed donations made by wrong wingers like the Birchers pooh poohed because everyone knows they are nut cases. Known of librarians that fully discriminate against entire trade publications, unable to bring their eyes to the catalog pages of Regnery, Free or Crossway presses. Seen entire topics institutionally dismissed from being collected i.e. abstinence education, reparative therapy, or anything remotely anti Darwin, Humanist, WTO, UN or environment. Or publications like Mankind Quarterly kiboshed for being racist. I've seen censorship by "un-selection" Fang. Now you can ignore what I've said here and continue your word play nonsense. Or you can embrace our discussion here as a teaching moment.

Like I asked before, "Do you know your collection development librarian?"

Oh, so since you are a hyperpatriot you are perfect and infallible? Isn't that a delusion of godhood? And wouldn't that be . . . what? Psychotic? Schizophrenic?

Kindly explain how it is that you interpret a statement against wife battering as an attack on all males. Or is that like the attitude that condemning Israel for its wanton killing of Palestinian civilians automatically makes you an anti-semite? Because there are real anti-semites you are forbidden to acknowledge the fact that what Israel is doing is wrong? And just because the almighty mdoneil isn't a rapist and wife beater it is equally wrong to admit the problem exists because you might offend his hypersensitivities?

Suck it up, wimp.

And here's another clue: Rational people know that there is room for both the flag and the art. We also know that everything has a place and everything in its place. We also know that people don't get it right all the time, and poor decisions happen as a result, along with all the snivelling by the losers who didn't get their way despite mistaking themselves for gods.

Or perhaps the world really does not revolve around your views. I know it does not revolve around mine, but I often wonder why because I'm always right. :)

Oh, so since I have a penis I am an abuser and my genitalia should be hung?

I'm sorry that is art how?

Lets see...flag? Wang? Flag? Wang? Flag? Fake wang pretending to be art from some castrating feminist nutjob?

I'm going to have to go with flag.

I have seen no indications as to whether the pieces represented erect or flaccid penises. They were not on "a string", they were in hangman nooses. The whole point of artwork is to make use of the symbolic. Rational people will interpret art in accordance to their personal prejudices and life experience, but they will at least consider the art on its own merits instead of by lumping it into ersatz categories such as "pornography". Or "mental illness".

And as much as your right-wing refuses to recognize the fact and hates to hear it, the American politico-socio-cultural entity is neither infallible or perfect. Spousal abuse is a part of the national mosaic. Which was, roughly, the theme of the art display.

I think everyone but the "artist" is too "stupid" to get a bunch of ersatz erections on a string.

That is not art, simply a visual manifestation of a mental illness.

When someone wants to discuss collection development

The argument is not about collection development. It's about the unfounded insistence that there is no such thing as selection, that it is all only censorship. There is also the issue of Tomeboy's skirting my questions and trying to misdirect the discussion.

Well, . . . it's worked in your case, anyway.

Those are all specious reasons that underlie censorship. Just because Rowan was shorthsighted and incapable of comprehending the ideas that gave rise to the piece it doesn't mean everyone else was too stupid to get it. By removing the pieces he denied acces to the work to those people who could get it. And those ceramic penises were not dildoes. Aside from which, children are a damned sight smarter than the right-wing gives them credit for. "Harmful To Minors" (tm)(c)(etc) is just another geocentric-universe type unwarranted assumption.

Maybe he stole them because the thought the display of penises was in poor taste. Perhaps he thought children shouldn't see a collection of dildoes. Perhaps it just made him queasy. All valid reasons to remove a disgusting display without political motives.

Well that seems taken care of.

Someone does not have a grip on reality, and perhaps it is the cold in the Great White North.

When someone wants to discuss collection development, or library collections I'm going to have to defer to the librarians, no matter how compelling the other side might think they are.

I'm willing to bet that you can't define it. If you can, do so. Say something that makes at least a modicum of sense and I'll debunk it for you, but I'm not going play guessing games with your silly-bugger claptrap. As for you're seeing this thing, it's not your eyesight I'm questioning; it's your interpretation of reality.

Three posts and still unable to muster the fortitude to mention my assertion you felt compelled to respond; "non-selection is censorship". Instead, the involuntary muscle between your ears crafts yet more cogent rebuttals. This time with an anatomical theme of wings and asses.

Un-selection is censorship Fang. I've seen it.

You can't even type it.

Thank you for proving my point. Now kindly explain to the class how my never working in a library invalidates the factual information I post.

And given that you assign validity and credibility to information based on where it is published, I don't think you'd understand much.

Make no mistake, there is a pecking order Fang. To comprehend this, you must first understand that published information is a commodity. An article of commerce with varying degrees of worth that libraries owe their very existence to. Unfortunately I doubt this revelation will register to those with cosmopolitan reading tastes ranging from AlterNet to Truthout.

But back to your skirting my contention that "un-selecting" is used to censor. You have zilch experience with professional librarianship. Your closest experience with an acquisitions department when making a wrong turn looking for the john. Pissing and moaning with pleonastic lair logic and wrong-winged book pullers, yet when given accounts of passive censorship only able to respond to what you admonish others of hominem. Ignorance is a choice Fang, however this won't do for you anymore. Now your just a shill. A shill with a free encyclopedia that, given my explanation of information as a commodity, will undoubtedly remain that way.

Just because you've bought them doesn't mean you've read them or understood them. And given that you assign validity and credibility to information based on where it is published, I don't think you'd understand much.

Keep putting on that lipstick, though. It'll stop your lips from getting chapped while you osculate that right-wing anus.

I ordered a copy. If anyone wants to read it after I am done, and can't afford their own copy let me know and I'll send it along (perhaps with a list of names to send it to next.)

Sounds like a good way to spend $19 to me.

Hello from Chris, author of Long May They Wave! Interesting discussion. The flag was not "huge" at all for that large dome. My book gives a revealing look into what was really going on there, and I can only hope it will dispel some of the false information that has been making the rounds of the web since the story was initially reported. It was not Mr. Rowan's flag; the flag was purchased on eBay by me, and the City paid for it. One of the rumors that so typically floats around libraries was that I must have been the one to leak the flag banning to the paper, but I didn't - it turned out to be an elderly volunteer named Hazel. I was pushed out after 15 years there because of this. The book includes interviews with Rowan, and the artist who crafted the dildos. There is plenty of funny and new material in it. The ISBN is 10:0-9785249-1-8, 13:978-0-9785249-1-3. The LCCN 2006903543. I only just received the books from the printer yesterday, so distribution is limited. The website is the quickest source. If it catches on, it will be listed in B&T and or Ingram later. Anything you folks can do to help spread the word would be appreciated. Thanks for letting me join in!

Did you have a viewpoint to offer here, Tomeboy? Because your message is certainly devoid of content. I'm guessing that what you had wanted to say was simply the tired, old wrong-wing rhetoric of the one-side universe viewpoint?

Tsk. I goofed.

Rowan hadn't wanted to mount a flag, he just got all pissy because the library wouldn't mount the flag Powers wanted mounted. The library had decided that it was too large at 150 sqft. A smaller flag was mounted.

I've got a commentary on the> at my web site. Should have read it over first. I don't have a link to the source article.

mdoneil, when you get your copy of the book can you check and see if it has an ISBN. If it does can you please post the ISBN? Thanks.

Fangface, you stated “The flag Rowan wanted to mount that was too large for the foyer.â€
The article stated the flag was a 10-foot-by-15-foot American flag to hang in the foyer, which has a 41-foot-high ceiling, the bottom of the flag would still be 21 feet above the library floor.
If you have different information on the scale of the foyer or the flag, please give us your sources.
However, they should have been able to hang both. Not side by side of course, but if you can hang one, then you should be able to hang the other.

Non-selection is censorship with lipstick.

Logically thinking we should dismiss their equivalent results, and the ignorance if not bias of selectors, and let the cherry-red lips of semantics trump all.

Everyone here know their collection development librarian?

It was the flag Rowan wanted to mount that was too large for the foyer. The curator made a judgement call he didn't like and that's why he got pissy about an art work he couldn't understand.

Want to provide a cite to some source that backs up your information on this fact?

1: It was the flag Rowan wanted to mount that was too large for the foyer. The curator made a judgement call he didn't like and that's why he got pissy about an art work he couldn't understand.

2: The penises were part of a themed art display.

3: Rowan perpetrated a theft when he stole those penises, which is a crime, and he stole them for political reasons, not to make a buck off the theft; that makes it censorship.

4: Rowan wanted to use the flag as a political symbol, not in a work of art. Aside from which, given how the right-wing wants to sanctify the flag and make it holy, it would then be a religious symbol. Still not an artwork in and of itself.

5: If Rowan and the librarian don't like that the flags can't be mounted inside the museum/library/public space of their ire they are free to donate a flag pole appropriate to the size of the flag. If they can get approval and permits under those laws the right-wing also like to tout as holy.

Harper's head is firmly jammed up Bush's ass. And I would explain to you the difference between selection and censorship, but I know you won't get it.

So censorship is OK if it is a flag but not OK if it is a penis replica? Clear that up for me fang.

BTW your PM, is his head still attached?

Don't confuse Fang with facts.

I apologize for butting into what seems to be a private argument but the flag size ~seems~ to fit the space given.

The newspaper article says it was a 10-foot-by-15-foot American flag to hang in the foyer, which is mostly glass and has a 41-foot-high ceiling.

The article later states that the book includes an illustration that shows the bottom of the flag would still be 21 feet above the library floor.

Again, I apologize about butting in but I think the flag would have fit given the information in the newspaper article.

So ersatz penises were OK but our flag was not.

You are so full of shit it boggles the mind, whether you ask me or not.

1: The flag Rowan wanted to fly was too large for the space he wanted it put in. Refusing to mount it was probably a reasonable restriction as to place or manner.

2: The ceramic penises were part of a themed art display. They were stolen; a clear and present criminal act, nevermind the issues of oppressing free speech that theft engendered.

3: Censorship is unAmerican and unpatriotic. Read the First Amendment and think about how it is supposed to be one of the underpinnings of American freedom.

Your simple-mindedness and invinsible ignorance are offensive in the extreme.

El Dildo Bandito is they guy who stole the hanging dildo 'art' display that was hung where the author proposed to hang a United States flag.

So ersatz penises were OK but our flag was not.

Boulder is a cesspool if you ask me.

The book is recommended by the El Dildo Bandito

What more is there to know? This book is a must buy!!!

"My story was good, but this one is better - anyone with feelings of affection for our American flag must read this amazing documentary. Mr. Power is a true American patriot."

-Bob Rowan, El Dildo Bandito