It's September...Banned Books Week Is Coming Up

It's almost that time again. Banned Books Week was first recognized in 1982 and will run from Sept. 29 to Oct. 6 this year. Mark it on your calendars!

Here's a piece from the Ventura (CA) Star on how some librarians will celebrate all those banned books from "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "The Grapes of Wrath" and "To Kill A Mockingbird" to "The Bluest Eye", "Beloved" and "Tango Makes Three."


Banning by library enthusiasts continue at library intellectual freedom enthusiasts come up short when colleagues' practices are antithetical to the same ethical principles. For example banning the original writer of a relatively neutral point of view but not other particpants in the exchanges whose manner of objections were not as neutral as the original writing. In any case suspension not a ban is more in keeping with the standards of due process. Justice is not banning forever for the perceived offense. People have a right to return if the offense does not continue in any case in a fair society. Perhaps it is an example why our library institutions should be managed by other professionals than library professionals with narrow outlooks regarding the very same principles library professionals merely enunciate rather than put into daily practice.

People like you criticize me for not being "sophisticated enough" to understand the underlying legal issues. Then, when I try to get "sophisticated enough," you claim I'm doing it only for nefarious reasons.

But isn't that the system you want? One in which young adults and children are kept ignorant and unsophisticated through the removal or denial of information from their purviews simply because they are not sophisticated enough to deal with it to begin with?

I don't understand why you are complaining. "A patriot is a person who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works." Here you are complaining bitterly about how your system is working instead of rejoicing in it.

What is it exactly, or what more, do you want?

Don't bother answering that question, by the way, it's rhetorical. I have a pretty good idea of what it is you want: a system of censorship that only inconveniences others, but from which you are exempt.

You are out of control. I never would have done that. I wanted to be there purely for the information.

People like you criticize me for not being "sophisticated enough" to understand the underlying legal issues. Then, when I try to get "sophisticated enough," you claim I'm doing it only for nefarious reasons. Either way I lose, according to your method of trying to minimize my exposing the truth to the public. You are the kind of people where one can never win no matter which way he turns.
Does that make you feel better about yourself? Do you think you make your argument stronger by playing such games? Do you think the OIF, the self-arrogated "equal access" police, looks like it means what it says when it denies equal access after I was invited?

If you can cite any examples of the ALA (NOT SRRT) being either socialist or anti-American I'd like to see them.Further, "banned" has a rather fluid definition. If ALA's usage is more colloquial than legal then I'm pretty sure it's in the service of a larger point that there are millions of people who want to decide what you, or your children, can read in certain places and that's wrong and here's what we are going to fight it.

No, because you're a troll. You have trolliosis. You arrived at the meeting in a Trolldsmobile.You have no interested in an affirmative or productive viewpoint. It seems pretty obvious from your postings that you'd either:1) Take everything from the seminar, selectively quote it, misinterpret it or outright lie (as you do on your web site) and then run giggling into the woods claiming victory over the Pornographers.2) Be disruptive at a private class where people are trying to learn.Why should ALA fund its own slander? You're a troll. Buh-bye.

The issue is not "If ALA doesn't let people off the street into the OIF's office to use the bathroom and read the Tribune." The issue is everyone in a certain group was invited into the OIF, I was a member of that group, but just me and me alone they excluded despite the invitation that I had accepted, and they did this by repeatedly changing the requirements just for me. That's okay by you?

Funny! Obviously you're not serious here.

That struck me as remarkably funny. Spit diet coke on your monitor funny.

I may be a right wing PITA, but compared to some posters I am an easygoing middle of the road guy.

I enquired about going as well. I do indeed have a law degree and a MLS. My name and number were taken down by 2 people at ALA however in the intrest of full disclosure I told them I was going to bring someone from with me.

They never returned my calls.

I never registered for the program because I really am not that interested in what the ALA has to say. However denying any fee paying participant to a program in which there are open seats is simply absurd. What are they hiding?

Not that this has much to do with banned books week which of course is complete nonsense are there have not been any 'banned' books, it is just hyperbole spewed by the ALA so people will think they are fighting for the common man (rather than their usual socialist Anti-American nonsense).

I have worked with several Simmons grads and found them all to be professional, well-rounded and credits to their institutions.Do you have any specific beef with Simmons or its curriculum?

They wouldn't let you come to a professional development class, and that is the same as a school or city banning a book? How?If ALA doesn't let people off the street into the OIF's office to use the bathroom and read the Tribune, is that censorship?

What do the rules of a librarian discussion board have to do with banned books?

What is problematical about suppressing or attempting to suppress those with whom we do not agree with is that we then do not have more opportunities to learn about adversarial points of views in their own words so that responses can be developed that are more directly to the mark than evasive. Implicit in intellectual freedom is the idea of learning, and here it would be learning more about disagreeable points of views. Challenges to accepted ideas are also opportunities to look at misperceptions in opposing points of views.Listings of attorneys with expertise or interest in library related concerns need to be compiled as a resource guide for people and groups pursuing litigative courses of action. Library unions, library labor relations, library collective bargaining is a related area of law. Listings of attorneys participating in library related programs could be used by people and groups pursuing litigative courses of action and needing counsel with expertise in library law.What we should be developing instruction about is how to engage, negotiate, mediate opposing points of views rather than how to suppress. Library schools' curricula come up short in this regard. The philosophy of information policy needs greater attention. A good example of such a program that engenders thought about the philosophy of information policy is at Independent thinking on these matters is encouraged.Regrettably an example of a bad example is the overpriced with meager financial assistance library studies program in Massachusetts at Simmons College where what passes for philosophy of information policy is taught as if the policies are prescribed for professionals rather than examining the policies, investigating the policies and how the policies have developed -- independent thinking on these matters discouraged.

Interesting! I've been banned by the ALA itself. By the very Office for Intellectual Freedom! The OIF raised new hurdle after new hurdle as I met each requirement and eventually I was kept out of its classes for First Amendment law and libraries!!!! This despite the rules of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania!!! And it's called the Office for "Intellectual Freedom," freedom, apparently, to exclude people from being included in the pursuit of "intellectual freedom." So I would have to say I absolutely agree with you: "principles library professionals merely enunciate rather than put into daily practice."

For full details of this, see Unequal Access at

At your request, I won't answer.