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Dan Kleinman
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#Author @realily, I'd ♥ 4u2 #write on my blog re @HikindDov's comments @BrooklynPublic #library's #lesbian #erotica and kids. @SteveRothaus I love your statement of the obvious regarding 50 Shades of Grey.
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The school found this was inappropriate for the seventh grade. I haven't read the book, but I really don't see the sin here. Schools get to decide what is appropriate for their students, and they should not be attacked for making a decision. A proper response is acceptable, but attacking is not. The attacks are designed to force somebody's way. As Dan Gerstein said, "The ... elites have convinced themselves that they are taking a stand against cultural tyranny. .... [T]he reality is that it is those who cry 'Censorship!' the loudest who are the ones trying to stifle speech and force their moral world-view on others." Oh wait, the bigger the "brohaha", the more books sold. Well that explains things.
Toggle Commented Apr 10, 2013 on Who's afraid of Persepolis?* at bookshelves of doom
The ACLU and the NCAC make frequent false claims on this very topic, as does the American Library Association. Heck the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act said the ALA is intentionally hindering communities from using filters to protect their children from pornography legally. Further, at least with respect to the NCAC, it openly calls for libraries to stock porn. That's right, stock it. I'd take anything ACLU/NCAC says regarding porn in libraries with a huge grain of salt. That said, congrats to ACLU for winning in the Salem, MO, library Wicca filtering case, but that case was about religion, not about porn. Library media specialists are being paid to ensure children have access to the right materials, are they not? So why the fear mongering about filtering porn in public schools? Are you saying the library media specialists are not capable or competent to do their job? There goes another double standard. On one side they argue or imply library media specialists cannot perform their work so the children need unfiltered Internet access, and on the other hand they are argue or imply libraries should not use filters because only parents are in a position of deciding what is right and wring, and only for their own children. So parents can safely guide children on the Internet but library media specialists can't? I'm confused. And I follow Twitter for cases of kids accessing porn on computers in school libraries, or adults accessing porn in school libraries, and there are plenty. Plenty. I suppose using filters to block pornography hinders education, but only if you are talking about the kind of "education" you get from pornography.
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2013 on "Access Denied." at bookshelves of doom
We need to know how many times was The Hunger Games challenged. Last year the top book on the list was challenged a whopping four times all year. I think that has something to do with why the number of challenges is left out, except for the aggregate number. I suppose the good news is that books are rarely challenged.
Well, such as it is, the book contains an oral sex scene. And it is pervasively vulgar, to use a phrase from Board of Education v. Pico that allows schools to remove pervasively vulgar books. Further, if I read media reports correctly, parents were notified that some books contained possibly objectionable material, but LFA was not marked in that manner. Be that as it may, my belief from calling the school and from media reports is that the school has a policy in place and that it was followed. But if I were to write on the topic, I would want to get more information first, talk to more people, read more reports, etc. And remember, as the ALA's former top leader said, if a book does not meet a school's selection policy, "get it out of there."
"[T]he American Library Association came out with a strongly worded resolution in January against the MAS text ban at TUSD." Yes, it did, but there was no book banning. Rather, the curriculum was removed. That is a serious issue in and of itself. But it is not "book banning." The ALA used the TUSD community to promote its false book banning efforts. In reality, no book has been banned in the US for half a century. http://www.317am.net/2011/08/banned-book-favorites-fanny-hill-reprise.html So ignore the ALA's cynical, political use of the TUSD community and please get back to the real issue, namely, the removal of the curriculum. "Don't mess with librarians!"? I agree. But most librarians are embarrassed by the ALA persistently inserting its political goals into non-library areas, such as, in this case, state laws regarding school curricula.
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Thanks David, I see your point now. Still, it seems to me that the curriculum was removed. All that came with it, including the books, is incidental to the curriculum removal. If you hitch your star on the book banning claim, know that book banning claims are made constantly whenever anyone opposes any material in schools, no matter how inappropriate. Even progressive librarians are tiring of it. So, in my opinion, you'll merely add your case to the hundreds of others that are also not actual book bans. It's your weakest argument. I suggest dropping it.
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The ALA got it right since the resolution makes no false claims about book "banning" or "censorship." Let’s be clear no book “banning” was involved. The issues are more serious than false claims of book “banning.” In reality, no book has been banned in the USA for about half a century. If book “banning” is one of the arguments, it only telegraphs that the remainder of the arguments may be similarly specious. I know that is not what is intended. So, David Safier, I respectfully suggest dropping references to false claims of book “banning.” As I said, even the ALA’s own resolution in support of the curriculum does not use either word, instead opting for “restriction of access to educational materials,” which may be accurate. So I strongly suggest removing any false claims of “banning” from any of your arguments regarding the curriculum.
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@Matt Erickson, um, if I read that right, we basically agree on the underlying issue of false cries of censorship. By the way, I still remember the poems my English teacher made me learn.
@The Healthy Librarian, thanks. I just bought a bag of cleaned and cut fresh kale today. And other healthy foods. Even Ezekial bread! Thanks to you!
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I just read that whole thing. I already knew this stuff was good for you, but I never have the wherewithal to put it together. So the question is, is it worth buying for $6 or $7, a large plastic glass of the food from the local juice guy, and how many times a week should I do so?
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Phew! Big brouhaha over nothing. Yes, the curriculum removal is a big issue. But the claims of book "banning" is completely false, let alone overblown. If a curriculum is removed then all of its materials are removed. Sounds like an educational decision to me, even if a poor one, and I do not take a position on that, but it has nothing to do with book banning, except to the extent people can use the false banning issue to support their arguments for restoration of the curriculum. Great, support restoration of the curriculum, but I suggest not doing it on the back of the false argument about book "banning."
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"Speaking of honesty," as you say, I see you provide three "Related" links, all three to the American Library Association. How about some balance, some honesty, so people can think for themselves: "School Superintendents May Remove Explicit Books Immediately; Waterland by Graham Swift Removed from Salem High School, Canton, MI" http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/12/school-superintendents-may-remove.html
[Transcript from start of one of my endnotes:] ANGELA MAYCOCK OF ALA OFFICE FOR INTELLECTUAL FREEDOM: Well the American Library Association has a grant from the Open Society Institute to create programming in libraries, using libraries as community centers basically, to reach out to the entire American public because libraries are everywhere. They are in every community. There are actually more libraries in this country than there are McDonalds, if you can believe it, and libraries are really uniquely positioned to help educate people about all kinds of issues including privacy. So we have this grant from OSI to do privacy programming and we decided that we really needed to focus on young people and what young people think and feel about privacy today. We realized that we needed help to understand the issues and to be able to develop really good programs, so we decided that the best use for some of this grant money we received was to bring together some real privacy experts [shows picture of Cory Doctorow] to get people talking, get some ideas and some real concrete programs for, that we can put out and make available to libraries so that they can reach people across the country.
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Jan 4, 2012