Town votes to shut down library because they refuse to pull LGBT books

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steross

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#22
Libraries exist to serve communities. The communities they serves should have the right to choose what content they display. I don't like banning books, but this seems like common sense.
If a "community" chose to expunge the library of all books that discussed capitalist economics, religion, or books about men you would be OK with that?

Sorry, using majority rule to censor minorities in a public library is far from common sense in my opinion.
 

LS1 Z28

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#23
If a "community" chose to expunge the library of all books that discussed capitalist economics, religion, or books about men you would be OK with that?

Sorry, using majority rule to censor minorities in a public library is far from common sense in my opinion.
That doesn't sound like a community I would want to live in, but I would support their right to choose. I believe in the democratic process, even when it produces results I dislike.

How do you feel about libraries censoring hate speech and pornographic content? How do you think they should decide on what content should and shouldn't be displayed?
 

Binman4OSU

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#24
That doesn't sound like a community I would want to live in, but I would support their right to choose. I believe in the democratic process, even when it produces results I dislike.

How do you feel about libraries censoring hate speech and pornographic content? How do you think they should decide on what content should and shouldn't be displayed?
I generally side with the ALA. I know several members of the Oklahoma ALA and they range from Republican to Democrat to strait to gay etc etc etc....and they all buy into the ALA concept on censorship

If people in Oklahoma with such widely ranging beliefs can get behind the ALA approach, then I don't think we have any hope of finding harmony as a society any time soon.

The American Library Association opposes widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries
CHICAGO - Due to a dramatic uptick in book challenges and outright removal of books from libraries, ALA's Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA's eight divisions have released the following joint statement regarding attempts to remove materials that focus on LGBTQIA+ issues and books by Black authors or that document the Black experience or the experiences of other BIPOC individuals:

In recent months, a few organizations have advanced the proposition that the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves. To this end they have launched campaigns demanding the censorship of books and resources that mirror the lives of those who are gay, queer, or transgender, or that tell the stories of persons who are Black, Indigenous or persons of color. Falsely claiming that these works are subversive, immoral, or worse, these groups induce elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights to promote government censorship of library collections. Some of these groups even resort to intimidation and threats to achieve their ends, targeting the safety and livelihoods of library workers, educators, and board members who have dedicated themselves to public service, to informing our communities, and educating our youth.

ALA strongly condemns these acts of censorship and intimidation.

We are committed to defending the constitutional rights of all individuals, of all ages, to use the resources and services of libraries. We champion and defend the freedom to speak, the freedom to publish, and the freedom to read, as promised by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

We stand opposed to censorship and any effort to coerce belief, suppress opinion, or punish those whose expression does not conform to what is deemed to be orthodox in history, politics, or belief. The unfettered exchange of ideas is essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society.

Libraries manifest the promises of the First Amendment by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas, so that every person has the opportunity to freely read and consider information and ideas regardless of their content or the viewpoint of the author. This requires the professional expertise of librarians who work in partnership with their communities to curate collections that serve the information needs of all their users.

In 1953, when confronted with comparable threats to our democratic values, the American Library Association issued the Freedom to Read Statement, a declaration in support of freedom to think or believe as one chooses, the freedom to express one's thoughts and beliefs without fear or retaliation, and the right to access information without restriction. ALA's Executive Board, staff, and member leaders reaffirm not only the principles of the Freedom to Read statement but also the daily practices that ensure it continues to inform the profession and that library workers and library trustees have the training, information, tools, and support they need to celebrate and defend their communities' right to read and to learn.

With the freedom to read under threat, the ALA, including its Executive Board, Divisions, Roundtables, and other units stand firmly with our members, the entire library community, allied organizations, and all those across this country who choose to exercise their own right to read and access information freely, and we call on others to do the same.
 

cableok

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#25
I generally side with the ALA. I know several members of the Oklahoma ALA and they range from Republican to Democrat to strait to gay etc etc etc....and they all buy into the ALA concept on censorship

If people in Oklahoma with such widely ranging beliefs can get behind the ALA approach, then I don't think we have any hope of finding harmony as a society any time soon.

The American Library Association opposes widespread efforts to censor books in U.S. schools and libraries
CHICAGO - Due to a dramatic uptick in book challenges and outright removal of books from libraries, ALA's Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA's eight divisions have released the following joint statement regarding attempts to remove materials that focus on LGBTQIA+ issues and books by Black authors or that document the Black experience or the experiences of other BIPOC individuals:

In recent months, a few organizations have advanced the proposition that the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves. To this end they have launched campaigns demanding the censorship of books and resources that mirror the lives of those who are gay, queer, or transgender, or that tell the stories of persons who are Black, Indigenous or persons of color. Falsely claiming that these works are subversive, immoral, or worse, these groups induce elected and non-elected officials to abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law, and disregard individual rights to promote government censorship of library collections. Some of these groups even resort to intimidation and threats to achieve their ends, targeting the safety and livelihoods of library workers, educators, and board members who have dedicated themselves to public service, to informing our communities, and educating our youth.

ALA strongly condemns these acts of censorship and intimidation.

We are committed to defending the constitutional rights of all individuals, of all ages, to use the resources and services of libraries. We champion and defend the freedom to speak, the freedom to publish, and the freedom to read, as promised by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

We stand opposed to censorship and any effort to coerce belief, suppress opinion, or punish those whose expression does not conform to what is deemed to be orthodox in history, politics, or belief. The unfettered exchange of ideas is essential to the preservation of a free and democratic society.

Libraries manifest the promises of the First Amendment by making available the widest possible range of viewpoints, opinions, and ideas, so that every person has the opportunity to freely read and consider information and ideas regardless of their content or the viewpoint of the author. This requires the professional expertise of librarians who work in partnership with their communities to curate collections that serve the information needs of all their users.

In 1953, when confronted with comparable threats to our democratic values, the American Library Association issued the Freedom to Read Statement, a declaration in support of freedom to think or believe as one chooses, the freedom to express one's thoughts and beliefs without fear or retaliation, and the right to access information without restriction. ALA's Executive Board, staff, and member leaders reaffirm not only the principles of the Freedom to Read statement but also the daily practices that ensure it continues to inform the profession and that library workers and library trustees have the training, information, tools, and support they need to celebrate and defend their communities' right to read and to learn.

With the freedom to read under threat, the ALA, including its Executive Board, Divisions, Roundtables, and other units stand firmly with our members, the entire library community, allied organizations, and all those across this country who choose to exercise their own right to read and access information freely, and we call on others to do the same.
In this case, a LGBTQ group complained about a book. Library then publicly apologized for including a book (which was an Amazon bestseller) with alternative views on transgender.

Not sure on ALA's stance on this incident.

https://twitter.com/irvinglibrary/status/1404884960931102721?s=20&t=5Sd14PPiBkg1XoSD0qglMQ
 
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#26
In this case, a LGBTQ group complained about a book. Library then publicly apologized for including a book (which was an Amazon bestseller) with alternative views on transgender.

Not sure on ALA's stance on this incident.

https://twitter.com/irvinglibrary/status/1404884960931102721?s=20&t=5Sd14PPiBkg1XoSD0qglMQ
This doesn't seem like the same thing at all. They didn't remove the book here. This would be more similar to including God: a biography in a Christianity display and then moving it back to its regular place after Christians complained.
 

kenny41

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#27
I'm personally not in favor of having federal or even state laws against certain books, etc. However there does need to be a democratic way of having the peoples voice heard...even if in cases like this it has to be a super majority in order to make the changes that particular community wants.

That said, harassment, bullying/badgering, threats, and any sort of violence has no place in the process. Those people who engage in that behavior should be held accountable.
The line between democracy and tyranny of the majority is getting thinner and thinner these days.
 

steross

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#28
That doesn't sound like a community I would want to live in, but I would support their right to choose. I believe in the democratic process, even when it produces results I dislike.

How do you feel about libraries censoring hate speech and pornographic content? How do you think they should decide on what content should and shouldn't be displayed?
For a democracy to function, there has to be an appropriate interplay of majority rule and minority rights.
We will fail with mob rule. You are using the word "community" as a euphemism for the power of a majority over a minority. This isn't a vote to fund a road or pay taxes. This is a vote to remove a minority voice from a public sphere. I do not support a mob suppressing the rights of minorities.

In my opinion, this is hate speech. This isn't protecting children as the book was already in the adult section. Think about if they wanted to remove African-American-themed books? Would you feel the same about the censoring of that protected class by a majority?

Regarding pornography that is always a narrow line based on opinion but keeping possible "porn" in an adult section and avoiding obvious gratuitous porn seems fairly easy.
 

LS1 Z28

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#29
For a democracy to function, there has to be an appropriate interplay of majority rule and minority rights.
We will fail with mob rule. You are using the word "community" as a euphemism for the power of a majority over a minority. This isn't a vote to fund a road or pay taxes. This is a vote to remove a minority voice from a public sphere. I do not support a mob suppressing the rights of minorities.

In my opinion, this is hate speech. This isn't protecting children as the book was already in the adult section. Think about if they wanted to remove African-American-themed books? Would you feel the same about the censoring of that protected class by a majority?

Regarding pornography that is always a narrow line based on opinion but keeping possible "porn" in an adult section and avoiding obvious gratuitous porn seems fairly easy.
Protected classes exist because our elected officials defined them through federal legislation. They're a reflection of the will of the majority. I wouldn't want libraries or anyone else to discriminate against them.

Let me be more specific with my question:
1. White supremacist books written by the likes of David Duke.
2. Hustler magazine.
3. LGBT books targeting youth.

There are a minority of individuals in our country that believe that each of these should be readily available within public libraries. Which should be censored and why?

I'm honestly not sure where I fall on all of this. This issue leaves my conflicted. I would prefer that no books were banned, but I would also prefer for communities to have the freedom to remove content they find offensive if it's funded by their tax dollars.
 

cableok

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#31
This definitely seems like an overreaction.
So far, we have just seen/read one reason why tax increase got voted down. There was definitely a dispute between a woman and the librarian, but don't know how much the dispute played into the voting results.

It was just a coincidence that the dispute happened at the same time there was a planned vote for millage for roads, fire, and library. Many people don't like to pay more in taxes and they voted down the library increase and barely passed the roads referendum (only 51% approval). In this economy, voting no on a tax increase does not seem odd.
The librarian then got in touch with someone in the media and made this about LGBTQ dispute. The media does what it normally does and duplicates stories to make it controversial without exploring other reasons. I would think a good journalist would wonder why a nearby town also almost voted no on a similar library referendum.
 

PokeJ

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#32
Is porn allowed in this specific library?
I also searched their catalog and they have this book. So to answer your question. Seems as long as it isn't anything depicting LGBTQ sexual situations then yes...they have HIGHLY controversial and sexually explicit books on their shelves, as do MOST libraries in America.

As a Society, We tend to not care about those things unless it is depicting those acts in a LGBT setting.

Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer, published in 1934 in France, was controversial due to its rampant misogyny, sexually graphic content, and themes of toxic masculinity. Its 1961 publication in America led to a series of dozens of famous obscenity trials across the country. One judge said it wasn’t a book, but rather “a cesspool, an open sewer, a pit of putrefaction, a slimy gathering of all that is rotten in the debris of human depravity.”
Jerry Seinfeld never returned Tropic Of Cancer and Inspector Bookman called him out on it


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

swamppoke

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#34
Here's a challenge: Find the book "The Predatory Female" by Lawrence Shannon at your local library.

(and if you should find it, read it - it's hilarious - but you probably won't find it).
 

StillwaterTownie

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#35
Banning access to books should be based on age appropriateness. If I was a librarian, I wouldn't want a 3rd grader to check out a LGBTQ book like "Flamed". But wouldn't be against a 6th grade student or older checking it out.
 

steross

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#36
Protected classes exist because our elected officials defined them through federal legislation. They're a reflection of the will of the majority. I wouldn't want libraries or anyone else to discriminate against them.

Let me be more specific with my question:
1. White supremacist books written by the likes of David Duke.
2. Hustler magazine.
3. LGBT books targeting youth.

There are a minority of individuals in our country that believe that each of these should be readily available within public libraries. Which should be censored and why?

I'm honestly not sure where I fall on all of this. This issue leaves my conflicted. I would prefer that no books were banned, but I would also prefer for communities to have the freedom to remove content they find offensive if it's funded by their tax dollars.
There is no library that is going to have all literature. Seems to me there is a significant difference between a group censoring books that the professional librarians have felt are valuable enough to have in the library and a small minority picking out generally detestable items like white supremacy or pornography and trying to get that into libraries on a free speech claim. As far as youth books "targeting" LGBT it would really depend on the content. Books that really help transgender kids with their issues might be lifesaving. Obviously, a book could be poorly written and cause harm.
 

cableok

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#37
An interesting fact about Jamestown versus nearby communities. I didn’t know any libraries charged membership fees.

If the library is not able to supplement money lost from Tuesday’s failed millage, Walton said it will most likely close next fall. Neighboring libraries charge membership fees to their patrons, while the Jamestown Township library is free”
 

Binman4OSU

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#38
An interesting fact about Jamestown versus nearby communities. I didn’t know any libraries charged membership fees.

If the library is not able to supplement money lost from Tuesday’s failed millage, Walton said it will most likely close next fall. Neighboring libraries charge membership fees to their patrons, while the Jamestown Township library is free”
Well charge fees and tell the public to Eff off lol

I had no clue some libraries charged fees
 

CocoCincinnati

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#40
I sure would like to see the data used to determine how many people voted no because of the book in question and how many voted no because of the tax increase. It's amazing they were able to determine that in order to write this story.....surely they wouldn't just speculate on something like that in the media.