September 13, 2011

Rory Litwin interviews SafeLibraries’ Dan Kleinman

Dan Kleinman is the man behind the SafeLibraries campaign, which opposes the American Library Association’s intellectual freedom efforts regarding challenged books in school libraries and classrooms. From Dan’s point of view, as many know, ALA is responsible for exposing children to sexually inappropriate materials. Dan agreed to an interview, which we conducted on Facebook chat. The interview follows, typos included:

RL: Hi, Dan, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

DK: Hi Rory, thanks.

RL: Also, I’d like to thank you for sending me the powerpoint to the talk you gave recently, which was sponsored by a local Tea Party group. In your talk, you shared a quotation from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War that I found very interesting, about how the key to winning a battle is knowing your enemy. This was the reason you gave for talking so much about ALA and the ACLU. There’s something I want to ask you about regarding that.

In talking about ALA, you accuse them of a lot of pretty bad things, including advising librarians to promote inappropriate materials, plagiarizing on a regular basis, whitewashing rape and blaming the victims, aiding and abetting pedophiles, wanting children to access pornography, and I could go on. In my experience in ALA, all of this is far from the truth. But even if it were, I think that in terms of “knowing the enemy” there is something missing, which is the motivation. So I wanted to ask you, what do you think ALA’s motivation is in all of this? Do you think we are all sex perverts or something?

DK: Setting aside the ALA’s OIF, the ALA is an outstanding organization and I included that in my talk. And I’ll be happy to talk anywhere–it’s just that a tea party was the first to invite me and follow through. I was previously invited to speak at a senior citizen’s center but it never happened.

As to the OIF, it is not so much that I accuse them of that. What I am really doing is reporting what they are actually doing and linking to the sources where people can see this for themselves.

As to the “sex perverts” issue, no, I do not think the OIF is motivating in that regard in any way.

motivated

RL: In your talk you do refer to the villain as the ALA, but we can talk about the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom if you prefer. Still, I wonder what you think their motivation is in doing what you say they have done?

DK: I was asked that very question by the media. I have no response for that. I simply do not know why the OIF wants children to access inappropriate material. As Will Manley puts it,

“the library profession is the only profession in the world that wants children to have access to pornography.” http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/05/will-manley-outs-library-profession-as.html

Perhaps ask Will the same question.

RL: Okay… Staying on the same theme of motivation, I am interested in knowing more about you, and how you got into this campaign. Could you talk a bit about that?

DK: I detail how I got into this here: http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/07/porn-and-sex-abuse-in-our-public.html

Basically, my kindergartner got an inappropriate book that was recommended by the ALA and given her by an ALA member librarian.

I began to investigate why and I haven’t stopped since.

RL: What was the book?

DK: Mangaboom, by Charlotte Pomerantz. It won a Caldecott Award.

RL: one sec, I’d like to look it up.

DK: Okay. In the meantime, I brought the book to the principal. SHE said the book was TWICE as bad as what I reported and SHE removed it from the library. I did not ask her to remove the book. She did that on her own.

RL: I just read the descriptions on the Amazon page for the book, and it doesn’t give any warning about inappropriate material. One of the books is from School Library Journal (not a part of ALA), and the other is from Booklist (which does come from ALA). Neither of these reviews indicates that there is anythign controversial in them. Two questions. First, what about the book is bad? And second, do you have an issue with Amazon for recommending the book to Kindergarten-age kids?

(By the way, Dan, just so that there is no question of unfairness, when I publish this interview I am going to leave in all the typos and mistakes.)

DK: She went skinny dipping on a blind date with three guys. Ooh la la, she said in a lusty voice. It had text like that.

As to book reviews, they are misleading. Again, that is not an accusation, rather, that is something I am reporting merely as the messenger. In this case, a school administrator said this:

“School Excoriates Book Reviews that Fail to Disclose ‘Graphic Sexual Details’ in Books for Children; Lush by Natasha Friend is ‘Wildly Inappropriate’ for Certain Children” http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2010/12/school-excoriates-book-reviews-that.html

RL: Do you think there is honest disagreement about what is appropriate for kids of different ages?

And if Mangaboom is so inappropriate for kids, why do you think these major reviewers would be so irresponsible as to leave out any warning? Do you think they also are intentionally trying to expose children to sexually inappropriate materials?

DK: By the way, no book is “bad.” Bad books is not the issue. I support authors writing whatever they like, and my blog evidences that. The problem is the OIF’s actions vis-a-vis certain books.

As to whether there is honest disagreement, one merely needs look at the ALA to say yes. Regarding the book Push, by Sapphire, the ALA said the book was right for all ages on one ALA page (Teen Hoopla), and said the book was only for 11th graders and up on another ALA page. So the ALA disagrees with itself, and the ALA is in favor of “banning” the book from kids in 10th grade and below.

Would you like me to get the ala pages for you to prove this?

As to the Mangaboom issue you raise, it never even occurred to me what you are suggesting regarding publishers and/or major reviewers. Now that you are asking, no, they are not intentionally trying to expose children to sexually inappropriate materials.

RL: Okay, so then, why do you think they are so much less concerned about this issue than you are?

DK: Publishers? Reviewers? Why are they less concerned than me? I don’t know. They are not the problem.

RL: Okay, I’ll ask the same question regarding librarians (ALA member-librarians). Why do you think we are so much less concerned?

DK: Again, ALA member librarians are not the problem. The OIF is the problem. And the way the OIF enforces its diktat is the problem. See, for example, “3 Ways to Get Blackballed in the Library Profession,” by Will Manley, Will Unwound, #428, 26 April 2011. http://willmanley.com/2011/04/26/will-unwound-428-3-ways-to-get-blackballed-in-the-library-profession/

“Perhaps the most career limiting move that you could make in the library profession is to refuse to toe the line with the anything goes philosophy of the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom.”

Again, Rory, I’m not accusing. I’m merely the messenger pointing out what others are saying. Then I have the nerve to speak about it.

By the way, I used to be an ALA member and only dropped out simply because I could no longer afford to remain a member.

RL: I find it curious that you should say that the publishers and reviewers of these books are not the problem, when these books are published for kids.

Authors, too, of course.

And I will just add as a bit of information – in my experience in ALA, the vast majority of members support what the Office for Intellectual Freedom does. In fact, if they didn’t support it, they would change it, since it is a member-controlled organization.

But there is genuine disagreement about these books, including within ALA, certainly.

As for pointing out what others are saying, I have not heard anyone else say that ALA OIF is guilty of “advising librarians to promote inappropriate materials,” “plagiarizing on a regular basis,” “whitewashing rape and blaming the child victim,” “aiding and abetting pedophiles,” etc.

DK: As to authors? They can and should write whatever they like without any limitation at all.

Publishers and reviewers can do a better job in providing such information, true, but their job is to sell books, and they are selling books, and salesmen generally don’t announce the warts, so I see no problem with salesman selling books.

The problem is the OIF. It advises, correctly, that parents are responsible for book selection. At the same time, it makes recommendations for parents that do not provide accurate information. So when those parents actually do get involved, and when they trust the ALA for a list of reading material, they end up being misled, and, for example, their 12 year old ends up reading a graphic description of oral sex.

RL: Did your 12 year old read a graphic description of oral sex?

Sorry, that is was an unfair question.

Of course not – you are very careful about what your child is exposed to. That is very clear.

DK: If others are not reporting on the ALA’s misdeeds, that is not my fault. I admit I am on the leading edge in this regard.

Sometimes, however, people do finally say what I have been noting. I have been noting, for example, that Banned Books Week is propaganda. Recently, you yourself made the same observation, likely for a different reason, but the same observation nevertheless. http://libraryjuicepress.com/blog/?p=3019

RL: I do have a problem with Banned Books Week, but you’re right, it’s for a different kind of reason.

I don’t have quite the same problem with children and teens being exposed to books that have sexual subject matter, when it is presented at a level that is appropriate.

I’m really interested in the fact that people have such different ideas about what is appropriate for kids.

DK: “[W]hen it is presented at a level that is appropriate.” Bingo!

RL: People clearly disagree about what is appropriate. Right?

So I’m interested in why you are so concerned about this, why you have made this issue the focus of your life, where others are less concerned or have much more liberal ideas about what is appropriate.

DK: The issue is NOT what is appropriate. The issue is how and why the OIF misleads local communities on a number of issues, and as a result people are being harmed in a manner that would not have occurred but for the OIF’s intervention.

RL: The fact that your child was exposed to Mangaboom doesn’t seem like a complete explanation, because many parents saw that book and didn’t worry about the way you did. For you it was an outrage that your child would be exposed to it at school. Right?

DK: No. At first it was surprise. I brought it to the principal. She said it was twice what I reported. She removed it. Not me. I did not ask her to do that. That is what started me on this issue. Similar incidents is what starts other people similarly.

Was I outraged later, after learning it was a book recommended by the ALA? Perhaps, depending on the meaning of outrage.

RL: What I’m trying to get at is the fact that you are especially sensitive to the problem of children being exposed to sexually oriented materials. I doubt that Mangaboom has been removed from most school libraries, because most parents don’t have a problem with it. You may have an insight into the effects of exposure to sex-related material on children that most people lack. I don’t know. But I can’t let it go without remarking on it that you are very sensitive to this issue, and that your campaign, your life’s work, is based on this concern you have. At the same time, developmental psychologists are hardly at the forefront of your campaign; on the contrary, they are often authors or advisors to authors of books for young people that address sexual subjects.

So I wonder, how do you define what is appropriate?

DK: What I define as appropriate is irrelevant, except as it pertains to my own local issues. As I said before regarding Push, even the ALA has divergent views on what is appropriate.

Now If I seem unusually sensitive to the issue, that is simply because it became clear to me that children hurt by the ALA cannot fight back themselves and are not even aware of the problem. As a result, the negative effects of the OIF spread without so much as a whimper. So I am standing up for the most innocent in our society. I don’t see a problem in that. I am asking why it has to be this way that the OIF acts the way it does. It doesn’t. And I’m doing something about it. And I am showing others what they can do about it. But the first step is to become aware that it is even an issue in the first place.

RL: It is an issue to you, that is clear. But to take the case of Mangaboom, which is the book that you say got you started, I think most parents would not see an issue. So do you think most parents don’t understand something about kids that you understand?

Sorry, I can see that that is an unfair question.

Clearly, as you see it, ALA is out-of-step with most parents. Is that right?

DK: No. Again that is not the issue. I am not the issue. I have no special “insight into the effects of exposure to sex-related material on children that most people lack.”

I simply saw something wrong in some out of state organization pushing material on my child that the principal removed from the library for being inappropriate. Then I simply acted on that. Had the OIF not acted in a manner that put that book in my child’s hands, we would not even be having this conversation. I am not the issue. The OIF is.

Ah! After I answered that I see you added a few sentences. So yes, it is the ALA, really the OIF, that is out of step, and I can link to a number of librarians saying exactly that.

Dean Marney, for example, talks about ALA “dogma.” http://tinyurl.com/ALADogma

RL: So, that would prove that they are out of step with a number of librarians. It can be really hard to know what the majority of Americans think, even with well-designed polls. But let’s say that ALA had not been involved and these books had ended up in the library, what then? It seems likely enough, given that publishers, reviewers, authors, and parents who buy the book support them in the marketplace.

What would be the focus of your campaign then?

DK: “It can be really hard to know what the majority of Americans think, even with well-designed polls.”

Well, the OIF says anything goes in public schools.

In contrast, a recent Harris Poll says the exact opposite: “Most Oppose Explicit Books in Public Schools Says Harris Poll” http://tinyurl.com/MostOpposeExplicitBooks

That’s pretty clear evidence the OIF is out of step with the public.

If the OIF were not involved, and this were happening merely as a matter of market forces, then I would not have the concerns I do now. SafeLibraries addresses the OIF, not market forces.

RL: Again, at issue is the definition of what is explicit, what is appropriate or not. The Harris Poll might not apply to many of the books you object to, like Mangaboom for example. And unfortunately it does seem to be very difficult to discuss where the lines should be drawn, and for what developmental reasons.

Ok, thanks for your explanation regarding market forces.

This interview has gotten to be long, and I’m not sure there is more ground that we are going to be successful in covering.

DK: That may be your issue, namely the definition of appropriate reading material, but it is not mine. You see, that decision gets to be made by local communities, not by me.

I address the OIF and the harm it may be doing in local communities. Like the library employees being harassed in Birmingham, AL. Like the toddler raped in a public library bathroom in Des Moines, IA, as a result of ALA policy, something that did not come to light until I got directly involved. Please consider asking me questions along those lines.

Okay, then thank you for this opportunity to speak with you on these important issues. I will be happy to speak with you again in the future. And hello to Library Juice readers!

RL: Thanks very much, Dan! I think this was an enlightening interview.

DK: Yes, thank you.

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54 Comments »

  1. For those interested, here is a link to “the powerpoint to the talk you gave recently”: http://tinyurl.com/SaferLibraries

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 13, 2011 @ 2:12 pm

  2. Oh, boy, this is one scary guy. Thanks for publishing this interview.

    Comment by Cheryl Becker — September 14, 2011 @ 3:38 pm

  3. @CherylBecker, be specific. What is “scary”?

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 14, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

  4. Kramer auto Pingback[…] Interview with Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries Rory Litwin writes: “Dan Kleinman (right) is the man behind the SafeLibraries campaign, which opposes the ALA’s intellectual freedom efforts regarding challenged books in school libraries and classrooms. From Dan’s point of view, as many know, ALA is responsible for exposing children to sexually inappropriate materials. Dan agreed to an interview, which we conducted on Facebook chat.”… Library Juice, Sept. 13 […]

    Pingback by AL Direct, September 14, 2011 — September 14, 2011 @ 5:48 pm

  5. Just wanted to make the comment that Mangaboom by Charlotte Pomerantz did not win the Caldecott Award. The illustrator, Anita Lobel, is noted as a Caldecott Honor Medalist for her illustrations in On Market Street. I did not see it on the Notable Children’s Books either. Therefore the ALA did not “tell” the school librarian to purchase this book. Just wanted to make that clarification. However, I did note that Kirkus Review does specifically mention skinny-dipping and other reviews were not 100% positive. I feel that the presence of this book in a school library could call into question a school’s material selection policy, but not the ALA interference in local communities or the OIF policies. I find it hard to believe that this book would be such a trigger to spark a crusade since the basic premise and justification doesn’t stand up. He might not have liked the book, but where does he get support that the ALA is to blame? I would like to know if Mr. Kleiman has evidence to support his claims against the OIF and ALA that are not overblown exaggerations and scare tactics. How can you say that publishers should be allowed to publish anything that they want and market them to schools but a school librarian has to make sure that each book is “safe” for the children of all ages who use the materials? We in the school library are limited to purchasing books that are published by those publishers. Would a book that is meant to inform a 5th grader about puberty through realistic fiction dialogue be considered prurient in the hands of 5 year old? Likewise, books like The Perks of Being a Wallflower were not written to arouse or incite lust, but to confront difficult issues that YA readers face in the real world. By taking the phrases out of context Mr. Kleinman IS trying to incite fear against libraries and not act as a concerned citizen though he may claim otherwise. I appreciate your posting of this interview, but wish that we could have had some more information about Mr. Kleinman’s claims that the ALA’s OIF is to blame for “unsafe libraries.”

    Comment by Brittany Holman — September 14, 2011 @ 5:58 pm

  6. @Brittany Holman, good questions.

    As to the question of the book being on an ALA list of books for kindergartners, this is what the school principal told me. That and the school librarian was an ALA member who used that list. I never saw any such list, nor did I ask or look for one, but I had then and have now no reason to doubt the word of the principal.

    As to the Caldecott Award, I said, “It won a Caldecott Award.” If I should have said the illustrator won a Caldecott Award, then I apologize and I’ll make that clarification in the future.

    On to the meat of the matter, you said, “I would like to know if Mr. Kleiman has evidence to support his claims against the OIF and ALA that are not overblown exaggerations and scare tactics.” Yes. Remember, I am only the messenger. In my talk where I make these claims, linked in the first comment above, I link to my writings where I report on what others are saying.

    For example, take the plagiarism issue. I showed the ALA claimed and still claims a “censorship map” as its own, using the ALA’s own statements as reported in the LA Times, among other ALA statements. I also showed where the true author disclaimed membership in the ALA, using his own statements he made online. I showed exactly where he admitted the work was substandard. He is now working for the National Coalition Against Censorship. Acting as the messenger, I reported these facts over a year ago. Still acting as a messenger, I showed how the ALA to this day continues to promote the admittedly substandard, plagiarized material. It’s on an ALA website right now.

    And I have shown other examples of plagiarism.

    I have even shown the ALA taking Rory Litwin’s own words about BBW propaganda and intentionally misquoting them to leave out the thrust of what Rory was saying. That is not plagiarism, but it is further wordplay that is dishonest to the core. It is dishonest to change what someone says to hide negative material about yourself, place it in quotation marks, and make it appear as if that’s what someone really said, when he did not.

    I did not make the ALA act in this despicable manner. I am merely reporting that the ALA has done that. In any other setting, plagiarism and intentionally misquoting people to protect your own hide would result is serious consequences such as dismissal, etc. As it is, no one ever does anything to stop such behavior, so it simply continues on unabated. Then suddenly I’m the one “trying to incite fear against libraries.”

    @Brittany Holman, you can attack me all you want, but it does not make the plagiarism go away. It does not magically correct the self-serving misquotes. It does not stop the library employees in Birmingham, AL, from being sexually harassed as a result of the library’s refusal to use legal means to limit pornography in the library. It does not stop Deborah Caldwell Stone from using Wikipedia anonymously to astroturf for George Soros’s Free Press and net neutrality and it does not restore to Wikipedia the material she had removed from the public record to cover her tracks.

    Attacking me will not stop the ALA OIF from hiding key information in book challenges, namely where Judith Krug said, “On rare occasion, we have situations where a piece of material is not what it appears to be on the surface and the material is totally inappropriate for a school library. In that case, yes, it is appropriate to remove materials. If it doesn’t fit your material selection policy, get it out of there.”

    Did you even know she said that? It’s not on ALA.org. Why am I the one who has to tell people that? Exactly what about my saying that is “scary”?

    Attacking me will not stop the OIF from labeling every single person who challenges material as a censor. Have you noticed the increasing number of people speaking out against this “propaganda,” including Rory Litwin?

    Sure, it is easy to target me for “trying to incite fear against libraries.” But you need to remember I am just the messenger. I provide links to the original sources saying what they are saying. Those sources are reliable ones, including Rory Litwin, Will Manley, Annoyed Librarian, Stanley Fish, Thomas Sowell, Phyllis Schlafley, library director Dean Marney, library director Jo Ellen Ringer, school superintendent Daniel Freeman, school superintendent Vern Minor, author Brent Hartinger, author Felice Picano, Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, Oak Lawn Village President Dave Heilmann, even the ALA’s de facto former leader Judith Krug. And many more such reliable sources.

    Those are my sources. I use reliable sources, not “overblown exaggerations and scare tactics,” as you say. I’m just the messenger reporting what they are saying. You are welcome to bury your head in the sand all you want. Your claim that I am “trying to incite fear against libraries” is false, you know it is false, and you know it is an ineffective means of argument that merely avoids the issues.

    The problem here is not me.

    “I appreciate your posting of this interview, but wish that we could have had some more information about Mr. Kleinman’s claims that the ALA’s OIF is to blame for ‘unsafe libraries.'” Now on this I agree with you completely. You’ll notice this interview was mainly about me and my motivations, and I tried repeatedly to turn the conversation to the issues, not the personalities.

    I am ready, willing, and able to address the issues head on with anyone in the ALA, including its top leadership. That is the very thing the OIF has avoided, as evidenced by its canceling its 2006 appearance on Fox News for Banned Books Weeks after it learned that I was the person invited by Fox News to provide the balance. But it has no problem bad mouthing me to communities, like in West Bend, WI. If I’m so full of “overblown exaggerations and scare tactics,” then why the reluctance to address the issues head on?

    I’ve been doing what I do for about 11 years now. Why is Rory Litwin the first person to finally interview me? I give Rory a ton of credit for that. Might it be that Rory is honest and has nothing to hide?

    And he is reasonable too: “I don’t have quite the same problem with children and teens being exposed to books that have sexual subject matter, when it is presented at a level that is appropriate.” Exactly my point: “when it is presented at a level that is appropriate” — the OIF holds differently as the Library Bill of Rights decries “age” discrimination.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 14, 2011 @ 10:59 pm

  7. If ALA is not responsible for the transformation of libraries (public and school), then how does one explain the consistent policies and rules found in every library in America? Leaders are the ones that make the rules, and those rules are flowing from ALA. The same tactics are used on every person that brings a book’s content into question. Those tactics are consistent with ALA instructions—hence the loss of local control. Yes Brittany…they hold the title!
    How does one explain the change from morally positive materials that once lined the shelves, to the moral corruption that’s contained in the majority of today’s titles? Librarian’s once protected the innocence children from the material being challenged today. It was kept behind the counter, or in the adult section. Brittany…do you believe that every community participated in the conscientious decision to give full access to everything in the library to six year olds?
    ALA‘s award system is the vehicle driving the selection process. They are choosing and awarding the most salacious material—guess what gets shelved? Schools are rewarding points through reading programs for reading this material—guesses what gets read?
    The mantra used to deflect these charges is also consistent with ALA’s training. Here’s one for you…”What a child reads is the responsibility of the parent, no one parent has the right to decide what other children read.” That goes with the exception of the parents employed by the system, he/she makes that choice every single time that “ librarian parent” chooses a book. They are the true censors in every sense of the word.
    Parents “are” responsible for what their child read, but why won’t libraries issue a warning about this material with every new library card? Parents recall their childhood experience in libraries– they have no idea about these changes, all the while, their children are being propagandized behind their backs.
    When libraries decide to put aside the dishonesty about Banded Book Week (BBW), which is another vehicle used annually to promote the smut, and begin listening to the citizens of their community, then and only then will local control be restored.
    Team ALA (American Library Association) and ACLU are changing the culture and purposefully fracturing families and communities. They both need to be sent packing—out of our communities!
    So Brittany…until local control is restored, ALA wears the belt of champions– for the most corruption of minor children.

    Comment by Nancy McFarland — September 15, 2011 @ 8:40 am

  8. It’s difficult to discuss the issue rationally and come to any kind of understanding when the accusations are so wild, and where the factual truth gets lost in a fog of exaggeration, fear, demonization. There may be legitimate issues around local standards versus intellectual freedom and developmental psychology regarding books for kids, but there doesn’t seem to be much prospect for dealing with those issues in an adult way when one side of the debate just wants to say that the other side is composed of Satan’s minions, “case closed.”

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 15, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  9. Rory said, “It’s difficult to discuss the issue rationally and come to any kind of understanding when the accusations are so wild, and where the factual truth gets lost in a fog of exaggeration, fear, demonization.”

    Rory, I have repeatedly in the interview and in the comments attempted to discuss the issues and not the personalities. Yet a discussion of the issues is never engaged. There’s only those who keep telling themselves and everyone else not to listen my reporting of what others are saying.

    My “accusations” for one thing are not accusations. I am merely reporting on the facts. I understand it’s hard to want to hear that the OIF acts dishonesty as it does, but that does not change the fact that the OIF acts dishonestly and in a manner inimical to local communities.

    Also, what I’m saying is not “so wild.” What is so wild is that the OIF is so dishonest and very few ever calls them on it. So it continues. The OIF plagiarizes. That is not a wild statement. That is a fact, backed up by the sources involved in the matter. It’s a sad fact, but you need to stop ignoring the facts by attacking the messenger.

    When I support my words “with details of their words and actions,” it’s no longer my opinion or the opinion of those I am reporting, it’s now fact. OIF knows who they are and what they are. They just don’t like me telling anybody else those facts.

    There’s no “fog of exaggeration, fear, demonization.” This dishonest behavior by the OIF is so out of control I could not make it up. There’s no exaggerating. People just refuse to open their eyes. Did I exaggerate when I talked about Soviet-style censorship where people in pictures just disappeared for political reasons? Well, did the ALA not make words disappear for political reasons? Did the ALA not censor Robert Spencer for political reasons? Did the ALA not remove Shush’s Greg McClay from an ALA ballot so he could not be elected? Etc.

    Rory, recently you were misquoted in a dishonest fashion. After I pointed it out, and in detail, with direct links to evidence of the dishonesty and why it was dishonest, you still said you were not misquoted. Oh yes you were, in no uncertain terms. You just refuse to admit it and instead talk about a “fog of exaggeration, fear, demonization.” That your problem, not mine.

    I am not demonizing the ALA. The OIF is, in fact, proven with reliable sources, acting in a dishonest fashion again and again. I am merely reporting on that in the hopes the vast majority of honest ALA members will pressure the OIF to clean up its act. My reporting on the dishonesty of the OIF is not “demonizing” anything. It is simple reporting. And I have free speech, do I not?

    To demonize is to make a false claim of harmful intent or action. I am not making any such claim. I am merely pointing to the others who are discussing actual harmful intent or action by the OIF. There is no demonizing involved here. It’s actually happening.

    It is known tactic to avoid issues by, well, demonizing the messenger. That is what is happening here. Okay, do you all feel better now that I throw a “fog of exaggeration, fear, demonization”? Great. Did that just stop the OIF from continuing down its dishonest path? No, but it helped hide the problem so it can continue on for a little longer. Suddenly I’m the bad guy. Ignore what the OIF is doing since Dan is the bad guy here.

    You say, “There may be legitimate issues around local standards versus intellectual freedom and developmental psychology regarding books for kids, but there doesn’t seem to be much prospect for dealing with those issues in an adult way when one side of the debate just wants to say that the other side is composed of Satan’s minions, ‘case closed.'” Great sentiment, but it is you and people like @Brittany Holman who just what to make me the bad guy, case closed.

    Is there anybody out there willing to look into the actual issues and address them head on? For example, will someone remove the plagiarized, low quality “censorship map” from http://bannedbooksweek.org/mappingcensorship ?

    Isn’t anyone going to look at what the OIF is doing, rather than who is the identity of the messenger?

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 15, 2011 @ 10:20 am

  10. I think someone is avoiding issues through demonization, but it is not the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.

    As for debating your specific charges, which I think are utter nonsense, part of the difficulty is that you make so many of them, and do it on a full time basis, while the people who you are asking to debate you have jobs and other priorities.

    So I’d like to ask that we look at one of your specific charges, the one that concerns me. You insist that I was dishonestly and unfairly misquoted by ALA. Let’s talk about that, as an example of one of these cases of ALA’s malicious dishonesty. Would you care to summarize and provide the quotations regarding how I was supposedly misquoted?

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 15, 2011 @ 10:52 am

  11. I’ll follow up that question with a link to the post on your blog where you lay out your argument, and just respond very briefly. http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/09/banned-books-week-propaganda-exposed-by.html

    What you say about some phrases in my original paragraph being left out is not untrue, but it just doesn’t have the significance that you try to give it. In putting together American Libraries Direct, they have to clip together brief paragraphs that summarize whatever they are linking to, and they have space limitations. If they were so concerned about being criticized, they wouldn’t have linked to my post in the first place. And yet to you it means that they are “dishonest to the core” and similar to “Soviet style censors.” There is a kernel of truth in this case but it just doesn’t amount to what you are trying to make of it, and I think that is commonly the case with your accusations against ALA.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 15, 2011 @ 11:09 am

  12. Okay, Rory. No one ever changes what people say in quotes without using … and [] and following other normal rules of proper copy editing. If space was the reason, as you assert, then … does not take up much space, neither does [. Further, the material removed was selective and pertained to your main point. Still further, the misquoting of you changed what you said into something else.

    Come on, Rory. Wake up. I did not force the editor to defy all rules of editing in a manner that elsewhere would result in dismissal or discipline. I am merely reporting on it. Your making a convenient excuse for them is touching, but it does not change the facts.

    The fact that I report a lot of stuff only relates to the amount of stuff the OIF is doing that is dishonest, that others are commenting on, and that I’m writing about.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 15, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  13. The way they edited their teaser paragraph was totally standard for the type of publication that it is, and while technically it minimized the tone of my criticism to a very slight degree, it was not a big deal. I think that an editor in a similar context elsewhere would be expected to handle it in much the same way. Your use of the phrase “resulting in dismissal or discipline” is completely out of touch with reality, and is typical of the way you create problems out of little nothings, animated by your own demons.

    I would bet money that the majority of your supporters, who agree with you generally about national institutions made up of educated people influencing policies in small conservative communities, think your story about ALA causing a toddler to be raped is mainly from your own imagination.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 15, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  14. Rory,
    ALA can’t physically force anyone to rape a child, or force grade school children to engage in sexual activity, but titillation of the libido does, and ALA is guilty as charged!

    Comment by Nancy McFarland — September 15, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

  15. Pondering that…

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 15, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  16. Rory, okay, Saul Alinsky has won. This blog post has been and remains a means to attack the messenger. Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals said, in Rule 5, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. ….  [Y]ou do what you can with what you have and clothe it with moral arguments.” I have sadly realized that this blog post was intended for ridicule right from the start, as evidenced by the questions you asked and withdrew on your own and the way you phrase things. Now you say I am “completely out of touch with reality” and that I’m “motivated by my own demons.” This even after you quizzed me about my demons and my having revealed I have none–I’m simply one more parent pushed too far.

    As to your rationalizing the misquote, are you suggesting there would be no discipline for people misquoting others to change what they say and hide their own failings? And for the self-arrogated freedom of speech police to do such a thing is even worse. If you are truthfully saying that … well, let’s just say I do not believe you think there are no consequences for serious misquotes.

    And there is no way any reputable news outlet would make serious misquotes “totally standard for the type of publication,” as you say. No way. You are simply wrong. I back up everything I say with proof. You just sling mud. Well now it’s your turn to back up what you say. Show me a single reputable news source allowing serious misquotes.

    Be that as it may, I draw our attention back to a substantive issue, my “story about ALA causing a toddler to be raped [that] is mainly from [my] own imagination.” (Oh look, it’s so easy to use [] symbols to indicate an editorial change in a quote.) That is not my imagination. Indeed, as a result of my intervention in one such matter, the Iowa state legislature attempted to pass a law requiring something like a state CIPA law. That would not have happened but for my intervention. http://www.safelibraries.org/library_sex_offender_incident21nov2005.htm You see, that library at that time explicitly stated that it refused to filter because the ALA said filtering violates peoples rights. Were it not for the ALA, the community would likely have had Internet filtering, and that child would likely have not been molested by that guy who regularly viewed porn at that computer closest to the bathroom where the toddler was molested.

    I could go on with case after case where the ALA is implicated in harm–to children, to patrons, to library employees, to librarians. Indeed, I listed a few in that talk I gave.

    You can wish it into the cornfield by saying I “create problems out of little nothings,” but that does not make the matters disappear or the victims feel better. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It%27s_a_Good_Life_(The_Twilight_Zone)

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 15, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

  17. @Nancy McFarland:

    “How does one explain the change from morally positive materials that once lined the shelves, to the moral corruption that’s contained in the majority of today’s titles?”

    To your question, I have a few of my own:
    (1) How do you define morally positive? Give examples, please.
    (2) How do you define moral corruption? Give examples, please.
    (3) What evidence are basing your claim that the shelves of the past contained ‘morally positive’ books than today’s shelves?
    (4) Are there guidelines you’d like to offer so as to help a collection development librarian be able to identify titles that are ‘morally positive’ versus those that are ‘morally corruptive’? (Guidelines for children’s, teens, and optionally adult collections.)
    (5) I’d like to ask you the same question that Rory asked Dan: where do you believe authors, publishers, and reviewers should be considered in this equation? As they are the producers and referees of such items, do they bear any moral responsibility in this equation?

    @Dan Kleinman:

    You keep saying “I’m just the messenger” and then express confusion and/or outrage when the people who examine the evidence that you offer reach vastly different conclusions. Have you considered the possibility that there might be something wrong with your “message”, either in presentation, evidentiary value, or logic?
    Because if this is as outrageous as you proclaim it to be, where is the greater outrage from within the library community and from overall society?

    Comment by Andy Woodworth — September 15, 2011 @ 10:43 pm

  18. If you’re only the messenger, as you repeatedly state, and therefore not responsible for your argument… who is giving you this message?

    And as for your oft-repeated attempt to claim that your idea of appropriateness is irrelevant – if you cannot, or are not, willing to make a public statement of what you think is appropriate, how can you then judge the appropriateness of other people’s decisions? That’s like trying to run with no legs.

    Comment by Cat — September 16, 2011 @ 12:22 am

  19. Very enlightening interview, indeed. Thanks for publishing this, Rory.

    Comment by Erik Sean Estep — September 16, 2011 @ 2:28 pm

  20. Thanks for doing this Rory.

    Comment by Jessamyn West — September 16, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  21. @Jessamyn West, so glad you are here. You are another librarian who has made reasonable statements about “Banned Books Week” that go against the propagandistic message of the OIF. (Rory called it propaganda.) You said, “It also highlights the thing we know about Banned Books Week that we don’t talk about much — the bulk of these books are challenged by parents for being age-inappropriate for children. While I think this is still a formidable thing for librarians to deal with, it’s totally different from people trying to block a book from being sold at all.”

    Why don’t you librarians talk about it much? Why are people who do talk about it attacked? Ask Will Manley: http://willmanley.com/2011/04/26/will-unwound-428-3-ways-to-get-blackballed-in-the-library-profession/

    So while Rory repeatedly goes after my “motivations” and complains about me personally in a style made standard by Saul Alinsky, you, Jessamyn, like Rory, are yet another librarian who disagrees with the ALA’s stance on claimed “censorship” and are yet another librarian whose statements I use to show what we all know, namely, the OIF is way over the top. Way.

    The OIF says every single person, hundreds of them, every single time they challenge any material, are censors seeking book banning. It even uses BBW to send this message. See “The Parent Trap: ALA Uses Banned Books Week to Ridicule Patrons Complying with ALA Materials Reconsideration Policies” http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2010/09/parent-trap-ala-uses-banned-books-week.html

    You and Rory say that is not true that everyone who complains is a book banner. Besides what you said above from your own blog, remember Rory said just recently, “Regardless of what the school’s decision turns out to be, regardless of its reasonableness or unreasonableness, and regardless of the objectivity or bias within the decision-making process in a specific case, all challenges to a book by a parent get counted as an attempt at book banning.”

    So right here, right now, you and Rory exemplify what I do. I report what you guys are saying. And you are saying the OIF goes to far, even if you do not say it in those words.

    Now I have done this with many other librarians who have directly or indirectly spoken out against the OIF. But I’m not going to give further examples here.

    I totally understand that my almost four year old blog and even older SafeLibraries.org are not the best organized or the prettiest in the world, so its easy to say I’m scattershot and wrong. But I don’t have George Soros money behind me building web sites and school curricula on “privacy” to further embed his control into public schools via using the ALA’s credibility. I don’t have funding from the Playboy Foundation like the ALA does to have people organize to hone a message of “censorship” we all know is over the top. I don’t have that. I can’t award a $1000 grant to a local community sycophant, that I do not reveal I’ve done, to sway the local community where I chose to keep it secret because I knew it would be seen by the community as dishonest. http://westbend.pbworks.com/f/Hanrahan2Tyree051209.pdf

    I have just me. I have a little time each evening to write a little more on my blog or to tweet. This gives the angle people like Rory need to attack me in an effort to get people to ignore my message. And he is supposedly a free speech advocate.

    Now I don’t really want to list each person pointing out OIF dishonesty and his statement over the 11 years I’ve done what I’m doing, especially on a blog post. But should a lawsuit ever be brought against the ALA, at that time I will put together the needed information. Suffice it to say the evidence is voluminous and will be better organized and fleshed out.

    And my motivations as Rory demands will be irrelevant.

    And my personal definition of what’s inappropriate reading for children as Rory and @Cat demand will be irrelevant.

    And any lack of presentation skills, evidentiary value, or logic as @Andy Woodworth suggests will be irrelevant.

    By the way, @Andy Woodworth, my logic would have improved had I been allowed into an OIF class called Lawyers for Libraries that by Pennsylvania Court Rules should have been open to any attorney. But instead, the OIF investigated my background (despite claimed “patron privacy” concerns) then repeatedly found excuses to repeatedly refuse to allow me access (despite claims of supporting “equal access” and opposing the “digital divide”) to information that I was hoping would indeed improve my logic. http://safelibraries.org/unequalaccess.htm So the OIF blocked me from learning more on relevant topics, then its acolytes attack me for lacking logic/skills the ALA was required by Court Rules to allow me to attend but it chose to deny. Just one more example of OIF dishonesty.

    @Andy Woodworth, do you believe the OIF was right to defy Court Rules to deny me access to a class? Do you believe the OIF was right to investigate my background? Do you even realize the OIF has changed its rules as a result of its continuing effort to keep me and others like me out of its classes, and that this exclusion violates Court Rules?

    Continuing legal education credits by various state Court Rules are open to all attorneys, whether or not students are advising libraries, and whether or not they are even practicing law. Indeed to become an active attorney, an inactive one is required to take CLE courses. But the ALA now says something that is dishonest: “Lawyers for Libraries workshops are open to licensed, practicing attorneys retained to represent or advise libraries on legal issues.” http://www.ala.org/ala/aboutala/offices/oif/oifprograms/lawforlib/registrationinfo/continuinglegal.cfm False. They are open to all attorneys equally. It’s just the ALA that refuses to allow certain people access. Children are to get unlimited access to inappropriate material, but Court Rules may be defied to keep out certain people from ALA trainings.

    Attack me now for not being a slick and well-funded organization with decades of experience of using dishonest means to mislead people, but those ad hominem arguments fall flat on communities and will fall flat on the courts.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 16, 2011 @ 11:33 pm

  22. Rory:

    “…As for debating your specific charges, which I think are utter nonsense, part of the difficulty is that you make so many of them, and do it on a full time basis, while the people who you are asking to debate you have jobs and other priorities.”

    btw, In evolution vs. creationism debates, this tactic of Dan’s is called the “Gish gallop”, named after creationist Duane Gish, and the idea is to make so many disparate nonsense claims in such a short amount of time that your opponent has no hope of refuting them all in the same amount of time. It can be very persuasive to uninformed audience members and induce face-palms in the better educated minority of those who know better.

    Comment by JJR — September 17, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  23. @JJR, “the idea is to make so many disparate nonsense claims in such a short amount of time that your opponent has no hope of refuting them all in the same amount of time.” My case is different. For one thing, I have been doing this for a very long time. Indeed, that’s the reason why people like you target me as the messenger.

    For another thing, my “nonsense claims” are merely my reporting what others say. Like in my previous comment, Rory and Jessamyn West, who both agree there are major problems with BBW. The “Gish gallop” has nothing to do with this, but what you are doing is perfect Saul Alinsky, for you seek to attack the messenger and avoid the underlying issues of the OIF’s dishonesty.

    And my “nonsense claims” are not “disparate.” Rather, they almost always have a single locus, namely, the ALA’s OIF.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 17, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  24. Your ability to pivot to another talking point in order to attack the OIF or ALA or whatever while dodging any actual opposing argument or inquiries to your position borders on extraordinary. It represents your major inability to effectively communicate with librarians; when we ask for more information, you change the subject.

    Good luck with your crusade.

    Comment by Andy Woodworth — September 17, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  25. I am not “attack[ing] the OIF or ALA or whatever.” I am reporting what others are saying. You may choose to ignore the messenger and others may choose to use ad hominem argument but the ALA has a fundamental problem that will not be resolved unless people open their eyes and resolve the problem.

    Your OIF was created by a 3 year ACLU state leader who changed how librarians approached children. No longer would they keep them from inappropriate material. She made it anything goes, and it’s been that way since, and it’s the major problem with all the friction at the ALA.

    That leader is gone now, and while she made some reasonable statements like it being perfectly appropriate to remove inappropriate material from public schools under the right circumstances, the people carrying on her work are using downright dishonest means to do so. Plagiarism. Changing quotes. Astroturfing by using Wikipedia anonymously. Faking the annual top 10 challenged books list to promote a political agenda (I have the tape of the “banned” author essentially saying so). Propagandizing communities in multiple ways including attacked each and every person you complains about anything as a “censor,” as Rory recently described. Joining law suits against communities like in the Vamos a Cuba case. Etc., etc.

    Why would the ALA give an award to a school librarian who wanted the school to retain a book illustrating two children watching two adults having anal sex? At the same time, why would the ALA ignore the Birmingham, AL, library employees being harassed on the job as a result of ALA policy as implemented locally? Why as it that I speak up for such librarians and the ALA does not?

    The ALA used to be a respectable organization. It has, since the ACLU leader changed the ALA from within, began a nose dive into dishonest means to force librarians and communities to do as the ALA directs. It is no surprise acolytes choose to close their minds because the culture is to pressure librarians to do just that, as Will Manley and others have explained.

    You go ahead and keep up your Alinsky tactics of targeting the messenger. In the meantime, people are waking up to the ALA’s misdeeds and potentially criminal activity (I’m thinking defamation per se of a national figure by a member of the OIF using Wikipedia anonymously).

    Eventually someone will sue the ALA and it will not be pretty. I am strongly urging people to wake up, look around, and take action before that happens. In other words, I am trying to help “the OIF or ALA or whatever,” not “attack” it.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 18, 2011 @ 8:32 am

  26. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_projection

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 18, 2011 @ 9:28 am

  27. I generally feel that I have the good sense to stay out of discussions of this sort, as it’s abundantly clear that adding further verbiage to the discourse will change nobody’s mind. On the other hand, the inconsistencies inherent in this exchange seem to glaring to simply walk away…

    First, the assertion that one acts ad populum as a mouthpiece for countless silent masses, “I am reporting what others are saying. You may choose to ignore the messenger…” does not make the content of ones argument more substantive, nor is it altogether credible in this case. You claim to be “one more parent pushed too far;” the logical caveat being the implication that countless others too have been directly harmed by the ALA’s policies on intellectual freedom. I would suggest, on the contrary, that while many parents may bemoan the coarsening of our popular culture, and in some cases the representative materials contained within their local libraries, comparatively few would reflexively lay the blame at the feet of the ALA OIF, as you have; nor would many feel persuaded by the argument as you have framed it.

    I had never visited the SafeLibraries website prior to reading this interview (kudos therefore on driving internet traffic to your site), but I was prompted to do so after reading what you had to say here. In reading the above interview I was initially impressed by your comparative moderation in tone, and while I was dubious of your arguments, I felt compelled to read more in order to get a fuller view of your opinions on the matter of intellectual freedom (at that time you had not proceeded to post nine replies haranguing those who took issue with your position in this forum… which only smacks of belligerence and desperation).

    Upon visiting your site, I was struck by a number of elemental flaws in your basic premise. First, the absence of a single guiding moral vision is not reflective of relativism; rather, it is the only position that accepts and honors the pluralistic society in which we live. A child of orthodox Jews in Brooklyn may have a moral vision that is fundamentally inconsistent with one raised on the Naabeehó Bináhásdzo in Utah. Rather than expecting our libraries to accommodate both of these groups by excising all texts that could be construed as inappropriate to each (whether that means excising all references to the consumption of treif, or the honoring of the sanctity of Dzi? Ná?oodi?ii), it is more appropriate for libraries to maintain neutrality and provide access to the broadest possible range of material possible, allowing their patrons and their parents to exercise their own discretion.

    A provision for absolute intellectual freedom regardless of the age or status is in no way inconsistent with caring for and about children. Many parents, myself included, take a very firm line in our own household while feeling that libraries should provide access to texts reflecting the full range of human experience. These are not contrary opinions, rather they function as two sides of the same coin; my morals as a parent are my morals, they should not affect any other patrons or their children.

    Finally, I have to point out, for those who may not be aware that the “3 year ACLU state leader” established the ALA OIF” was Judith Krug. Judith established that office in 1967. The fundamental change in the treatment of children being discussed here began over 40 years ago. This is not a sea-change that has taken place in recent years, rather this is reflects a massive societal change that has effected every element of our lives. Yes, library collections are more diverse and inclusive today… but so are the materials from which they can select, and so too is the society in which they function.

    Comment by Jesse Braun — September 18, 2011 @ 10:30 am

  28. I love the idea that I am closed minded because I don’t accept your arguments. That I should look at your accusations, judge them in their context, and come to a different conclusion makes me at fault, not you as the presenter. *I* must be the problem.

    Re: open-mindedness. You might learn something.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T69TOuqaqXI

    Enjoy your windmill tilting.

    Comment by Andy Woodworth — September 18, 2011 @ 10:45 pm

  29. @Jesse Braun, I’m not sure what morals has to do with this or why you raised it. Please explain. I do not rely on morals when guiding communities. I rely on the law, community standards, and common sense.

    I also rely on the ALA’s own statements. When Judith Krug says it is perfectly appropriate to remove inappropriate material from school libraries, I find that advising communities she said that makes a big difference.

    But it doesn’t make a big difference because I “act ad populum” or any other reason you ascribed to me, rather it that the ALA itself that does not advise communities of that quote that makes my presentation of it so remarkable.

    The ALA labels 100% of the people who complain about books as censors. At the same time it does not disclose that even its own former de facto leader said removing school books is just fine in the right circumstances. Similarly, the ALA opposes keeping children from R-rated movies in public libraries, while Judith Krug said it was perfectly appropriate to do just that in the right circumstances.

    So really I’m not involved in this fundamental failure in any way, except in pointing it out or what others are saying about it. It’s the ALA itself that contradicts its own de facto leader and hides that she ever made such reasonable statements.

    And you said, “I had never visited the SafeLibraries website prior to reading this interview (kudos therefore on driving internet traffic to your site)” to show I was doing this for personal gain. False. Rory wrote about me. If anyone was “driving internet traffic to [my] site” it was Rory.

    Lastly, you cleverly said, “The fundamental change in the treatment of children being discussed here began over 40 years ago. This is not a sea-change that has taken place in recent years, rather this is reflects a massive societal change that has effected every element of our lives.” Clever. At least you admit there was a change. But being over 40 years old has no bearing on whether or not it should continue. And being a “massive societal change” is false–it was started sua sponte by a single ACLU leader within the ALA who forced other librarians to follow to the point where they are still afraid to this very day to speak out for fear of losing their jobs. That’s why only acolytes are writing here and not the many librarians who whisper support to me or simply stay on the sidelines, and I don’t blame them. Just look how I’ve been attacked on this page, and if I respond it’s called “haranguing” or “psychological projection.”

    Further, what the ALA is doing differs from “massive societal change.” The ALA is knowingly and with intention misleading local communities. If communities where adequately informed or adequately empowered, various crimes and misdemeanors and the like might not be occurring.

    SafeLibraries, for example, involves a case where the entire community including the entire village government acting unanimously asked the library to stop purchasing Playboy magazine and stop making it available to children. The library refused and the magazine is still available for children to this day, last I checked. The library director was an ALA Councilor, and an ALA president and also the de facto leader herself got directly involved and forced the community to do as the ALA directed. The Mayor would go no further as the next step was legal in nature and he was fearful of the waste of tax money likely to be caused by an ALA/ACLU countersuit.

    Where’s the “absolute intellectual freedom” in that?

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 19, 2011 @ 1:15 am

  30. Kramer auto Pingback[…] This is to be expected with any large professional organization. It was not until today, when I saw this interview posted onLibraryJuice, that I became aware of the group SafeLibraries. SafeLibraries’ basic claim is that the ALA […]

    Pingback by Alice Darnton: p0rn! — September 19, 2011 @ 5:37 pm

  31. “Did the ALA not remove Shush’s Greg McClay from an ALA ballot so he could not be elected?”

    I had not heard this before. Is it true? I recall Greg ran for the ALA council a few years ago.

    Comment by Stephen Denney — September 20, 2011 @ 1:55 am

  32. Thank you for posting this conversation, Rory. There is a lot to process here.

    Comment by Michael Zimmer — September 20, 2011 @ 11:29 am

  33. @Stephen Denney, it was about 4 1/2 years, so that’s why it may have been forgotten. SHUSH is offline so I had to find some of these pages on archives:

    ALA Election Fraud,” by Greg McClay, SHUSH, 23 April 2007.

    re: ALA Election Fraud,” by Greg McClay, SHUSH, 23 April 2007.

    Well looky at that. That last one quotes one Rory Litwin as agreeing with leaving Greg McClay off the ballot!! Quoting Rory now, the guy who accused me of psychological projection in a comment above:

    I’m thinking that if SRRT wants to go ahead and challenge the powers that be, we should go ahead and endorse candidates, instead of doing an “informational” announcement of SRRT members running for Council. Elaine [Harger] has taken a step in this direction by excluding a SRRT member from the list. If we regard the list as an endorsement, which others have said that it is and we have said that it is not, then I see absolutely nothing wrong with this.

    ….

    Being a member of SRRT may or may not be a necessary condition for being on the list, but it clearly wouldn’t be a sufficient condition, and there would be no logical problem about sending an “informational, non-endorsing” list and leaving Greg’s name off of it.

    Hmm. Rory? Care to comment?

    Rory’s got McCook in his “blogroll.” What did she say about this?

    Elaine, O for goodness sake. Mr. McClay is against so much SRRT stands for and that SRRT believes in. He belittles those who oppose torture and is an avowed racist. SRRT does not need to support all members in elections anymore than the Republican party supported David Duke. David Duke was the Republican candidate for Governor in Louisiana, but many MANY Republicans with-held endorsements and money. Just because Duke registered as a Republican and donated money
    didn’t buy him the Republican endorsement.

    The situations are parallel. Mr. McClay is SRRT’s David Duke. He can pay his money, just as David Duke paid his money to the Republican party, but that doesn’t make Mr. McClay committed to the goals and mission of SRRT.

    SRRT is against torture and racism. Mr. McClay’s sdtands on these moral issues are differentr than SRRT’s. Failing to endorse Mr. McClay is not anything like fraud. Ask the Republicans of Louisiana.

    What do they say about birds of a feather?

    “re: ALA Election Fraud,” by Greg McClay, SHUSH, on or after 23 April 2007 but the next post after the previous listed above.

    “What is ALA Hiding?,” by Greg McClay, SHUSH, on or after 7 May 2007, hyperlink in original (and I can only find this here: http://www.safelibraries.org/unequalaccess.htm#shush ):

    Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries has been trying to attend one of ALA’s Lawyers For Libraries training seminars and after an initial denial he’s basically been met with a wall of silence. For an organization that constantly preaches about openess in government (and an organization that receives government funding), they seem to be incapable of being the least bit open themselves.

    “[I]ncapable of being the least bit open themselves.” You mean like keeping ALA members off of ALA ballots? You mean like the ad hominem, issue-avoiding remarks in the “conversation” on this page?

    I’m reporting what Greg McClay has said, and in this case, illustrated with a graphic of the actual postcard leaving his name off the list. It’s ALA election fraud. Greg’s words. I’m reporting it. I can back up everything else I said with similar documentation. It’s no wonder to me why ad hominem argument fills these comments, except for a very few.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 20, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  34. Yes, I would like to comment. This is a good example of your thinking process in arriving at these accusations you have been making.

    Greg McLay, a very conservative and very politically-minded librarian, ran for ALA Council and was on the ballot. He had joined the Social Responsibilities Round Table of ALA (SRRT) for the purpose of stirring up trouble there, which he did, to an extent. SRRT had a tradition of putting out a list of candidates for ALA Council who were SRRT members, to help inform our members (SRRT members, that is) of whom they should vote for if they wanted to promote SRRT’s point of view on Council. Some higher-ups in ALA had ruled that smaller units of ALA were not allowed to endorse candidates, but SRRT felt that simply publishing a list of SRRT members who were running, as an information item, would not go afoul of that ruling. Some in ALA, however, disagreed with us and felt that simply publishing the list was essentially publishing a list of endorsed candidates. When Greg McLay was on the ballot, however, there was a debate over whether to include him in the list of SRRT members running for Council, which we would distribute to other SRRT members, or to not include his name and to publish a list of endorsed candidates instead. If I recall correctly, someone involved with SRRT went ahead and sent out the list without the approval of the larger group (i.e. SRRT), and labeled it a list of SRRT members running for Council. I think that was wrong, that what we should have done in this case was simply to not publish the list. It is easy for voters to see in a candidates biographical statements whether they are SRRT members or not, and anyway membership in SRRT has not generally been the litmus test of politics that members of SRRT Action Council took it to be, regardless of Greg McLay’s antics.

    So Greg was on the ballot, and soundly lost, despite not being included on a short list of names distributed to a small group to its members.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 20, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  35. Wait a minute. You, Rory, accused me of psychological projection, in other words, making things up. One of those things I was accused of making up was this Greg McClay election fraud, as he called it. In reality, that is exactly what he called it, and you yourself were quoted as agreeing with leaving his name off the list. So there was no psychological projection, was there. It was simply another ad hominem remark intended to hide the truth, and in this case, the truth that you agreed with this and were directly involved with this fraud.

    “So Greg was on the ballot, and soundly lost, despite not being included on a short list of names distributed to a small group to its members.”

    You just said that. Are you kidding? Even if true, that makes it right? The equal access/freedom of speech people need not worry about the appearance of impropriety, let alone the actual injustice done in this case? The name calling? The calumny against Greg McClay you are doing even now? The double standard on “moral issues”?

    You are excusing that fraud, and your involvement in it, and accusing me of psychological projection? And you continue to do sao, never turning to any substantive issue, just digging deeper. Breathtaking in sheer chutzpah.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 20, 2011 @ 6:42 pm

  36. How is the fact that SRRT would not endorse him “fraud?”

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 20, 2011 @ 7:06 pm

  37. You’re really grasping at straws now.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 20, 2011 @ 7:08 pm

  38. I can imagine that the judges were not big fans of your work when you were a patent attorney.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 20, 2011 @ 7:09 pm

  39. Andy… I didn’t drop of the face of the earth like many progressives wish I would. I have been quite busy with too many things to list here.
    To your first question:
    (1) How do you define morally positive? Give examples, please.
    Books that lift the spirit; unlike the authentic living titles that depress it today. Most all relationships are portrayed in a negative light—the central theme throughout the reading material today is death.
    I have spent the last 6 or so years critiquing books just for word content—words alone are very powerful. The word that dominates the majority of titles is death, dying, killing or murder.
    (2)How do you define moral corruption? Give examples, please.
    The innocence of minor children is being corrupted every time they encounter a title that contains any of the many descriptive sex acts saturating today’s library shelves. Sexual experimentation has increased among grade school children. Titillation results in experimentation.

    (3) What evidence are basing your claim that the shelves of the past contained ‘morally positive’ books than today’s shelves?

    Librarians kept such material behind the counter or in the adult section. It was NOT on my book shelves when I was a child. This all began 41 years ago, in the 70’s, when the first amendment began to get high jacked by the American Library Association. Minor children have very few rights per say, because they are under the authority of their parents. Parental authority is being end -rounded by ALA’s disingenuous tactics.
    4) Are there guidelines you’d like to offer so as to help a collection development librarian be able to identify titles that are ‘morally positive’ versus those that are ‘morally corruptive’? (Guidelines for children’s, teens, and optionally adult collections.)
    I’d prefer that they weren’t available to minor children, but since we find ourselves engulfed in this battle I do have something to contribute. First of all stop using “Banned Book Week” to promote this trash. Then let’s level the playing field for parents—start distributing warnings with every library card that’s issued to kindergarten children. Parents are flying blind into today’s libraries—they have no idea that such material has found its way into their minor child’s department. Schools also refuse to inform parents of the trash that’s corrupting the morals of school children.
    (5) I’d like to ask you the same question that Rory asked Dan: where do you believe authors, publishers, and reviewers should be considered in this equation? As they are the producers and referees of such items, do they bear any moral responsibility in this equation?

    They are absolutely responsible for every word they’ve pinned and their accountability for the corruption of minor children will arrive at their door one day. If they claims that their books have no affect on their readers—then they must also declare the works of fellow authors of self-help books to not be worth the paper they are printed on. Words are powerful! Sticks and stones
    may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Yeah Right… have you seen the statistics on suicide lately? Sorry it took so long for my response.

    Comment by Nancy McFarland — September 20, 2011 @ 7:49 pm

  40. Nancy… I find it odd that someone with your concerns would be primarily interested in what is on the shelves in libraries. Have you seen what is on TV, or in movies? Have you seen the pop stars that kids are emulating? If anything, I think that what kids are getting from library shelves are helping them deal with a sex-saturated new world, rather than bringing it to them.

    Comment by Rory Litwin — September 20, 2011 @ 7:54 pm

  41. @Nancy McFarland said, “Sexual experimentation has increased among grade school children. Titillation results in experimentation.”

    Does this count?

    Molestation in Elementary School Library by Third Grader on Classmate; Librarian Mishandles 8 Year Old Victim’s Plea for Help; School Refuses Comment

    Or this?

    The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 20, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  42. Comment by Jesse Braun — September 18, 2011 @ 10:30 am
    Yes, library collections are more diverse and inclusive today… but so are the materials from which they can select, and so too is the society in which they function.

    Why… Jesse was it done using deceptive tactics? The change in this, so called, diverse collection was done behind the back of unsuspecting parents. There are still thousands of parents that are unaware of the trash that’s infiltrated the “Safe Haven” that they remember as a child. And yes…it is impacting our society negatively. Its fracturing families when promiscuous teens are conceiving children or diseases, while others are getting hooked on drugs and alcohol.

    Jessie also wrote: These are not contrary opinions, rather they function as two sides of the same coin; my morals as a parent are my morals, they should not affect any other patrons or their children.

    You do know that history itself proves your statement to be incorrect? Our very laws were established by our founding fathers– using God’s moral Laws, the Ten Commandments. They affect everyone in this country, and everything we do affects everyone around us. We are not an island unto ourselves.

    Comment by Nancy McFarland — September 20, 2011 @ 8:53 pm

  43. Dan, I think you raise some legitimate concerns, such as libraries making Playboy available to children. But in response to my question of your assertion, “Did the ALA not remove Shush’s Greg McClay from an ALA ballot so he could not be elected?” you cited the SRRT not including him on their list of candidates, which is entirely different. Unless I am mistaken, Greg’s name was on the ballot but he was not elected.

    Comment by Stephen Denney — September 20, 2011 @ 8:57 pm

  44. Rory writes: Nancy… I find it odd that someone with your concerns would be primarily interested in what is on the shelves in libraries. Have you seen what is on TV, or in movies? Have you seen the pop stars that kids are emulating? If anything, I think that what kids are getting from library shelves are helping them deal with a sex-saturated new world, rather than bringing it to them.

    Rory my taxes aren’t being used to produce any of those things you listed. Those pop stars were probably influenced by many books that were purchased using tax dollars. Your last sentence is very telling.
    Parents protect their children the best they can at home, because they know about that trash. They block it and do whatever is necessary.

    What about the parent that are kept ignorant by ALA? Those that believe their library is still a safe haven, so they allows their 10 year old avid reader, to browse the YA section of any library in this country.

    He chooses the 2006 Printz Award “Looking for Alaska”, or he chooses the 2006 Alex Award titled “Jesus Land a memoir”, or one of the 2005 Teens Top Ten Picks titled: “How I Paid for College: A Novel of Sex, Theft, Friendship & Musical Theater. The title of the last one gives away the content, and content in this book is so vile it covered every sin none to man. The character in the book had sex with his male doctor and earned $100 dollars (prostitution).
    Looking for Alaska introduces this 10 year old to oral sex, stealing alcohol from classmates, and suicide, while Jesus Land Memoir introduces him to more alcohol and more sex. The titillation is too much fun or the embarrassment to great to say anything to mom. All the while corruption of a minor child just took place in a tax funded library and behind the back of his mother.

    Comment by Nancy McFarland — September 20, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  45. Regarding Greg McClay and the SRRT it seems to me that the SRRT is the only organization within the ALA to address issues of social responsibility, and therefore it should be open to anyone within the ALA who wants to support or endorse ALA actions in the area of social responsibility, with the understanding that ALA members may have widely varying views of what is socially responsible, whether those views by conservative, liberal or radical.

    Comment by Stephen Denney — September 20, 2011 @ 10:00 pm

  46. @Stephen Denney Thanks for saying I raise some legitimate concerns. Honestly, I think you are brave for saying so.

    You said, “Unless I am mistaken, Greg’s name was on the ballot but he was not elected.”

    Yes, we learn from Rory above that that is correct. However, Greg McClay’s name was left off the postcard for this reason:

    “Your name is not included because I could not in good conscience play any role in votes being cast for you by anyone who is unaware of your hostility toward everything that SRRT stands for. The other name left off the list was my own, because I also could not in good conscience accrue any possible votes myself while depriving someone else (even you) of the same.”

    Amazing, no? Freedom of access for everyone to anything, except for Greg McClay. Ironic.

    In Greg’s election, in violation of equal access we expect from the ALA, he was intentionally left off the postcard “because I could not in good conscience play any role in votes being cast for you by anyone who is unaware of your hostility toward everything that SRRT stands for.”

    So it may be “entirely different,” but that sounds a little like splitting hairs where Greg was purposefully left off as he was, then attacked for being a “David Duke,” etc.

    Besides, does anyone here, other than Rory, believe it was the right thing to do?

    I have further support for why this action against Greg McClay was wrong, namely, this contemporaneous statement from yourself:

    “However much money Elaine Harger spent on the mailing, more significant to me is that the card has the appearance of an official mailing from the SRRT, c/o American Library Association with its Chicago address; and that it gives the false impression it is listing all SRRT members who are running for ALA council.”

    Stephen Denney Says:
    April 24th, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 20, 2011 @ 10:19 pm

  47. @Nancy: Thank you for your answers. I can’t say that I agree with them in the slightest, but I appreciate that you took the time to write them for me. I think it’s possible to get to know the opposition in a meaningful and respectful way and I hope that this thread accomplishes that.

    I wish you well in your life, but I can’t offer it for this endeavor. I hope you understand.

    Comment by Andy Woodworth — September 21, 2011 @ 10:44 pm

  48. Dan, Elaine Harger was wrong, but I don’t think her actions represented the ALA, and in any case his name was on the ballot. It is an example, though, of the perils of the SRRT behaving like a political party within the ALA when it should be open to everyone regardless of political views.

    Comment by Stephen Denney — September 22, 2011 @ 1:46 am

  49. @Stephen Denney, I don’t think Elaine Harger represents the ALA either. But there sure are a large number of significant instances where ALA leaders, predominantly in the OIF, act in a manner that “doesn’t represent the ALA.” Such behavior would not be tolerated in a corporate or governmental environment, or in honest organizations. When such dishonesty continues unchecked by anyone, like the plagiarized “censorship map” for a year and a half now, it is a legitimate argument that yes, such dishonesty actually does represent the ALA. And the volume of dishonesty makes one think yes, such dishonesty actually does represent the ALA.

    I am hoping enough librarians will discard their muzzles for fear of the ALA to speak out and change the ALA back to the excellent organization it used to be. You would be surprised at the number of librarians and library directors who contact me to support me but who say they fear losing their jobs even for expressing support for me publicly. I am working to organize them, as are others.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 22, 2011 @ 7:36 am

  50. For the next 2 weeks only, you can hear what I said on a local NPR affiliate radio station about Banned Books Week, Judith Krug, and the ALA here:

    http://www.kunm.org/twoweekarchive.html

    And set the date to Thurs Sep 22 and the time to 8:00 AM before clicking the button. Then, in four minutes, you’ll start to hear the music then the show. I am on for 1/2 hour. You’ll hear her say goodbye to me later.

    If you happen to listen for an additional half hour, others talk about me, including the IF head at the NMLA who agrees with me!

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 22, 2011 @ 4:30 pm

  51. Here is another interview, this one where both Deborah-Caldwell Stone and myself are speaking. Now you can here for yourselves whether the ad hominem comments about me are true or not:

    Banned Book Week,” guests ALA OIF’s Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Dan Kleinman, teacher Stacey Harris Ingrahm, and Johnson City Public Library director Bob Swanay, interviewed by Stewart Harris, Professor of Constitutional Law, Appalachian School of Law, Your Weekly Constitutional, National Public Radio (Johnson City, TN: WETS, 27 September 2011).

    Who makes more sense, me or the OIF?

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — September 29, 2011 @ 6:29 am

  52. Kramer auto Pingback[…] Litwin interviews Dan Kleinman, organizer of the SafeLibraries campaign which actively works against the ALA’s (and more […]

    Pingback by » Banned Books Week (What’s it about, really?) The (Hopeful) Librarian — September 29, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

  53. All, the ALA has just tacitly admitted it plagiarized and that I was right to report that it plagiarized. The ALA finally, after about a year and a half, added the following attribution to its “censorship map”:

    “Mapping Censorship” was created by Chris Peterson of the National Coalition Against Censorship and Alita Edelman of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. The map is now updated by the American Library Association.

    The new information remains false and misleading, but at least it finally identifies the people, just not the affiliations falsely attributed to make the admittedly low quality product seem better.

    Rory specifically questioned my credibility on this plagiarism claim, as well as others. The ALA obliged by tacitly admitting I was correct that it plagiarized. Thank you, OIF.

    Comment by Dan Kleinman of SafeLibraries — October 3, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  54. Kramer auto Pingback[…] the American Library Association accountable for the moral corruption of America’s youth. In an interview Kleinman gave to Rory Litwin, he understates his mission a bit: “What I am really doing is reporting what [the ALA’s Office […]

    Pingback by The “virtues” of censorship, pt. 3: searching for “safe libraries” « Catecinem — July 20, 2012 @ 12:51 am

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