Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Don't Be Fooled

It seems to me that whenever someone disagrees with Ginny Maziarka and her viewpoint on this library issue, it is because they just "don't understand" what she's asking for. As I have told her, I do understand, and I still don't agree.

It wouldn't surprise me if local residents did not understand Ginny's complaint. After all, it has constantly changed. She often complains in her blog that they are not asking to ban books, and they are not going after specific titles. That may be true now, but that is what they asked for and did in the past.

She seems to think that what they have asked for is not censorship. You be the judge; do you consider it censorship when material that is universally considered to be for a Young Adult audience is moved to an adult section or labeled in such a way to make those books taboo? Do you think it is fair or wise to move books on the basis that some in the community may find them offensive?

The Maziarkas have been very skilled at changing their tune and tweaking their complaint to make it more likely that people will jump on their bandwagon. But let us not forget that their complaint did begin with a complaint about books they felt were "pro-homosexual" and that all of the books they originally objected to came from a list of books with LGBT themes and characters. Let us not forget that they did ask for some of these books to be banned. Then they changed their complaint and made it about material they felt was sexually explicit, throwing the word pornography around to create furor in the community. They instead asked for books to be reclassified or moved, and asked for labels on materials that were sexually explicit. Now they've said that they are no longer asking for these things, they are asking for policy changes that will "protect" the community.

Ginny and Jim Maziarka, thanks but no thanks. I don't need your help in protecting my children from material I don't find appropriate, and I certainly don't want your help in determining what is or isn't appropriate for them or using your morality as my family's compass. I find it hard to believe that others in this community want that, to give up their rights as parents to make those kinds of decisions.

Parents, if you don't like what your kids are reading, take it away, or better yet, have a conversation about it. But don't try to censor the collection of our public library, which is meant to serve the entire community. You may not like all the materials in the collection, and you have the right not to read anything you find offensive or objectionable. But you don't have the right to take materials away from other patrons, restrict access to them, make them harder to find, or label them as obscene simply based on your opinion or moral judgment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Petition Signing

West Bend Citizens for Free Speech will be at West Bend Community Memorial Library on Wednesday, April 22 from 6:00-8:00pm. Stop by to sign our petition to protect the library's collection from attempts at censorship. You may also take home copies of the petition to collect signatures. Let's get together to discuss our viewpoints and where we should proceed from here!

I think we will be in the board room at the back of the first floor of the library. Stop by to show your support.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

West Bend Library issue

Please visit my website to get more info on my views on the West Bend library issue. Please stay tuned here for info about our petition campaign. We will be circulating a petition to counter the Maziarkas' petition to censor books at the West Bend library.