Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Read In at the Library May 29th 3:00pm-6:00pm

Please join West Bend Parents for Free Speech as we participate in the Read In organized by Jake Jurss of West Bend.

Participants can meet at the corner of Oak and 5th at 3:00pm and walk to the library. (If you can't join us right at 3:00pm, simply come when you can!) Bring along (or plan to check out) a book from a banned bookslist/website (search banned books on Yahoo or Google for ideas, or visit Adler Books: Books Banned in the United States.) Participants are encouraged to quietly read their books inside or outside the library. Jake has a library room reserved and there may be a presentation/discussion of books discussed in the current West Bend issue and/or of the history of book banning in general.

Look for West Bend Parents for Free Speech and if you have not already done so, sign our petition to protect the library from attempts at censorship!

If you will be participating, please make yourself a nametag to wear. A lot of us have "met" online but not in person; we'd like to connect names to faces!

When the library closes at 6:00pm (summer library hours are now in effect!) some participants willbe walking to Regner Park for a (bring your own) potluck style picnic.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Can WBCFSL Parent Your Children Better Than You Can?

Lately the Daily News has had several letters to the editor in which the authors ask, "what would be so wrong in moving these books?" Let's address that question with a few more.

If we (the community) allow the library to enact a policy that allows books to be classified (or reclassified) based on someone's subjective opinion on how explicit the sexual content is(WBCFSL's latest request....they no longer want to ban books or move books), what would happen? Well, first the library would have to develop criteria to determine what would be considered sexual content, and a scale to determine at what point the material is too explicit for a minor audience. How much (in taxpayer dollars and library resources) would this take? WBCFSL has suggested this policy but makes no recommendations as to how it would be enacted and how it would be payed for.

After the policy criteria was determined, someone would have to read through all of the materials in the Young Adult and Juvenile/Children's section of the library to determine which books need to be reclassified. Who would do this (i.e., an individual, such as a member of the staff, or a committee) and who would pay for this (the taxpayer)?

When the policy is enacted, how would challenges be handled? When the library is faced with numerous lawsuits because this policy/procedure is unconstitutional, who would pay for the legal expenses (taxpayers/City of West Bend)?

Ginny Maziarka of WBCFSL has said that she agrees (link; read comments) she does not have the right to decide what is appropriate for children other than her own. However, the petition asks for the creation of a policy that will make these determinations for others.

Really, this whole debate comes down to this question: who do you want to decide what is appropriate for your, or WBCFSL?