Noisy thoughts from the librarian's desk
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
what is the world coming to when one voice can silence another? that is exactly what happened in Littleton, Colorado. Littleton, CO:
The school board for the Littleton Public School District has pulled all copies of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye (Knopf, 1970) from the shelves of its high school libraries, despite protests from teachers and students who read passages from the novel while conducting sit-ins at their school libraries. The board decision to remove the novel from libraries and reading lists was in response to a parent who challenged its explicit description of incestuous rape. The board voted 3–2 to ban the book this fall, rejecting the recommendation of a review committee that it be limited to 11th and 12th graders. While students and teachers are disappointed, some believe that the challenge has promoted discussions that enrich the learning process. “This is the kind of academic debate where we want our students engaged,” says Mollie McDonald, director of curriculum instruction and assessment for the Littleton Public School District. School Library Journal, December 2005
Monday, December 19, 2005
A student at UMASS Dartmouth was questioned recently by Homeland Security agents because of a paper he was writing on Communism. What's next President Bush? http://www.southcoasttoday.com/daily/12-05/12-17-05/a09lo650.htm
The U.S. has nearly 40,000 self-storage facilities according to Tom Vanderbilt in his article Self-Storage Nation posted Monday July 18, 2005 on Slate.com. http://www.slate.com/id/2122832/ Imagine all those things we can't seem to live with but can't get rid of either. Are all Americans pack rats? What does that say about us as a nation? Do we hoard things that would help those in need? What if we all went into our storage units and gave some of our things to charity? We wouldn't miss what we weren't using and someone else might actually be able to use those things. Something to think about as the holidays approach.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Perhaps, many in this country have forgotten what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written to protect, but I haven't. I certainly don't like the idea of my basic rights being taken
away in the name of security. I have always been proud to be an American. Proud to know I can speak my mind, speak out against those things that I consider unjust and inhumane. Others may not agree with me, but that was what always made our country so unique. We could argue about these things. Attempt to persuade those who didn't agree without threat of reprisal. Since 9/11 I am afraid that my free speech is being thwarted, my individuality scruitinized.
As a librarian, I have always felt that privacy of thought was one of the most basic rights. What we read, what we believe, these are not things that the government should have the right to know or control. Unfortunately, George Bush thinks that in the name of security, he has that right.
Friday, December 16, 2005
You'll no doubt be glad to know that the Supreme Court believes that criminal defendants representing themselves in court are capable of doing so without access to a law library. No doubt they can just intuit the relevant precedents.