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Maine Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 3 Jun 2023 09:56:14 -0500
Janet Wilson <[log in to unmask]>
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To: Cara Sawyer <[log in to unmask]>
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Thank you for standing for the neutrality of libraries!

Janet Wilson

Quoting Cara Sawyer <[log in to unmask]>:

> Hello All!
> What I am about to say may rub many people in the library world the wrong
> way but I think people are missing a very BIG red flag in this whole
> discussion. No one is talking about WHY Kirk Cameron is saying that
> libraries are "Anti-Christian" or "Anti-American" and I think this is a
> major point here.
> It is my belief that libraries should be neutral territory on EVERYTHING.
> We are the purveyors of information and entertainment, not the pushers of
> ANY kind of agenda. We are safe spaces for ALL, not just a chosen few. It
> is our job to help EVERY person who comes into our libraries no matter
> their race, creed, religion, sexuality, etc. We are the ones who should not
> judge no matter what is placed in front of us. Looking at what Kirk Cameron
> is saying, that's not how some people are viewing us. Why?
> I have noticed a HUGE increase in the Library world towards pushing an
> agenda. Inclusivity and diversity are topics at every seminar, conference,
> and council meeting. Why? We are librarians, we shouldn't have to be told
> that we treat everyone the same, but that's not what's been happening. It's
> not that we should treat EVERYONE the SAME, it's that certain people should
> be put upon pedestals and certain communities should be placed in the
> spotlight. Why? That is not our place in the world. It is our place to help
> everyone the same way.
> I would no more put up a display on white supremacy than I would a display
> on the Black Panthers. Both displays would be informative. Both displays
> would pertain to certain communities. However, both displays would offend
> certain members of my community. It is not my place to offend the people
> who enter my building. It is my place to make them feel welcome and safe.
> It seems to me that the Library world has forgotten this. The Library
> community has become far too politically correct and driven to stand out as
> the champions of causes. When did this become our job? When did this become
> who we are supposed to be? Why?
> Libraries should be places where EVERY voice can be heard. Where EVERY
> viewpoint can be shared. Where EVERYONE is treated the same and is provided
> the same services. NO MATTER WHAT. We are neutral territory. Our own
> individual politics and feelings should not enter into the running of our
> buildings, ever.
> I want everyone who comes into my building to feel like they have a second
> home, a safe space, a place to relax and enjoy themselves. I will not push
> agendas, political/religious views, or rhetoric. I will help people find
> information on any topic they want. I will find books on everything. I will
> never judge people on their personal views. I am a librarian because I
> believe in helping everyone. I believe that everyone has the right to
> believe whatever they want, read whatever they want, watch whatever they
> want, and learn about whatever they want. It is not my place to try to
> convince them that they should accept anyone else's opinions, lifestyles,
> or political views. It is certainly not my library's place to do so either.
> So, if Kurt Cameron or anyone else wants to use my library and read to
> people they are welcome, because that's what I think libraries are supposed
> to be. Maybe if more libraries felt that way he wouldn't feel as he does.
> Just my 2 cents.
> Cara E. Sawyer
> Library Director
> Cherryfield Free Public Library
> PO Box 121
> 35 Main Street
> Cherryfield, ME 04622
> 207-546-4228
> [log in to unmask]

Janet Wilson, Director
Rangeley Public Library
P.O. Box 1150
7 Lake St.
Rangeley, ME 04970
[log in to unmask]