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Maine Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 3 Jun 2023 14:43:40 -0400
Michael Stanley <[log in to unmask]>
Michael Stanley <[log in to unmask]>
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To: Cara Sawyer <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (95 lines)
Hi Cara,

Though I can't speak for Kurt Cameron, many people find libraries
"anti-Christian" because we provide access to information that they see as
"anti-Christian". Having books that offer LGBTQ+ perspectives is part of
that, which is why these books are highly contested now. Practicing
inclusion and promoting diversity in libraries isn't a political idea, even
if it does make some people uncomfortable. DE&I is discussed at "every
conference" because it's important to understand marginalized groups and
possess cultural awareness when working with the public. It's not "putting
these groups on a pedestal", but instead about helping them achieve the
same level of service as others so they can fully enjoy the library. It's
as you say, the library is about making everyone feel welcome.


Michael Stanley (he/him)
Evening & Weekend Coordinator
Colby College Libraries
Bixler 138

On Sat, Jun 3, 2023 at 9:36 AM Cara Sawyer <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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]