Heather and Samantha--I'm so sorry to hear about this, I had no idea it was
happening, and am so grateful to you for bringing it to the attention of
the larger library community. ❤
Heather--from your perspective as a school library worker, is there any
sense in sending out a letter of support from the larger MELIBS community
next time this happens?
Would it help if some of us non-school-library workers showed up in
solidarity at future school board meetings, and offered to take your lead,
as school librarians/school library workers?
It makes me sick to think of my friends and family being forced to go to a
school where their existence is challenged daily. I agree with you
both--information wants to be free!
On Thu, Aug 11, 2022 at 11:51 AM Heather Perkinson <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> I think I speak for the membership of MASL when I say that we are extremely
> disheartened by this news, especially as it comes while we prepare for the
> new school year. We are all worried about what this year holds for school
> libraries especially. Thank you, Samantha, for your thoughts and kind
> words, and for shifting the focus to the strengths we can find in each
> other. I think what is most frustrating for school librarians in this
> instance is that they followed their review process, as it is outlined in
> their good policy, voted to keep the book, and then a vocal minority
> overturned it. We think it is important for the voices of librarians and
> other supporters of intellectual freedom to be louder and heard more
> widely, and we'd like to work with MLA and other interested groups (for
> example, the English Language Arts teachers are very concerned as well) on
> some sort of campaign to amplify our voices.
> Please also note that MASL is here to support you in these battles and read
> this letter
> that MASL sent to the members of the RSU 56 school board and Dirigo HS
> administrators in advance of the deciding board meeting on the 9th.
> Thank you for being in this fight with us!
> Heather Perkinson, MASL President
> On Wed, Aug 10, 2022 at 9:12 PM Samantha Duckworth <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > Undoubtedly many of you have read the news about RSU 56<
> > and the censorship of Maia Kobabe's Gender Queer. This is the SIXTH book
> > challenge in Maine so far this year! There were six challenges in 2021,
> > which is more than the total book challenges from 2017-2020 combined.
> > That's huge! For four years the total book bans in Maine = 5, then the
> > two years have more than doubled that! I'm not a statistics expert but
> > something seems to be shifting.
> > Please know the MLA Intellectual Freedom Committee sent a letter of
> > support<
> > to the RSU school board to avoid censorship. This is after the book had
> > been challenged earlier this year, upheld by a special committee, and now
> > ultimately removed after the decision was appealed. RSU 56 had clear and
> > well-crafted policies to avoid this situation. And yet here we are.
> > MLA and the IF committee is here for anyone facing book challenges and
> > attempts at censorship. We're working with MASL and other organizations
> > help defend first amendment rights. If you have ideas of ways we can
> > you with confidence and tools as another school year approaches, please
> > send to me. We will be sharing some interesting training ideas soon.
> > A mote of light for me is that we have each other, fellow librarians, to
> > stand up to serve as defenders of information and access. Wynter
> > us to be empathetic to the people making these final decisions, and I
> > agree. Let's remind ourselves to remain dispassionate and even-keeled in
> > face of these very heated controversies. And roll up our sleeves for some
> > proactive work ahead!
> > Keep up the good work!
> > Best regards,
> > Samantha
> > Samantha Duckworth LIBRARIAN
> > Verrill Dana LLP
> > One Portland Square
> > Portland, ME 04101-4054
> > T
> > 207-253-4788
> > C
> > (207) 318-2789
> > [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> > Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
> > This email and any attachment was sent from the law firm Verrill Dana,
> > LLP. It may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If
> > you suspect that you were not intended to receive it, please delete it
> > notify us as soon as possible. Thank you.
Ana Noriega, Assistant Director for Collections Management
Colby College Libraries
5142 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901