Summed up by the popular meme, "We are entitled to our own opinions, but
not our own facts." Propaganda and disinformation are not protected by
anything resembling free speech, in fact, they are instruments used to
interfere with free information. Information's root is data, data is
measurable observable fact. Anything that tries to undermine factual
information is censorship, disinformation and misinformation are covert
alternatives to censorship. 

Curating only factual information, and balancing opinions about those
facts is not censorship. Good censorship and bad censorship does not
exist, nor should they because we'd be splitting hairs over the good vs.
bad ad-infinitum, and free speech would be in suspended animation just
like everything on the House floor in D.C. 

If an item represents something that is not factual and just emboldens
the fringe, it's garbage. Antisemitism is ugly, and we still have shock
waves from the holocaust's devastation. Denying it's existence has no
credibility, and has no constructive purpose behind it. Libraries must
not validate such dangerous rhetoric. 

I have issues with Little House, Dr. Seuss and Dr. Doolittle being
tabled because they are representative of an older culture
(enthnocentricity is what credible Sociologists aim to avoid), but this
is completely different. We are dealing with blatant disinformation, not
a judgment of another culture by our cultural standards. 

My apologies, but this has been boiling over inside of me for years


On 2022-02-23 11:15, Sharon Kelly wrote:

> I think the most important takeaway from this article is summed up in one
> sentence, which is at the root of the problem.  *"This is not a situation
> where librarians are calling for the removal of materials from our
> carefully-developed and curated collections. Rather, these materials are
> not ones that libraries opted to include in the first place. Like junk mail
> that floods people's mailboxes, titles like these are not collected by
> public libraries because they do not meet the standards and needs of a
> public library collection."*
> That says it all to me.
> Sharon
> On Wed, Feb 23, 2022 at 10:13 AM Rachel Statham <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> I believe our priority as librarians is to provide accurate information to
> patrons. As part of doing collection development, I think it's fair to ask
> a third-party distributor to not include books we wouldn't recommend to our
> patrons doing research on the Holocaust. Whether the Holocaust happened
> isn't a two-sided issue--it's historical fact. It would be different if the
> author wrote a book defending the Holocaust... you can have those books to
> balance out your collection if you want (some libraries carry *Mein Kampf
> *and
> I can understand that). Including misinformation in your collection is not
> sound practice, and surely goes against most library's missions.
> I think you may need to reevaluate what you see as censorship. You wouldn't
> include a book in your nonfiction collection that defined bleach as a base
> liquid that's safe for consumption--would you?
> The First Amendment Museum in Augusta has done some really great
> programming on censorship and "book banning" if any libraries are
> interested.
> Sincerely,
> *Rachel Statham*
> Adult Services Librarian, *Bailey Public Library*
> *P* 207-377-8673
> *W* [1]
> *A* 39 Bowdoin St. Winthrop, ME 04364
> On Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 4:22 PM Jennifer Gaenzle <
> [log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> Exactly!!
> I'm extremely concerned, what is "okay" censorship and what isn't "okay"
> censorship? Where do you draw the line?
> For a librarian, we are to support NO censorship, no matter what our
> thoughts or beliefs.
> Is this something supported by the NELA, when they just made a completely
> opposing statement? The statement on their website is that they stand with the "ALA in opposing the recent increase in widespread efforts to censor
> books in U.S. schools and libraries..".
> And it's completely opposite to our State Librarian, James Ritter's
> statement to the listserve back on February 10th.
> I had just pulled a book for "weeding" the day Jamie's email was posted,
> and I so needed to read his statement that day because I realized that I
> was "censoring" that book, not weeding.
> The statement from Library Freedom Project and Library Futures is not
> something that I, as a librarian, could support as it stands.
> Jenn
> Jennifer Gaenzle
> Fort Fairfield Public Library Director
> 339 Main Street
> Fort Fairfield, ME 04742
> 207-472-3880
> [log in to unmask]
> Website and Card Catalog -
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Maine Libraries Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On
> Behalf Of Janet Wilson
> Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2022 3:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [MELIBS-L] Fwd: [NELA] Statement from LFP and Library
> Futures: Hoopla/OverDrive content
> I could get behind this movement if the plan were to ask these companies
> to restrict access to these materials to adults only.
> However, I have a hard time with the idea that the organization that
> penned "The Freedom to Read Statement" is the very same one that wants to
> censor books from these online distributors. What happened to the belief
> that "most attempts at suppression rest on a denial of the fundamental
> premise of a democracy: that the ordinary individual, by exercising
> critical judgment, will select the good and reject the bad"? Or what about our belief that "it is in the public interest for publishers and librarians to make available the widest diversity of views and expressions, including those that are unorthodox, unpopular, or considered dangerous by the
> majority"? Our Freedom to Read statement also goes on to say that
> "publishers, librarians, and booksellers do not need to endorse every idea or presentation they make available. It would conflict with the public
> interest for them to establish their own political, moral, or aesthetic
> views as a standard for determining what should be published or circulated" and that "it is wrong that what one can read should be confined to what
> another thinks proper".
> I would be one of the last people to support the idea that the Holocaust
> never happened, or that the Nazis were right in their white supremacist
> views. It scares me to death seeing how acceptable socialist, communist,
> and totalitarian ideas are in our nation now, especially among our young
> people. But censoring books we disagree with, even ones as unpalatable as
> Nazi propaganda, just plays into the totalitarian methods of our current
> "cancel culture".
> Janet Wilson
> Quoting Michelle Sampson <[log in to unmask]>:
> Regarding the recent discovery of select content (and by select I mean
> white supremacist, fascist, and even Holocaust denying etc) on Hoopla
> and Overdrive...if you are so inclined to contact either/both company(ies) : 
> ---------- Forwarded message ---------
> From: Jenn Bruneau <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, Feb 22, 2022 at 1:29 PM
> Subject: [NELA] Statement from LFP and Library Futures:
> Hoopla/OverDrive content
> To: New England Library Association Discussion List <
> [log in to unmask]>
> Hello all,
> Library Freedom Project and Library Futures have issued a statement
> regarding the white supremacist, Holocaust denialist, and fascist
> content made available in *both Hoopla and OverDrive*. The intent is
> to not only make sure these materials are removed, but also to demand
> accountability from vendors in including these materials in general
> use public library collections. This statement offers an email
> template to use in contacting these companies' CEOs about this

>> -digital-and-overdrive-regarding-the-platforming-of-fascist-c47c88e62d
>> dc
>> Please feel free to share this statement and the email template with
>> other colleagues.
>> Take care,
>> Jenn Bruneau
> --
> Janet Wilson, Director
> Rangeley Public Library
> P.O. Box 1150
> 7 Lake St.
> Rangeley, ME 04970
> (207)864-5529
> [log in to unmask]
> --
> This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.