This is all very scary.  What I am afraid of is the mounting intensity and
number of book challenges throughout the country. I have been keeping a
close eye on the situation, as I want to be prepared for any challenge we
might face.  It goes a lot deeper than Gender Queer. Michigan, Utah, and
Texas are the hotbeds, but the challenges are in just but every state.  One
MI library received a complaint that there were too many books by Jewish
authors and about People of Color.  It's crazy!

I appreciate all the support that has been given to RSU 56. Hopefully it's
not training for what we all may face in the future.

I know that we will be there for one another should more challenges be made.

Best,
Mamie

On Thu, Aug 11, 2022 at 1:10 PM Ana Noriega <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> 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!
>
> In solidarity,
> Ana Noriega
>
> 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
> > <
> >
> https://docs.google.com/document/d/1flQXYMQIll66vE0M94BsPFynvB6dtqt9Jwipwrbn8Vs/edit?usp=sharing
> > >
> > 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<
> > >
> >
> https://www.pressherald.com/2022/08/10/dixfield-based-school-board-bans-gender-book-from-dirigo-library/
> > >
> > > 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
> > past
> > > 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<
> > >
> >
> https://drive.google.com/file/d/1N8JHYeQ8u87B8zbWW6Mb1rnrnBLz-Oqh/view?usp=sharing
> > >
> > > 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
> > to
> > > help defend first amendment rights. If you have ideas of ways we can
> > equip
> > > 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
> > encouraged
> > > 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
> > and
> > > notify us as soon as possible.  Thank you.
> > >
> >
>
>
> --
> Ana Noriega, Assistant Director for Collections Management
> Colby College Libraries
> 5142 Mayflower Hill
> Waterville, ME 04901
> 207.859.5142
> *she/her/hers*
>


-- 

Mamie Anthoine Ney

Auburn Public Library

49 Spring St.

Auburn, ME 04210

207.333.6640 x 2020

[log in to unmask]

www.auburnpubliclibrary.org

Maine Library Commission (2022 - present)
“The public library is where place and possibility meet.” - Stuart Dybeck