Author Topic: Culture Wars at a Library  (Read 3035 times)

Charles Austin

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2022, 07:23:35 AM »
Banning books in public libraries. These are truly disgraceful and sad events.
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Jim Butler

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2022, 08:27:06 AM »
Banning books in public libraries. These are truly disgraceful and sad events.

None of these books are being "banned." In fact, the list linked to in the NBC story shows which libraries in Idaho (if any) where they can be found.

Libraries, like all other institutions, has a budget for the purchase a new materials each year. According to your argument, if they choose book A and not book B, then they have banned book B. No, they decided that, for whatever reason, book A is worth buying and Book B isn't.

The parents and others in this story do not want any books "banned." They either a) don't want the library to purchase them or b) they want the library to put them in a place where parents know their children are reading them. Ironically, none of the books on this list are in the local library, so I'm not sure what the problem is. It reminds me of the Satanic Panic of the 80s.

Finally, I wish your journalistic colleagues--and others--would stop throwing around the word "banned" when it comes to books. I remember going a Pastor's conference at Northern Illinois University early in my ministry. The library had a display for "Banned Books week." I asked how they could display the books if they had been banned. Obviously, none had been banned; they had been challenged somewhere in the country. But I guess "Books that some parents have questioned" week doesn't have the same flair.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2022, 01:01:46 PM »
Focusing on the "banning" word is a distraction. A public library should have books representing a variety of views, styles, cultures, languages and philosophies. For parents or anyone to say "we will not have certain books in the library" is the atrocity. It is not fair to those who want the books; and it will not work. Someone is beating drums for this kind of "culture war," and it is not healthy for our society.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2022, 01:31:05 PM »
Focusing on the "banning" word is a distraction. A public library should have books representing a variety of views, styles, cultures, languages and philosophies. For parents or anyone to say "we will not have certain books in the library" is the atrocity. It is not fair to those who want the books; and it will not work. Someone is beating drums for this kind of "culture war," and it is not healthy for our society.
But that just means society can't have standards. If nudists want illustrated children's books, well, nudists are people, too, and just because they're a minority we can't leave them out. And it isn't just nudists. I remember when I little they took Little Black Sambo out of a bunch of libraries because it perpetuated stereotypes. But so what? Some people are racists who want stereotypes to be perpetuated. Why shouldn't their library include their views?

Jim Butler

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2022, 05:55:38 PM »
Focusing on the "banning" word is a distraction. A public library should have books representing a variety of views, styles, cultures, languages and philosophies. For parents or anyone to say "we will not have certain books in the library" is the atrocity. It is not fair to those who want the books; and it will not work. Someone is beating drums for this kind of "culture war," and it is not healthy for our society.

You are the one who accused the library of "banning" books not me. That was your word, not mine. So don't blame me for your distraction.

As it is, you don't know what books are in this library and which books aren't. For all you or I know, there may be a wide variety of viewpoints represented in their collection. (You're retired and a reporter, why don't you see if their catalog is online a report back on the various viewpoints represented in their collection?)

 All we know is that there is a list of books that some parents are arguing should either not be in the library or in a special section where they can only be checked out with parental permission. Wait, you're retired and a reporter. Why don't you buy all of the books on their list, read them and get back to us? You can evaluate all of them for us. Afterwards, you can donate all of them to that library along with your cogent evaluation of each book.

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Charles Austin

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2022, 11:50:13 PM »
Sorry to be a fly in your soup, Pastor Butler, but this is not about what I could do. And i did not accuse the library of banning books.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

MaddogLutheran

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #51 on: August 25, 2022, 08:42:56 AM »
Sorry to be a fly in your soup, Pastor Butler, but this is not about what I could do. And i did not accuse the library of banning books.

Banning books in public libraries. These are truly disgraceful and sad events.

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Dan Fienen

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #52 on: August 25, 2022, 10:13:29 AM »
Last week, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten sent a Tweet deploring the banning of books in Florida schools. You know terrible Florida with an extremist governor. She included a list that she had found of banned books, including classics like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye, and Of Mice and Men. I guess just about what you expect from such a regressive state as Florida with such a governor.


Problem was that the list was a fake. In fact, To Kill a Mockingbird is on the recommended list of books for the eighth grade in Florida. Randi Weingarten had been taken in by a fake list and had simply jumped on the band wagon of condemning conservatives and the target du jour Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.


https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/policy/education/randi-weingarten-fake-list-banned-books-florida

However back in 2020, Burbank, California did ban a number of books, including To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Of Mice and Men, The Cay, and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry (https://www.newsweek.com/kill-mockingbird-other-books-banned-california-schools-over-racism-concerns-1547241).


Book banning and other forms of censorship, deplatforming, getting artists and performers canceled for holding controversial views or saying unpolite or unpolitic things, has been around at least since the days of Socrates. And it is not just a matter of conservatives being censorious. Liberals and progressives have long gotten in on the game, and are quite active today. J. K. Rowling whose Harry Potter books have been the subject of several drives to have them banned from schools or libraries by some fundamentalist conservatives is currently under fire for having said unLGBTQorthodox things about transsexuals.


It amuses me to hear the ritualistic condemnations by progressives of conservatives for being so culturally insensitive and uncouth as to protest books and other works of art that are contrary to their beliefs and then observe the progressive drives to banish works of art and artists who violate their sacred cows.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2022, 10:15:54 AM by Dan Fienen »
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Rev. Edward Engelbrecht

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2022, 07:32:46 AM »
Here it is again:

"Last month, Ramstein Air Base in Germany scheduled a drag queen story hour at it's base library, where drag queen Stacey Teed was scheduled to read to children. When lawmakers back home got wind of the event and wrote to the secretary of the Air Force, the event was cancelled."

Ret. Lt. Gen. Thomas Spoehr, "The Rise of Wokeness in the Military," Imprimis, June/July 2022.
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DeHall1

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #55 on: September 20, 2022, 10:56:09 AM »
Yet again:

https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-news/1600-books-banned-2021-22-school-year-report-finds-rcna48367

I wonder how many books flagged as "banned" here are actually what I consider "age restricted".  Our school district has multiple K-2nd grade and multiple 3-6th grade schools, 1 middle school and 1 high school. The graphic novel "Maus" can only be found in the middle and high school libraries (and is used in one of the High School AP English classes).

Mark Janke

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #56 on: September 20, 2022, 11:41:14 AM »
I'm always amused/disgusted when people complain about the horror of parents and others wanting to "ban" books when that's something that librarians do every day. How's that, you ask? Any library (except, perhaps, ones like the Library of Congress) contain only a small percentage of the books, even those from recent years, published. Librarians have to decide which ones the libraries actually purchase and put on the shelves. So it isn't about "banning books" so much as it is getting their feelings hurt because someone has the audacity to say that the librarians have made a mistake in judgment. And, of course, just because a library doesn't carry a particular book doesn't mean that book is banned. People are free to purchase it or borrow it from some other source.
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Jim Butler

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #57 on: September 20, 2022, 12:06:27 PM »
Yet again:

https://www.nbcnews.com/nbc-out/out-news/1600-books-banned-2021-22-school-year-report-finds-rcna48367

I like the picture that accompanies the article: a display of banned books at a local bookstore.

How can they be on display if they are banned? How can they be sold if they are banned? They aren't actually banned. But it makes good copy.
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Charles Austin

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #58 on: September 20, 2022, 01:01:40 PM »
Let’s not over react. Of course the books are not technically “banned,“ because one can go to a bookstore and buy them. Issue is whether or not the books are available in public and school libraries. The bigger issue is the groups that want to control attitudes on the subjects of those books by making sure that they are not widely read.
Retired ELCA Pastor. Parishes in Iowa, New York and New Jersey. LCA/LWF staff. Former journalist. Now retired in Minneapolis. My only Thanksgiving cooking chore: providing fresh ground, fair trade, bird friendly coffee.

peter_speckhard

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Re: Culture Wars at a Library
« Reply #59 on: September 20, 2022, 01:55:20 PM »
Let’s not over react. Of course the books are not technically “banned,“ because one can go to a bookstore and buy them. Issue is whether or not the books are available in public and school libraries. The bigger issue is the groups that want to control attitudes on the subjects of those books by making sure that they are not widely read.
Do you think such people are wrong to try to control attitudes via such decisions? Like removing Little Black Sambo and other books with racial stereotypes in them so as to control what children grow up thinking about race? Your problem not people seeking to control attitudes. Your problem is that you want to control attitudes by pushing for acceptance of sexual deviancy, and you hate the people who prefer to shape society along more wholesome lines.