"You know what? The bastard blows me out of the water. This guy writes Maine like Ardai writes New York. If you're not reading him, you don't know what you're missing." --Chris F. Holm, author of The Big Reap, The Wrong Goodbye and Dead Harvest.

"Bagley's got the poet's eye, but that doesn't mean everything is prettier in his work. It means the ugly stuff is more vivid. More intense. Like a sudden switch from analog to HD. And that's a trait to very much admire in his work." --Anthony Neil Smith, author of Hogdoggin', Yellow Medicine, The Drummer and Psychosomatic.




Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Morons on Board

This story comes from Michael Haskins (who likes e-mailing me in January to let me know about the beautiful weather in Key West) and it merits your attention:

Free Speech Groups Criticize Dismissal of Wisconsin Library Board Members
By Lynn Andriani -- Publishers Weekly, 4/29/2009 8:01:00 AM

Four members of a library board in West Bend, Wis., were dismissed last week for refusing to remove controversial books from the library’s young adult section—and yesterday, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of American Publishers and PEN American Center criticized the firings.

The groups sent a letter to the West Bend Common Council stating that the dismissals threatened free speech in two ways: punishing the board members for attempting to apply objective criteria in the selection of books, and pressuring the library to remove the controversial books. The letter said, “The role of a public library and its board members is to serve the entire community and to evaluate books and other library materials on the basis of objective criteria. By removing half the members of the library board, the Common Council is imposing its opinions on the rest of the community.”

The controversy began in February when two patrons complained that the library’s YA section included fiction and nonfiction books about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. The patrons accused the library of promoting “the overt indoctrination of the gay agenda in our community” and demanded that the library add books “affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives.” They also insisted that the library remove books from the YA section including Brent Hartinger’s Geography Club (HarperCollins), Stephan Chbosky’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Esther Drill’s Deal With It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain and Life as a gURL (both Simon & Schuster).

Last week, West Bend Mayor Kristin Deiss submitted the names of four members of the library board for a new three-year term, and the council voted 5-3 to dismiss the board members.

2 comments:

Sophie Littlefield said...

OYYYYYY....late to the party but boy does this piss me off.

as the mother of teens....i can safely say....kids are smart enough to know what they want to read. it's us adults who are caught up in what we *should* and *shouldn't* like. Let the kids pick their own books, for Christ's sake.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

And what the hell does “affirming traditional heterosexual perspectives" mean? When I was in high school, it meant AIDS jokes and taunting or beating up any kid perceived as a "lezzie" or "faggot" while the teachers all looked the other way. Now there's a great traditional perspective, huh?