"Curating the Collection" (adding books to the libraries)
The president of the American Library Association, Emily Drabinski, is a self-avowed Marxist.
(Note: the word "Marxist" is tossed around lightly but the goals of Marxism directly threaten our way of life. In The Communist Manifesto Marx stated that the revolution requires the abolition of (1) private property, (2) the family, (3) individuality, (4) eternal truths, and (5) the past.)
When campaigning to be president she said, “So many of us find ourselves at the ends of our worlds. The consequences of decades of unchecked climate change, class war, white supremacy, and imperialism have led us here. If we want a world that includes public goods we must organize our collective power and wield it. The American Library Association offers us a set of tools that can harness our energy and build those capacities.” That sounds like an agenda.
Since the late 1990s, the ALA has been a recipient of major funding from George Soros’s Open Society and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Professional librarians, for their libraries to be accredited, need to follow ALA guidelines. What selection criteria do they recommend for adding books?
Requests by patrons is last. In fact, if you look for any of the objectionable books at your local library you'll see that often they do not appear to have been opened, much less checked out by a patron.
At the May 10th Botetourt Library Board meeting the Virginia Library Association’s Executive Director Lisa Varga stated that books for selection should (1) come from reputable publishers.
Some of the books in question are published by Wise Ink Creative Publishing. Wise Ink has only eleven employees, all women, and is located in Minneapolis. What makes them reputable?
And Lisa Varga continued that books for selection should (2) have starred reviews. What are the ALA’s recommended reviewing sources?
All of them are progressive organizations.
Our Library Director Julie Phillips has added the following books which seek to sexualize children or normalize alternative lifestyles since she was hired in 2019:
Dog Man vol. 8 for ages 2 to12 - published in 2019
The Moon is Up for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2019
The Magic Misfits: The Second Story for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2019
Different Families for ages 5 to 7 - published in 2019
Like a Love Story for ages 13 and over - published in 2019
It Feels Good to be Yourself: a book about gender identity for ages 4 to 7- published in 2019
Queer: the Ultimate LGBT Guide for Teens for ages 11 to 18 - published in 2019
The Magic Misfits: The Minor Third for ages 8 to 12- published in 2020
The Moon Within for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2020
The Everybody Book: The LGBTQ+ Inclusive Guide for Kids about Sex, etc. for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2020
Who Was Harvey Milk for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2020
Flamer for ages 14 to 18 - published in 2020
Making a Baby for ages 5 to 8 - published in 2021
Born Ready: The True Story of a Boy named Penelope for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2021
Being You: A First Conversation About Gender for ages 2 to 5 - published in 2021
Mr. Watson's Chickens for ages 2 to 5 - published in 2021
Middle School's a Drag, You Better Werk! for ages 10 to 12 - published in 2021
Bodies are Cool for ages 2 to 5 - published in 2021
The Pronoun Book for ages 5 to 9- published in 2021
Aaron Slater, Illustrator for ages 4 to 7 - published in 2021
Sharice's Big Voice for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2021
Lunch from Home for ages 3 to 6 - published in 2021
Sharice's Big Voice for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2021
Fred Gets Dresses for ages 3 to 6 - published in 2021
What are your Words? : a Book about Pronouns for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2021
Anna on the Edge for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2021
The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2021
Wildflowers for ages 6 to 9 - published in 2021
Cool for the Summer for ages 14 and over - published in 2021
Felix Ever After for ages 14 and over - published in 2021
Forever... for ages 14 and over - published in 2014 but added 2021
Anne: An adaptation of Anne of Green Gables for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
Together: A First Conversation About Love for ages 2-5 - published in 2022
You Know, Sex for ages 10 to 14 - published in 2022
ABC Pride for ages 3 to 5 - published in 2022
Kind like Marsha: Learning from LGBTQ+ Leaders for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2022
Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle for ages 3 to 7 - published in 2022
Strong for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2022
The Meaning of Pride for ages 4 to 7 - published in 2022
The Rainbow Parade for ages 2 to 5 - published in 2022
A Home for Goddesses and Dogs for ages 10 to 14 - published in 2022
Alice Austen Lived Here for ages 9 to 12 - published in 2022
Ellen Outside the Lines for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
Frankie & Bug for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
King and the Dragonflies for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
Thanks A lot, Universe for ages 10 to 14 - published in 2022
The Deepest Breath for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
The List of Things That Will Not Change for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2022
Pride : an inspirational history of the LGBTQ+ for ages 10 to 13 - published in 2022
Seeing Gender for ages 14 and over - published in 2022
My Own Way for ages 3 to 6 - published in 2022
Pink, Blue, and You! Questions for Kids about Gender for ages 4 to 8 - published in 2022
Bathe the Cat for ages 2 to 6 - published in 2022
A Storm of Horses for ages 6 to 12 - published in in 2022
Answers in the Pages for ages 8-12 - published in 2022
The First to Die at the End for ages 13 and over - published in 2022
Candidly Cline for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2023
This is our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, Us for ages 8-12 - published in 2023
Queer Ducks and Other Animals for ages 14 to 17 - published in 2023
Different Kinds of Fruit for ages 10 to 14 - published in 2023
Tiger Honor for ages 8 to 12 - published in 2023
Nick and Charlie for ages 14 and over - published in 2023
She Gets the Girl for ages 14 and over - published in 2023
Kingdom of Ash for ages 13 and over - published in 2023
(These are only the ones we've uncovered so far.)
"Requests for Reconsideration" (how to file a complaint about a book)
If a citizen has an issue with a book in the system he or she can request that the book be “reconsidered”.
Here is the process and form: Reconsideration-Form (botetourtva.gov)
You are expected to read the ALA's Bill of Rights, the ALA's Freedom to Read Statement, and then fill out a "book report" on the book in question. The request must be presented to and discussed with the Library Director.
The official request for reconsideration is then conducted by two professional librarians and a member of the Library Board. Their recommendation is made to the Library Director. The Library Director can either follow the recommendation or ignore it. The Library Director, in the case of our current Library Director Julie Philips, would have approved the purchase of any books since her arrival in 2019, thereby serving as prosecutor, judge, and jury when making a final decision.
Prior to her arrival there were no requests for removal. Since then, there have been 13 requests and in every case the books were not removed and the citizens received rejection form letters.
After receiving those requests for removal our Library Director has made the process even more stringent.
The Virginia Library Association’s website offers suggestions on how to make book removal more difficult and talking points on how to marginalize people who make requests and what cost to quote for going through the removal process: Intellectual Freedom Committee (vla.org)
The Library Board
The Library Board, or Board of Trustees, is composed of five citizens appointed by the five County Supervisors. In theory, they are supposed to represent the community. In fact, they are all retired librarians or teachers and progressives. By definition, a Board of Trustees is supposed to be a governing body, in this case overseeing the Library Director and her actions. In fact, they rubber stamp every proposal put forward by the Library Director. See for yourself. Attend the next Library Board meeting: Board of Trustees | Botetourt County, VA (botetourtva.gov)
De-Selection (when librarians remove books or other materials)
The process to remove existing books as new books are added is on the surface an objective process. The criteria for something to be removed:
This past year over 18,000 books and other materials have been removed from the Botetourt County libraries. That includes hundreds of children's picture books to make way for new additions, The list includes titles such as Fun with Dick and Jane, The Civil War by Shelby Foote, Billy Graham, God's Ambassador, and A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Show me your papers
Our libraries hide behind the policy that children under the age of 13 cannot be in the library without a caregiver who is 18 or older. Are children to be carded when they enter or when they try to check out a book? And what are they being protected from? The message is if a child pulls a book off the shelf before a parent can intervene then it is the parent's fault.
In addition, from the County's Ministry of Truth (BOCO Facts 4 U):
Children access materials only with their parents’ consent, since the parent takes full responsibility for their children’s activity in the library and has full control of minors’ library accounts until they turn 18.
The library will issue a library card for a child of any age with a caregiver's consent. But the child is then free to check out any material he or she desires without a parent. The assumption is a parent will come behind and monitor the child's account until he or she turns 18. Is that realistic? Especially if parents recall when they were children at the library and assume things are still safe.
Finally, what's to keep a child or teen from tracking down a desired book and then finding a nice private location in the library to read to his or her heart's content?
Emily Drabinski, in her own words, on what can happen when you find the right book at the library:
"Queers of all kinds have always found a home in the library. Books are often the first refuge of the outsider, and the trope of feeling alone until finding that single magical book on the library shelves that makes the self make sense is a common one. (Mine was Tom Robbins’ Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, when I was around 14. When Sissy Hankshaw and Bonanza Jellybean had fantastic queer sex in a field, so fantastic it caused the cranes to alter their migration patterns, my body told me I was probably whatever that was!)" Full article: (PDF) Gendered S(h)elves: Body and Identity in the Library | Emily Drabinski - Academia.edu
Sign at the entrance to the Buchanan library
Safe from what?
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