September 17, 2008

Librarians - it's time to booze up and riot!

I know this is mostly a knitting blog, and I don’t generally rant about politics. But this Time article about Sarah Palin belatedly came to my attention today.

I won’t get into my other objections to Palin's candidacy (and I have many as a liberal feminist), but this portion of the article is more than enough for me:

[Former Wasilla mayor] Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

So it’s possible that, as mayor, she wanted to ban books from the library and then threatened to fire the librarian who stood in her way? Now *that’s* the kind of person I want a heartbeat away from the presidency. If this pisses you off - and it should - let someone know. Blog about it. Tell your friends. Tell your families. Talk to other librarians. Or librarians-in-training. Or anyone you know that cares about freedom of speech and the separation between church and state.

For the ladies - consider contributing to this blog. (I know I have a handful of male readers – apologies, dudes). The blog started with an email sent to 40 women asking them to share why, as women, they felt Sarah Palin did not in fact represent *them*, despite Republican claims. The blog has since received 100,000+ responses from women all across America. If you feel that Sarah Palin does not represent you as a librarian, a free speech advocate, a reproductive rights supporter, whatever, consider sending them your reasons. Details below:

[W]e invite you to write to womensaynopalin AT gmail DOT com with a short, succinct message about why you, as a woman living in this country, do not support this candidate as second-in-command for our nation. Please include your name (last initial is fine), age, and place of residence.

And, for you non-librarians, libraries get requests to remove materials all the time. Most of the time, the answer is a firm no. To get an idea of the kind of materials library patrons have objected to, check out the American Library Association’s annual list of “most challenged” books.

If you’re like me, you can also look at it as a list of “Awesome Books I Need to Read.”


Karen said...

It just makes me beyond sick that we deal with this crap in this day and age. Aren't we supposed to have evolved beyond banning books and inflicting religious views and reproductive rights. And don't get me started on gay marriage. If two men or two woman want to get married, why shouldn't they? How's it hurting me? (It's not!!!)

dogwithbooks said...

Oh Librarian-in-Training...where are we going?... and why are we in a handbasket? :0

Sarah said...

Amen, sister! Thank you for the links as I now have some new books to add to my "to-read" list.

babyjenks said...

the link won't work! i want a new list for must read books that people object to! can you send me the link?