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WLA 2009: "West Bend Librarians and Community Activists Share Censorship Stories"

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Sunday, October 25, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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Presented by Michael Tyree, director, Kristin Pekoll, young adult librarian, Barbara Deters, board president, and Mary Reilly-Kliss, former library board member, all of West Bend Community Memorial Library. Though I had followed the case closely, I was anxious to hear first hand the entire story of West Bend's experience in addressing multiple changes to young adult and GLBTQ materials during 2009. Oh, what a story they had to tell! As the board president said, it could be you. And it very well could be. Is your collection development policy in place? Do you have a process and procedure for dealing with reconsideration of materials? What about complaints about your website (which is actually how these challenges started)? In West Bend's case, the challenge/complaint kept changing, while the complainants were backed, and advised, by national, conservative organizations. The library was tried in the press, and in several blogs. Library board members whose...

CNN.com covers West Bend book challenge

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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The West Bend Public Library's defense against those who would remove, or relocate books they deem questionable has made national news again. CNN.com covers the most recent developments....

West Bend librarians and community activists to share their story at ALA Annual Conference

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, July 01, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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Librarians and community members who are fighting to keep library materials on the shelves in West Bend, Wis. will give a special panel presentation at this year’s American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago, on Monday, July 13. ...

West Bend library board rejects request to limit access

Posted by Lisa Strand
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on Wednesday, June 03, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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On June 2, the West Bend Memorial Library Board rejected a citizen group's attempt to restrict access to a portion of the young adult collection. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that about 200 people appeared at the meeting, and about 60 individuals spoke to both sides of the issue for 2-1/2 hours. Ginny and Jim Maziarka, who formed an organization called West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries, had asked the library board to remove books that they deemed inappropriate because of their sexual content and also requested that the library add faith-based books with "traditional heterosexual perspectives" or that were written by "ex-gay" authors. Another citizen group, West Bend Parents for Free Speech, was formed by Maria Hanrahan to support the library's policies and reject attempts at censorship....

Read-In at West Bend Public Library

Posted by Lisa Strand
Lisa Strand
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on Sunday, May 17, 2009 in WLA Blog Archive
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The West Bend Public Library has been facing difficult times after local residents complained about gay-themed books in the young adult collection of the library, and the issue has grown.Most recently, Mayor Kristine Deiss' reappointment of four library board members was rejected, though they will continue to serve until the mayor can find others who will agree to serve on the library board.The complaint was originally lodged by Ginny Maziarka about gay-themed books in the library. The complaint was later broadened to include all "pornographic" materials.A group of supportive individuals are staging a Read-in on Friday, May 29, in support of the library, the displaced library board members, and "banned books" in general. They will walk from a local middle school to the library, where they will read banned books until 6:00 p.m. when the library closes.See previous posts on the West Bend situation:West Bend Library Gets Complaint about Gay Themed...