Talk:Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library

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Largest west of Mississipi?[edit]

I have been to the Dr. King Library, and while it is quite big, I highly doubt that it is the largest library west of the Mississippi. That sentence comes directly from the SJPL's website... nowhere else, can someone verify this? I'll try to do it myself, but help would be appreciated. Nevhood 20:52, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

sorry, the article is fine... SJPL's site is a little misleading --Nevhood 20:56, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

When this library was built there was a significant amount of debate regarding the merits of combining a public library and a university library under a single roof. Does anyone have reference to the articles in the SJ Mercury news of this? There also were several architectural critiques of the building. The original MLK library was in front of the SJ Convention Center. I know one of the criticisms of the new public library was that the light rail no longer stops right in front of the building. The art installations also were thought to be very interesting, I cannot remember the artist. I believe the construction costs were higher than anticipated... and it was a public project. Minnaert 17:58, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

Foreign language names[edit]

The Vietnamese name for the King Library is Thư Viện King WhisperToMe (talk) 16:31, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Requested move 4 May 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved. So yes, Dicklyon's original bold move could have been reverted before this move request, and in closing this, I am viewing the long standing page name as the "default" one. However, from this RM there is now a clear consensus here that the current title is the best one, per our preferences at WP:JR, and the fact that sources do not exclusively use one form. For the record, I am interpreting the grandfathering clause in the RfC as indicating that although we shouldn't dive in and change those older and FA articles wholesale, they are not immune from gaining consensus at an RM such as this, and the grandfathering isn't in itself a policy based reason against a move.  — Amakuru (talk) 11:58, 12 May 2016 (UTC)



Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. LibraryDr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library – The building signage uses the comma before the Jr. Some web pages, such as the Library's home page, do not use the comma, but that is just what is in some computer. Let us use the name that is reality-based. Note that Martin Luther King, Jr. was recently moved to use the comma. 130.65.109.103 (talk) 19:14, 4 May 2016 (UTC)

  • Oppose per WP:JR and because the unbalanced comma is ungrammatical. We don't usually name articles based on signage, especially when our manual of style expresses a clear preference based on a consensus of editors in a centralized discussion. And as nom notes, the offical web site does not use the comma, so it must be OK with them to omit it. Dicklyon (talk) 20:51, 4 May 2016 (UTC)
See also Talk:Martin Luther King, Jr.#Please put the comma back. Quote: "...So in the case of any discussion about comma usage on Martin Luther King, Jr., the standard comma - which he used, for example, on his book titles - should be present, as it had been since the article's inception." — Preceding unsigned comment added by 130.65.109.102 (talk) 22:32, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
You're quoting Randy Kryn from over a year ago. WP:JR has been rewritten since then, based on an RFC at VPP. Dicklyon (talk) 21:31, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Thank you for quoting me, and I stand by those comments. The close of that discussion (I notice you didn't link it) allows for this page to remain. Randy Kryn 00:17, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. And you didn't link to the RfC either (see WP:KETTLE). The RfC and its highly closer-critical aftermath are here. The closer, as a WP:SUPERVOTE action, offered the personal opinion that older article titles should be "grandfathered", but in months of discussion since, the consensus has not agreed with this. It is unworkable, because making exceptions for guideline compliance based on article age would mean that older articles would remain poor and substandard, and diverge from WP standards more and more over time. Meanwhile there is no policy basis on which to implement such a "grandfathering" system anyway, as it would violate several policies, which MoS as a guideline is not in a position to do. And as Mandruss pointed out [1], it would require a new bureaucracy that would generate more controversy than it prevented. RM after RM has gone against this comma, without regard for article age. As additional discussion at the RfC made clear, the closer was thinking of featured articles, and them somehow having some kind of exemption from guideline compliance. But that's up to WP:FAC editors, and so far they have not decided to abandon requiring guideline compliance to get an article promoted to FA status. Basically it all comes down to this: RfC closers don't get to make up their own new policies by autocratic fiat, sorry. (And that's exactly what that was an attempt to do; see here the closer essentially citing himself as an authority as "a professor of English literature and linguistics"; his entire close is a stance-taking and hand-wringing exercise, all about how much the closer disagrees with the outcome and is trying to cripple its application, instead of providing a neutral summary of the policy- and source-based consensus of the RfC discussion. In the post by the closer that I just linked to, he even states explicitly that he ignored the evidence, and instead tried to combine various editors' unrelated concerns into a "grandfathering" proposal that no one in the discussion actually proposed at all. It's a model of how not to close an RfC.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:49, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Moved it back (it was moved by Dicklyon when he knew darn well it's a controversial move), and of course Support the use of the comma, which the library uses. Please don't change it unless there is an RM to remove the comma.Randy Kryn 2:14, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
    I reverted your move back, Randy, since a move while an RM discussion is open really confuses the picture. When I moved it, it seemed clear that the fundamental issue had been resolved at Talk:Martin Luther King Jr. Day#Requested move 22 April 2016, and so this one should not be controversial. What are you saying is different here? Dicklyon (talk) 04:19, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
    Should put it back, you know things about King are always controversial. That Day page had an official name which nobody wanted, and both it and the common name contained the comma. Here we have the name of a building, a library, as both an official and proper name, that contains the comma. It's the proper name. The RM should be going the other way, you just went and changed it, are you sure you really didn't know it would be a controversial change? Even if it was a good faith change, now that we know it has editors who think that the comma is the proper name and who, once they found out about it asked that it be put back, I would think at that point it should automatically be changed to its original title. Which is why I moved it. Randy Kryn 23:45, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
    I do understand that you moved it in good faith. If you had done so before the RM opened, we'd be discussing it from that direction. But our IP friend is not very experienced in the ways of WP, and jumped the gun. My original move was also in good faith. I had done the RM discussion on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and nothing came out there to make me think that this kind of ungrammatical exception could ever be the consensus style of Wikipedia. Did you see it differently? Dicklyon (talk) 00:58, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Randy (and anon. nominator, ahem)—I'm trying to work out why you're so attached to the comma when so many sources have dropped it. You've still got your dot after the "Jr", which thankfully isn't as disruptive to an otherwise smooth reading process. Isn't that enough? Just one question: Is it a junior library? Tony (talk) 04:11, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
    • My response question is, what's Dr and why is it in a sentence fragment at the beginning of the name? Likewise, why is Library in another fragment at the end? Maybe the Brits have it right if punctuation is so confusing to us Americans. clpo13(talk) 22:31, 7 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose: This should be comma-free unless independent, current, reliable sources overwhelmingly prefer the comma, per MOS:JR, and they do not here, not for this library at this location or same-named ones anywhere else [2]. It's actually getting hard to find the comma being used, except in sources published before this change to the language (which happened mostly from the mid-1990s to present). In this particular case, if the library's own official website no longer uses the comma, that clinches it: WP:COMMONNAME, WP:OFFICIALNAME, and MOS:JR all align perfectly, making pretty much the strongest possible case for not using the comma. The fact that the building's wall still has a comma on it is irrelevant; it was build when English had different punctuation standards, and lots of historical buildings have names on them that do not match their current formal names, because people don't like changing their edifices, and doing so is expensive.

    Randy Kryn's accusations "Dicklyon ... knew darn well it's a controversial move" (to remove the comma), and "you know things about King are always controversial", are patently false. The comma removal complies with the guideline, it was recently the subject of a site-wide RfC at Village Pump (which explicitly used MLK as the example, right in its heading) and concluded against the commas, the exact same question was already addressed at Talk:Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and every RM since then on the topic has been "controversial" only to 1–3 editors out of all the thousands of active ones, while all these RMs have gone against the comma, and removing it via direct moves or WP:RM#TR is now routine. This campaigning to re-litigate the issue by opposing every single MOS:JR compliance move in hopes that everyone will get tired and give up is not going to work. It's just vexatious, tendentious, and frivolous.
     — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  21:21, 7 May 2016 (UTC)

    Maybe we should also tell readers that the close to that comma discussion that everyone is pointing to like the tablets of Moses gives a clear grandfathering-in of older pages which use the comma, as well as feature articles that use it. With King, that's a clear case of grandfathering in an older article which uses the comma (just as in his life, he used the comma as part of his name, and his family chose to use the comma on his gravestone). The grandfather clause exists (and can someone please add it to the guidelines), as do other issues, but as long as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s name contains the comma at his own Wikipedia article then for consistency the comma should remain in all of his titled pages. That's the page to put up an RM at, as I've mentioned before. This page, I do see that on their official website they call it "King Library". If that's now the official name maybe we should go with that as the title, although many people would mix that name up with an expectation that Dr. King would have his own official library. In any case, the comma should remain on this and all articles concerning Dr. King until the question is decided at the main King article, and I would ask the closer to so note if they think that makes sense. Randy Kryn, 00:01, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    No, it does not provide "a clear grandfathering-in of older pages which use the comma"; every attempt to say so has lost to consensus to follow WP:JR, as you know. Dicklyon (talk) 06:07, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    So please link the close here and let the closer decide for themselves what the close means (if they even read this far, some closers apparently count noses and that's as far as they go - the ranks of closers should be thinned for sure, some pretty bad ones play with closes and it seems some of them really don't know what they're doing). Randy Kryn 20:04, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose - per SMcCandlish and Tony1, and:
    The argument that MLK-related articles should be consistent as to this comma doesn't hold water, since WP:Other stuff exists applies even within that set of articles. For example, one of those articles, this one, is about a library with signage on it; none of the others are. This article is about a building, not the person, and the considerations are not the same.
    As I read the comments to date, this leaves Supporters with nothing but the signage itself, and I suspect the folks in charge of the library's money feel they have better things to do with it than modify that signage to reflect a clear trend in punctuation. It wouldn't be a simple matter of prying the comma off the building and applying some touch-up paint. JR. LIBRARY would then have to be shifted left to close the gap. Depending on what the letters are mounted on, it might entail a lot more than that, up to replacement of the underlying surface. Where it costs very little to make the change, on their website, there is no comma, as has been stated. It's extremely unlikely the difference between the signage and the website is unintentional. For this reason, that's a pretty weak argument and not enough to deviate from MOS:JR.
    The whole subject-preference thing is flawed anyway, when it comes to individuals who are no longer living. In MLK's time, this comma was all but universal, and to use it was not a preference but simply correct usage. We cannot know what MLK would have preferred if he had been given a real choice in the matter. This is one of the reasons I've opposed subject preference considerations vis-à-vis this comma.Mandruss  04:09, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    The San Jose University does use the comma, and also owns the library. The guess that if they could the librarians would surely scrape the comma off the wall doesn't hold up under, well, the scraping-the-comma-off-the-wall faction of the multitude of librarians who hate the comma on the wall (and surely some have quit because of it) have yet to act on it. In Dr. King case, it was the name he used during his lifetime, and grandfathering it in is the most reasonable way to handle it here. We are an encyclopedia, not a style book, and to mislead people about Dr. King's full name seems unreasonably unencyclopedic. Randy Kryn 20:00, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    The library's other site omits the comma, as does the architect. During King's lifetime, did this magazine and others from his lifetime think they were changing his name when they didn't style it with a comma? No, they just used their house style. Dicklyon (talk) 20:51, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    Thanks for the architect link, that's quite the library. I think that Wikipedia being an encyclopedia should be a factor in some of these comma discussions. Dr. King obviously thought of his name as containing the comma, even if some now see it as an old or outdated style. For an encyclopedia to misinform its readers about the actual name that a real and iconic figure consistently used seems unencyclopedic. That a few magazines during King's lifetime dropped the comma doesn't mean that King ever did, so yes, the editors of those magazines were mistaken (and King possibly never corrected them because he had more important things to do). Randy Kryn 21:11, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    In addition to magazines and many current books, some encyclopedias also use the no-comma style: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9], [10], and lots more... Dicklyon (talk) 21:36, 8 May 2016 (UTC)
    mislead people about Dr. King's full name - This is at the core of the disagreement on CBJ (that's become such a commonly-used term, it's time we made it an acronym for the sake of conciseness. We can combine acronyms, as MLK CBJ, which also rhymes). I see the comma as nothing but a relatively insignificant element of writing style. You see it as an essential part of the name, almost as if it's necessary to disambiguate Martin Luther King, Jr., from a different person, Martin Luther King Jr. I wonder: if one decided to drop the comma from their own name, would they need to go to court to do it? It's seems unlikely the law cares whether that comma is there or not. I doubt anyone else cares much whether MLK's comma is there or not, aside from a few academics and Wikipedia editors (a completely insignificant fraction of Wikipedia's reader population), so the battle serves us, our egos, far more than it does the readers and the project. I don't know of any authoritative support for either of us, as to that core question, so we will probably always disagree. My goal in this whole thing has never been "correctness", but sane use of editor resources; i.e., we have far more important things that need our attention and are not getting it. That's why my position has always been: 1. Pick one way or the other, and I don't care if you fucking flip a coin. 2. Use it, site-wide, no discussion. 3. Move on and reap the benefits. Step 1 is done. ―Mandruss  04:01, 9 May 2016 (UTC)
    That's pretty much my feeling, too. Until a little over a year ago, I would have used a comma. Then I saw that WP:JR suggested not, and joined a discussion (at Wikipedia_talk:Manual_of_Style/Biographies/2015_archive#Comma_after_.22Jr..22.2C_.22Sr..22.2C_etc..3F) that firmed that up, and started to assume that going along with our MOS would be a good thing. Some thrashing ensued, but we are back to mostly agreeing with that position. I generally take the position that we should move in the direction that the MOS suggests. I'm working to do that, while firming up the consensus that that's a good thing to do. It's going OK, with a few exceptions such as Randy Kryn on MLK. These exceptions just waste a lot of time. Let's move on. Dicklyon (talk) 04:16, 9 May 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Lengthy "comma-splaining" in the lead[edit]

Randy Kryn, in the wake of the above discussion, has been trying to double the length of the lead sentence by repeating the very long name of this institution but including the comma, and labelling it "official". At least Dicklyon and I have independently reverted this. I can's speak for Mr. Lyon, but I object on the basis that it's brow-beating pedantry, and is also a misrepresentation, or at least a potential one. We have no source whatsoever suggesting that the library "officially" gives a damn at all. I.e., the officialness claim is original research. The fact that building, when it was constructed, included a comma in its signage is meaningless. It was more-or-less standard American English to use the comma a generation or so ago. Times have changed, and it's been conclusively proven that the usage pattern has shifted away from the comma, including in American sources. The fact that the signage hasn't been updated has no implications for WP article writing (it doesn't signify anything other than that a library, with a tight budget, is not going to waste money on signage changes no one cares about or would probably even notice). Adding a comma doesn't make it a different name for encyclopedic purposes, any more than changing the font does, or the color. We have a policy called WP:NOT#INDISCRIMINATE against bombarding readers with nitpicky trivia of this sort.

I invite Randy Kryn to attempt a policy- and reason-based refutation, on the talk page, until consensus is reached. Or just yield on the matter, since we know what consensus will be reached already. The page has already been protected to stop the WP:1AM editwarring. If Kryn really wants to, he can open yet another WP:RFC about this side matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  13:00, 13 May 2016 (UTC)

I think that says it pretty well. ―Mandruss  16:10, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
Just about says it pretty well, except for maybe, the facts? Take a look at this. It's the real name of the library, in addition to that physical sign that the poor librarians can't afford to hire a guy to go up there on a ladder and chisel off the comma. We have come to the point in this comma-crusade, in this encyclopedia's existence, that the real name of an institution, the real name of the library, is not allowed to appear on its Wikipedia page. Literally. Why you wouldn't allow the real name to be listed as an alternate name is beyond my understanding. Is there a Catch-22 somewhere in there? Please explain. Randy Kryn 19:17, 13 May 2016 (UTC)
Still not reading any reason why the real/official name of the library, the name which is on the building itself, and the name that its college website uses, can't be listed in the lead as an alternate name (other than that a generation ago, way back in 2003 when the library was opened, the comma was still used). Dr. King's complete name should not be whitewashed from Wikipedia, but that seems to be the intent of some with this comma purge. There are quite a few images of Dr. King's books and his and Coretta's grave on the site, all of which contain the comma - so maybe someone with photoshop expertise can get to work on those (same concept, how is it not?). Again, does anyone have a logical reason why the institutions real name can't at least be listed as an alternate name on the article about the real institution? Thanks. Randy Kryn 20:16, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Adding or removing the comma does not make a different name, and does not make the name more or less official, as evidenced by the fact that the library does it both ways themselves. Dicklyon (talk) 21:44, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
We differ, it does create a different name. Maybe that's what much of this is about, that people who don't want commas in Jr. names think of it as a "hiccup" (read that in one of the discussions) or a simple grammar issue and others see it as a part of a person's name. In Dr. King's case, an iconic name in American and American history. And if the library does it 'both ways' at times that still doesn't erase the name on the building itself, on websites, and, as someone pointed out, on the libraries stationary. So why shouldn't it be able to be listed as an alternate name here? No clear answer on that as yet. Randy Kryn 22:23, 16 May 2016 (UTC)
Most grammar and style guides treat this as a styling issue (and that the unbalanced comma is a grammar error). Do you have any sources that say the comma or its absence makes a different name? Dicklyon (talk) 00:55, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
Haven't looked for sources, but since King's choice of name includes the comma there was never really a question until recently (and as mentioned before, he may have been too busy to question the Jet and Ebony preference). Reading or saying the name out loud does change it, because the comma indicates a pause. Martin Luther King (pause) Junior, seems the common name, or at least, as we've recently discussed, as common as 'Martin Luther King'. But reading or saying the name out loud without the comma runs all the words together, makes it a totally connected name. Changes it. Which is why I've been active on this issue. Randy Kryn 19:17, 17 May 2016 (UTC)
I'm not buying it. One of the reasons that The Elements of Style changed to recommend omission of the comma is that a pause there made no sense, and it's not what people do. And the reason that MLK Jr. used a comma there is that that was the tradition at the time, nothing about him in particular. He omits in his signature, as far as I can tell in examining many of them. Many contemporary writers and modern writers omit it, too. Nobody thinks it's a different name (except you). Dicklyon (talk) 19:51, 17 May 2016 (UTC)

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