Talk:Library Bill of Rights

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Talk:Library Bill of Rights[edit]

Cool, a new Library Bill of Rights page. Thanks, Rlitwin, for your work on this. --SafeLibraries 19:19, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Postamble Discrepancy[edit]

Right on the ALA's web page appears the LBR and an link to a PDF version of the LBR. Look carefully at the postambles in both and a difference is evident, the HTML and the PDF. Since the ALA is the source of the LBR, the discrepancy should be resolved by the ALA so this wiki page reflects the correct postamble. IMHO. --SafeLibraries 19:26, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

I am aware of what you are talking about. Note that the sources of the information in the history section are also ALA publications - the 1939 Bulletin and ALA's own history of itself published in 1978. I do not know why the postamble on the website doesn't acknowledge the 1939 version of the LBR, but I have it right in front of me. Rlitwin 20:24, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Someone should probably get in touch with ALA and see if they can correct their website, but in cases of discrepancy the print version should trump the web version unless the web version is reflecting more recent information that has not yet made it into print. Jessamyn (talk) 13:30, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
My thinking is that the choice at ALA had to have been deliberate, interpreting the 1939 version as "not really the LBR" for some reason (though it is really very similar to the current one and had the same title). I think it had to have been a conscious choice to interpret the 1948 version as the original for some reason because the 1939 version is so easy to find out about in Thomison's history of the ALA. I may mention it to someone. I think the 1961 date is likely a typo and should really be 1967. Rlitwin 13:35, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Critical responses/Controversy[edit]

Let's all be honest here. The LBR is the source of considerable controversy. This controversy is absent from this page. Let's consider adding it in in a way we all agree that's wiki worthy.

The main controversy (is there another) is over the word age. Right off the top of my head I can think of a few things that might be relevant.

1) The US Supreme Court in US v. ALA said it is legitimate, even compelling, to keep children from inappropriate material, yet the ALA has explained why it will not change the LBR accordingly.
2) The ALA and its influence is huge over American libraries. So with the ALA not removing the age language, there still remains no reason why children should not have access to inappropriate materials, and with the ALA's nationwide influence, that's a lot of children.
3) In Overland Park, Kansas, a public library board voted 4-3 to remove the word "age" from their own LBR. That started a huge ALA, well, killer bee-like reaction resulting in the word being restored to the local policy and the governmental officials promising to carefully review the resumes of potential library board members to ensure only those aligned with the ALA get appointed to the positions.

So let's all take the time to consider how best to present it. --SafeLibraries 19:40, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

See current edit. Rlitwin 20:11, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm. Such a simple edit. Very general in nature. Shouldn't there be more to it? Let's hear what others have to say. --SafeLibraries 20:16, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Even what I added to mention the "controversy" lacks a citation (the citation there refers to the fact of "age" being reaffirmed as an element, not the reason for it). Anything more would definitely need a good citation to a reputable source. I think to most people the "controversy" you are interested in promoting is rather obscure. There are critics, and you seem to be chief among them. That their views (your views) are significant seems to them and you to be self-evident based on the facts. However, that's not how it works in wikiepedia, as you learned in your lengthy discussion on the American Library Association article's talk page; that kind of edit would essentially be original research, which is not allowed. If there is an article in a publication that is not a publication of a one-issue advocacy group, then you have a citation that you can use to substantiate an edit of the kind you would like. But in fact no controversy about age being an aspect of the LBR has ever bubbled up to the surface in American cultural debate as far as I'm aware. I don't think the "issue" deserves more than the brief mention I gave it, if even that. And that's not because of my estimation of the merits of the criticisms, which is really not even relevant, but because of the lack of publications in the general media about your criticisms. Rlitwin 20:39, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
Rlitwin, I can see now you are a reasonable man; someone I can reason with. Based on what you said, I'll have to admit that I fully agree with you. You see I'm reasonable too.
Now the following comments will not contradict what I just said. Since you said, "But in fact no controversy about age being an aspect of the LBR has ever bubbled up to the surface in American cultural debate as far as I'm aware," that means to me that all I would need to do is to provide you with evidence, third party evidence, not original research, that indeed that is a controversy somewhere in the world other than in the mind of Would you agree to that, or would at least agree that's a reasonable conclusion based on your statements?
To that end, allow me to specify a "controversy about age being an aspect of the LBR [that] has ... bubbled up to the surface in American cultural debate...." I cite an impeccable source we can all agree for the purposes of this talk is wiki worthy, namely, the Library Journal, published by the ALA, although the article's slant is obvious.
Board in Johnson County, KS, Board Excises ALA Bill of Rights Language, Library Journal, 4 May 2005.
Does the American Library Association’s (ALA) Bill of Rights stop a library from protecting children from pornography? Worried about that possibility, the board of the Johnson County Library (JCL), Overland Park, KS, recently voted 4-3 to strip the language from the library’s collection development guidelines. The action may turn out to be symbolic, as two of the board members who voted to delete the language are at the end of their term. Plus, patrons have made their displeasure over the action known to JCL staff.
“Because of patron response to the action, the staff will request that the action be reconsidered,” County Librarian Mona Carmack said. Barton Cohen, who led the effort to delete the ALA Bill of Rights language, told the Kansas City Star that he particularly opposed ALA language regarding the importance of “presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.”
More on this specific case to follow. I have to take a break from writing for now for a while!!!!
Honestly, that one incident doesn't seem very significant to me. Rlitwin 03:56, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Such a simple edit. Very general in nature. Shouldn't there be more to it? Let's hear what others have to say. I also agree that one citation that merely mentions the bill of rights is not the same as some sort of a controversy that merits mention in a 500 word encyclopedia article. Your issue is with ALA and you have taken it up on their article. Continuing it here is using Wikipedia for your own soapbox. Jessamyn (talk) 13:33, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Where is the Truth About Inclusion of Age Into the LBR? ALA Sources are Contradictory -- Is This Intentional?[edit]

Listen. I'm not argumentative. I'm not making up controversy out of whole cloth. I'm not making up anything. I look at ALA sources, major ones, and I see a major discrepancy regarding the inclusion of "age" into the LBR. And I really think this needs to be addressed.

The "postamble," the one at the bottom of the LBR, what does it say? It says, "Adopted June 18, 1948, by the ALA Council; amended February 2, 1961; January 23, 1980; inclusion of “age” reaffirmed January 23, 1996." That's the HTML version. The PDF version is different but not significantly so for the purposes of this talk. So "amendments" occurred when? 1961 and 1980. In 1996, inclusion of "age" was reaffirmed. Are you with me so far?

Now you say it was adopted in 1939. And I think you are correct. But why does the ALA LBR not so state itself? Be that as it may, one example of contradictory ALA sources, it's not central to the point I am about to make. Please keep reading.

Now another source, a top ALA source, Judith Krug, says the LBR was amended in 1967 when "age" is added to the LBR. Yet the LBR postamble does not reveal it was amended at that time. Why? 29 years later "age" gets "affirmed"? Why? Here is the source of this information, another impeccable source: Two Hundred Years of Young Adult Library Information Services History, a Chronology where it says, "1967 .... 'Age' is added to the Library Bill of Rights (Krug)." That "Krug" cite refers to "Sources .... Krug, Judith. E-mail communication, October 19, 2004."

I ask someone in the ALA to please publish that "Krug, Judith. E-mail communication, October 19, 2004" right here for all to see, full and complete.

So I have several concerns and they are relevant to the encyclopedic article about the LBR. What is the truth about the inclusion of "age" into the LBR? Why was it done? When? How? By whom? How is the LBR "amended" and was that process the same as what added "age"? Why the 29 year gap to "reaffirm"? May we see the Krug email of October 19, 2004 cited as a source for that article? Why is the addition of "age" not included in the postamble? Why is it not considered an amendment? What years did Judith Krug act as board member and/or director of the ACLU and/or the Illinois ACLU? If her years with the ACLU coincided exactly or nearly with "age" being added to the LBR, would it not be relevant to examine the documents exchanged between the ACLU and the ALA relating to this issue? Is the ACLU the ultimate source of the addition of "age" into the LBR? Why? What is the real goal, not the claimed goal?

I hope you will agree I have raised a valid issue perfect for placement on the LBR wiki page that I did not create in the first place. Indeed, an ALA personage of your stature within the ALA has created the page, and from what I hear that means the page may not be fully wiki compliant. I look forward to your comments and those of many others. --SafeLibraries 03:09, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

The Dennis Thomison history of ALA, published by ALA (which you can probably find online if you're interested in owning a copy) agrees with your source that the LBR was revised in 1967. Your added note that that was the year when "age" was added is appreciated - a good addition. However, I'm not sure what the issue is at this point. The note at the end of the web version of the LBR on the ALA website stating when the LBR was revised is incomplete and/or incorrect - it misses the 1939 first version and the 1967 revision, and I think where it says 1961 it might be 1967 that is meant. My 1961 Bulletin makes no mention of an LBR revision that year. So, I think that the article as it now stands is as accurate as it can be given all the information that we have. The fact that the web version of the LBR has contradictory information doesn't trouble me much and certainly doesn't seem to me like something that should be addressed in the article. Lots of websites have some incorrect information here and there, even from the most reliable sources. They are introduced by typos and human error. I don't think it's a very big deal. Rather intriguing, perhaps, but I think that mainly we should pat ourselves on the back for digging a little deeper than the information on that web page and be happy with what we've come up with here. Rlitwin 03:41, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
By the way, just to set the record straight, I'm not sure if I'm exactly an ALA personage. I'm an active member of ALA and a member of ALA Council, like Jessamyn, but not an employee. Rlitwin 03:51, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
Okay, Rlitwin, but just so you know, most of your response is about date discrepancies and how unimportant they are, but I had already said they were not central to the point I was making. So your only substantive response to the central point was, "I'm not sure what the issue is at this point."
Now forgive me but I think what I said is clear, I think you are selectively ignoring what I am saying and gently hinting others should do the same, and in this very talk page you have already used selective hearing when I presented evidence of the "age" word dispute in Overland Park, KS, then you said you never heard of a single incident, then I linked to a Library Journal article regarding KS, then you moved the cheese and said one article, big whoop. I don't think you are not sure of what I was saying, I think you are avoiding what I was saying.
And it's your penchant to always suggest somehow that the case is closed and there is no need for others to comment. Well I say we must hear from others on this important issue as I stated above. And I still say that Krug memo must be produced -- the burden cannot possibly be great since someone could just email that article's author or even Judith Krug herself. You're an ALA insider (but not employee) as you explained. Why don't you request this information then post it here.? Is their a problem with a public disclosure of this information? Is it not four square directly relevent to the subject of the LBR page? Indeed you complemented me on adding the "age" info to the page. Well? Let's see the source, the Krug email referenced in the article that you complemented me on.
—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

More evidence:

New Johnson County Library Board Members Vote to Change Policy - 05/20/2005
After the board of the Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS, dropped language from the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights from its collection development guidelines, the terms of two members expired…

Library Journal

KS Library Board Drops ALA Language - 06/01/2005
Does the American Library Association's Library Bill of Rights prevent a library from protecting children from pornography?

Library Journal

KS Board Restores ALA Language - 06/15/2005
After the board of the Johnson County Library, Overland Park, KS, dropped language from the American Library Association Library Bill of Rights from its collection development guidelines, the terms of two members expired—and county commissioners appointed two new board members, both of whom voted to rescind the heavily criticized decision.

Library Journal

More to come. As anyone can see, no one is helping me, so please allow me some time. --SafeLibraries 03:35, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Here is more:

I have uncovered (admittedly only using Google) a number of articles that directly call into question, for or against, the inclusion of the word "age" in the so-called "Library Bill of Rights." I list them here for everyone's consideration in no particular order, with sample sentences and which side of the fence they fall. Based on this list of such articles, the contents, and the time frame involved extending over a decade, I conclude there is no question that the word "age" is controversial now and has been for a long time. Therefore it is worthy of including on the LBR page. But you all see what you think:

Favors "Age" Discrimination Language in LBR:

  • Free Access to Libraries for Minors, 30 Jun 1972, ALA Council. ("The word 'age' was incorporated into Article V of the LIBRARY BILL OF RIGHTS as a direct result of a preconference entitled 'Intellectual Freedom and the Teenager,' held in San Francisco in June, 1967.")
  • "Age" in Library Bill of Rights, 15 Dec 1995, by Mary Chelton of Rutgers U. ("Is anybody besides myself getting seriously upset over the discussion about possibly removing 'age' from the Library Bill of Rights, thanks to the so-called Family Friendly Library folks?")
  • A Fresh Look at the Library Bill of Rights - Part VII; Article Five - Bill of Rights, Fall 1997 NCompass. ("Librarians must deal not only with their own discomfort about exposing children to 'bad' materials, but also with political action groups whose concern about their own children extends to repression for all and library boards who feel the safest course is to avoid trouble and controversy.")
  • Library Bill of Rights, 9 Feb 1996, by Carolyn Caywood. ([Regarding the reaffirmation of age,] "If you mean discussion in Council, there was very little. It had all occurred in hallways and other informal contexts.")
  • The Library Bill of Rights and school library media programs - includes related information on Library Bill of Rights and its interpretation - The Library Bill of Rights, 1996, by Dianne McAfee Hopkins. ("Discussions about whether a School Library Bill of Rights was still needed began after a 1967 revision of the Library Bill of Rights included a statement about age that read: 'The rights of an individual to the use of a library should not be denied or abridged because of his age, race, religion, national origins or social or political views' (ALA, 1996, p. 13).")

Favor Questionings "Age" Discrimination Language in LBR:

  • The Seduction of the American Public Library, Feb 1996, by Helen Chaffee Biehle. ("'If he has to be 18 to buy the tape, he should have to be 18 to take it out of the library,' she said. Zap! 'The Library Bill of Rights forbids discrimination on the basis of age,' said the library head.")
  • Wisconsin Public Libraries; Dens of Sleaze, by JJ Blonien. ("If the media did its job and exposed this scandalous policy, the public would be outraged. It is time we contacted our state legislators and demanded that legislation be passed to restrict library access of minors.")
  • A Trojan Horse in the Local Library? A New ACLU Attack on Community Standards; PARENT ALERT!, circa 1998?, author unknown. ("The decision to add age to the list was in response to whether teenagers should have access to books like Catcher in the Rye.")
  • Shameful Bedfellows: Cyberporn and the American Library Association, circa 2001?, no author. ("ALA's current disrespect for the sensibilities of children was already evident by the early 70's. At that time, ALA policy changes first opened the door for children to access explicit sexual materials in libraries without parental consent. In particular, the word 'age' was added to the widely promoted ALA document, the 'Library Bill of Rights.' Thus childhood or minor status was no longer allowed to be a factor in denying permission to see or borrow materials.")

Neutral on the Issue:

  • Censorship Issue Boils Up During Library Meeting, 18 Oct 2002, by Elaine Bessler. ("Johnson County Library Board member on Wednesday challenged the continued use of the Library Bill of Rights as a basis for the library's collections policy.")

Again, based on this, and there is likely more, I say "age" is very controversial and should be added to the article in a significant way. What say you all? --SafeLibraries 03:25, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Well, again, just my opinion but it seems like all your links from either personal blogs, message boards, short local news blurbs. Look at it from our point of view-- right now, the "Anti-ALA movement" is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than the movements of people who deny the holocaust ever happened and people who think the earth is flat. Both of those groups have many CNN and national news articles. Now I'm not saying that your movement is like those, but based in terms of sheer notability, you're not doing so well. But, see what other people think. --Alecmconroy 06:39, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Interesting point but think more carefully about those links and don't just read the single sentences. Those personal blogs are actually librarians talking about the controversy as it was happening, where it was happening. And sometimes they are responding to attempts to remove the offending language. And my quick Google search must be the tip of the iceberg. Further, one of those blogs is a librarian who says, hey, let me see the discussion transcripts for the reaffirmation of "age," and the response from another librarian who was there was, "If you mean discussion in Council, there was very little. It had all occurred in hallways and other informal contexts."
Now I have been saying that the ALA keeps this stuff hush hush, mush mush for the very reason of having this stuff happen as invisibly as possible, and here I have actually produced a link where the librarian has admitted the "age" reaffirmation issue discussion has a practically nonexistent paper trail because "It had all occurred in hallways and other informal contexts."
So to say the ALA "age" controversy is "non notable" when the ALA itself actively takes steps to ensure the controversy's non notability, and I actually have a link that corroborates that, well that's kind of like saying all of "The Disappeared" in Argentina didn't disappear because there are no records of their disappearances, and this is precisely because the killers were hiding the records or not creating them in the first place.
Also, I really can't believe the issue is non notable because my personal Google search did not satisfy you here. There's a whole truth out there, I caught the tip of the iceberg in a few minutes. Am I required to write a dissertation on this for a year and a half to get a PhD in Wikipeditude? --SafeLibraries 12:04, 18 July 2006 (UTC)
Now I have been saying that the ALA keeps this stuff hush hush, mush mush for the very reason of having this stuff happen as invisibly as possible
And I -- as someone who has been a part of ALA governance and a member for over a decade -- has been saying that ALA is not doing this and ALA does not work like you say it works. There aren't ever "transcripts" of Council meetings. There are minutes, and they are available to the public. Lack of discussing in Council meetings is often, though not always, evidence of general consensus rather than some sort of conspiracy of silence. If you want more information, perhaps you should consider joining the American Library Association, joining a few of their lists (you can read every email ever sent on the Council list, or participate on a wide variety of ALA member lists) and learning how the organization actually works. Wikipedia has standards of notability, standards of what constitutes a good source, and standards of what information is considered to be "encyclopedic." You may disagree with them, but that's precisely the issue here: what belongs in a Wikipedia article in general and what belongs in this article in specific. Jessamyn (talk) 13:28, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

So... this again[edit]

So, going over this again, I see three basic issues. One is that the ALA website apparently has an error which doesn't mention the 1939 adoption or the 1967 revision. Obviously, if we have good sources on these, we should mention them, and somebody should email the ALA site to inform them of the error. It seems like everyone is in agreement that we should mention the 1939 and 1967 events.

The second issue is whether we should include full coverage of the anti-ALA controversy. We've already explained to you why, at this time, a full discussion of the controversy is probably not warranted, and given you some criteria to determine when that situation has changed (i.e. when a major new organization covers your group, etc). I'm assuming nothing has changed in the three days since we talked about this at the main ALA page, so I won't re-hash that discussion.

The third issue involves your continued attempts to discuss the issue itself, and to ask the supports of the ALA who are here for more information. Here, I'm refering to comments you've made such as this:

What is the truth about the inclusion of "age" into the LBR? Why was it done? When? How? By whom? How is the LBR "amended" and was that process the same as what added "age"? Why the 29 year gap to "reaffirm"? May we see the Krug email of October 19, 2004 cited as a source for that article? Why is the addition of "age" not included in the postamble? Why is it not considered an amendment? What years did Judith Krug act as board member and/or director of the ACLU and/or the Illinois ACLU? If her years with the ACLU coincided exactly or nearly with "age" being added to the LBR, would it not be relevant to examine the documents exchanged between the ACLU and the ALA relating to this issue? Is the ACLU the ultimate source of the addition of "age" into the LBR? Why? What is the real goal, not the claimed goal?

As you might expect me to say-- these are good questions, things you are undoubtedly interested in looking into-- but Wikipedia isn't the place to do that.

It's very common to want to debate issues that you care about, and to want to have others provide you with information to aid in your investigation of the political issues you care about. However, discussions on Wikipedia are very much required to be limited to talking about the article itself-- not about the issue. (see Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines. When you post to Wikipedia, your comments must be saved on the Wikipedia servers, taking up drive space and bandwith. Since Wikipedia content and talk pages are usually archived forever, every word you type will be saved indefinitely, taking up some (admittedly minute) amount of hard drive and backup drive space-- so you should make an effort to keep your comments focused on the article itself, not on the surrounding issue. Most importantly, however, political debates distract from what the focus is on: writing an encyclopedia. Debating politics on Wikipedia is like going into your job and debating religion and politics in your office's conference meetings-- it's just not professional, and most employers would ask that you keep your focus on the job, rather than get into extended debates about politics, morality, religion, etc.

Here, our job is to write an encyclopedia. Our talk pages are to discuss the current article-- grammar, citations, etc. Obviously, as Jessamyn Rlitwin mentioned earlier, your addition of what year "age" was added is a perfect example of a "good" addition, and your pointing out the ommision on the ALA page being cited here is a good use of talk page.

However, when you go beyond that into debating the motives of the ALA, requesting publications of emails, urging scrutiny of the ALA's relationships with the ACLU, wondering about the "real goal", etc-- in these cases, you are again behaving as an advocate who is trying to conduct original research or debate politics. That's fine, but Wikipedia talk pages aren't the place for it. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum or a message board-- there are other places on the internet that specialize in that. Wikipedia talk pages are just for talking about the article. If you want to talk about the actual issue, you should go to discussion sites like Google Groups. I also found some discussions of the American Library Association on message boards like Minute Man board, Conservative Underground, and Those would all be good places for you to go to have these kinds of discussions and seek these kinds of answers. You also can contact the ALA or the ACLU directly through the addresses listed on their respective websites if you are seeking information from them.

If you have questions to ask the editors about the issue itself, you need to take it off wikipedia. The same goes for points you want to make-- if you feel the ALA is violating the law and want to alert people to it, you need to find another place to talk about that. If you want other editors to help you in your advocacy, or want to ask them questions about the issue itself, or want to debate the subject you should email them directly. Some editors do allow you to contact them personally via email--- When you go to a user's page, like, there will be a link on the left side of the page that says "E-mail this user" if the user has chosen to allow this kind of communication. I suggest that if you want to have a debate about the ALA, you email the users directly-- they may or may not choose to respond, but at least that way you won't be using Wikipedia talk pages as a soapbox. Sometimes I will talk about issues themselves through email-- something I'd never do on Wikipedia itself. If they reply to your emails, then great, you can have an extended debate with them about the issue, urge them to re-examine their assessment of the ALA, and ask them to help you by providing information about the ALA. If they do not reply, then clearly, they don't want to have such a debate, and they would rather just work on the encyclopedia itself-- if so, you should respect that choice, and you shouldn't try to bring it up here.

Similarly, other editors here should make a point of resisting getting into these kinds of discussions on the talk pages. If someone tries to debate the issue itself, they should respond to you through email, not on the talk page. This is hard to do, but getting sucked into a political debate on the talk pages only further blurs the lines between appropriate encyclopedia-focused conduct and issue-focused advocacy & debate. (Obviously, we all find ourselves getting sucked in from time to time-- but much better if you can resist or reply through email).

Lastly, SL, let me once again caution you that you are editing with an "obsessional point of view"-- that is, editing articles related directly to something you care deeply about and are an advocate for. This is a very dangerous and difficult thing to do, and if you persist, eventually someone may file a User Conduct complaint against you asking that you be barred from editing pages related to this issue. Obviously, that an intense step, and no one wants that to happen, but it's your responsibility to ensure that you're not editing Wikipedia in order to advocate a particular point of view. Right now, I'm not sure if you're having much luck resisting the temptation to do that. You really need to move on to other things. No good will come out of you revisiting this issue repeatedly on Wikipedia.

--Alecmconroy 20:46, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Alecmconroy, I agree with you. In this case the politics of the issue is only an aside. Not relevant to the LBR -- I admit that, but it was mere contextual material to provide a better understanding of the reason for my main request. The real issue is the content of the encyclopedic page. And, thanks to you and others, I want that page to be encyclopedic. To that end I pointed out that the page lacked some information and all agree I made some good additions. But one of the additions I made referenced an ALA source. It is that source that I think is directly relevant to this page.
So the issue is not politics. The issue is the source of information for the statements I added that all agree are good additions. Since the source I added, from, only made a single statement then referenced a source from which it drew that statement, I see no problem saying that reference in full is relevant to the issue.
Leave politics out. Leave out I have a certain motivation -- after all a top ALA member added the page in the first place and it is simply unfair to say he gets to write it and I have to stay away. --SafeLibraries 23:39, 10 July 2006 (UTC)
So what exactly is it you think is wrong with the current version of the page? --Alecmconroy 02:00, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
Depends on your definition of wrong. It's more like incomplete. It's incomplete. "Age" is the one most controversial word in the whole LBR, yet you wouldn't notice from the article as it exists. The dates issue is mildly interesting but is not really that important. But that "age" thing is the key. Yet the "age" thing is and has been downplayed, but it is the very key that may allow children access to inappropriate material, and this may be especially egregious in light of what the SCOTUS said in a case the ALA itself lost.
Now I do not have the time right this moment to gather the wikiworthy sources to evidence this beyond the links already provided, but before I gather such evidence, I raise the issue for all to consider. And I hope my lack of additional evidence at this time does not cause you to say the controversy does not exist. And if as I am asserting the "age" thing is really as controversial as I say, and if the "age" thing is very important in that it is the reason why inappropriate books are recommended for children nationwide by the ALA or is the reason why children's access to inappropriate materials on the Internet is not blocked and is indeed encouraged, then a discussion of the controversy in wikiworthy fashion would be appropriate for inclusion in a wiki article about the Library Bill of Rights [LBR].
So this page is incomplete without mention of a controversial issue that affects children nationwide in a way that ignores a SCOTUS case and exposes children to inappropriate material. All this being about the text of the LBR that is the subject of this page. Right down wiki's alley.
By the way, anyone saying it is or is not the subject of controversy is making a wishful conclusion without considering facts. That's includes me. And you. We need to look at the facts. Someone, likely me, needs to gather the facts with hyperlinks, propose a proper section, work on it collaboratively with others, then someone, probably Rlitwin, has to add it to the article for completeness.
Oh, by the way. Rlitwin removed the "postamble" saying he covered it in his text. But I think it is an integral part of the LBR and should be reinserted. What you get on the ALA site for the LBR is what you should get here. Removing the "postamble" is kind of like, well, sort of like cutting off the ending of Strawberry Fields by the Beatles just because the music volume drops to zero and you think the song is over. But it's not and you miss the end of the song. --SafeLibraries 03:15, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

The article’s you have listed don’t strike me as indicative of a large controversy a library board restricted material to young people it was objected too and reverts itself .I can’t see how this would warrant more attention then it has been given but keep in mind if you get more sources you can edit down the road.Ansolin 07:33, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Thank you. I know I will find more, just no time yet. And I'm happy to see more voices joining the chorus. Please stay involved. --SafeLibraries 11:30, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
SL-- Nobody's saying that there isn't a controversy, but as of today, there's not enough evidence to show that that the anti-ALA controversy is noteworthy enough to do a full coverage. As we've discussed elsewhere, I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes notable at some point, but we need some sort of evidence to show it's entered the national consciousness.
About the "post-amble"-- are you sure it actually IS a post amble that is part of the official text of the LBR? My impression is that it's just explanatory text that has accompanied the LBR-- in which case we should feel free to write our own historical explanatory text that is more detailed than the one on the ALA site.
--Alecmconroy 17:12, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

4th reference link is dead[edit]

All, the fourth reference link is dead or otherwise not functioning. Anyone know the correct one? --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 19:12, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Link has been fixed:
00:21, 20 March 2007 (Talk) (correct Thomison citation (incorrect title dates) and fix link in 4th citation)
Case closed. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 11:37, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

SCOTUS decision[edit]

I agree with the other editors that the inclusion of the SCOTUS citation of the LBR is not particularly an encyclopedic piece of information about the LBR. I removed the sentence "In 2003, the United States Supreme Court referenced the Library Bill of Rights in US v. ALA, 539 U.S. 194, 2003." If you'd like to discuss why you feel it should be included, please feel free to do so here, but please do not re-add it to the article until we can come to some consensus. Jessamyn (talk) 05:59, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Even though I originally added it, I'll abide by Jessamyn's decision. She is someone with, among other things, Wiki experience and knowledge. The people who had removed the sentence were mere IP addresses with only a handful or no previous wiki edits. So understand such edits involving cutting information by people with few edits and who remain anonymous are immediate suspect to any experienced wiki editor. Indeed, sometimes page blocks apply only to IP addresses. On the other hand, Jessamyn is a steady, consistent editor here. To me, therefore, and likely to other experienced editors, her comments/editions/deletions have more weight that new IP addresses.
Just know I thought if the SCOTUS mentioned something positively, that means it has achieved the highest level of recognition. A feather in the ALA's cap. Boy, would I like the SCOTUS to mention something of mine! So in recognition of that, I thought it might be relevant to this page. But Jessamyn is probably right. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 12:09, 22 March 2007 (UTC)
I re-removed your inclusion of the SCOTUS decision per my earlier reasoning. The quote does not mention the LBR and a section on "indirect criticism" is inappropriate for a short encylopedic Wikipedia article. Please do not use Wikipedia as your soapbox. Jessamyn (talk) 22:43, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Jessamyn, again you prove to me your honestly. You left in the other wikiworthy material and only removed that which you honestly believed should not have been included. I have always admired you for this quality in you.
Now as to the US v. ALA quote, I could say I agree with you, now, based on what you said. But it really was an honest effort to improve the article. There is really no need to say the addition was a soapbox addition. You have to assume good faith, and claiming it was a sopabox addition does not assume that.
Now even though the quote does not include the words LBOR, it is the exact opposite, diametric opposition to the LBOR's age proclamation just discussed in the paragraph you left in that I added. Whereas the LBOR says age may NOT be used to restrict access to materials for children, SCOTUS says restricting access to children to inappropriate material is LEGITIMATE, AND EVEN COMPELLING. That is, essentially, the exact opposite of LBOR. Obviously that is a good faith attempt to add material to the wiki page, not a soapbox. More importantly, I still think that quote should be added precisely because it is from SCOTUS and it the direct opposite of the LBOR statement on that issue and it is from an ALA case. The extra words I added (like the last sentence of the section Jessamyn removed) can be removed.
By the way, folks, congrats to Jessamyn for being named the number one librarian blog, !!! --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling 02:51, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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