Librarian's Response

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Librarian's Response

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Out 1, 2009, 8:55am

Found this via Neil Gaiman's Twitter. This is a blog post from a librarian asked to respond to a challenge of Uncle Bobby's Wedding. Rather well-written and better than a, "we will not be removing the material at this time" canned response:


Dear Ms. Patron:

Thank you for working with my assistant to allow me to fit your concerns about “Uncle Bobby's Wedding,” by Sarah S. Brannen, into our “reconsideration” process. I have been assured that you have received and viewed our relevant policies: the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, the Freedom to View, and our Reconsideration Policy.

The intent of providing all that isn't just to occupy your time. It's to demonstrate that our lay Board of Trustees –- which has reviewed and adopted these policies on behalf of our library -- has spent time thinking about the context in which the library operates, and thoughtfully considered the occasional discomfort (with our culture or constituents) that might result. There's a lot to consider.

Here's what I understand to be your concern, based on your writings. First, you believe that “the book is specifically designed to normalize gay marriage and is targeted toward the 2-7 year old age group.” Your second key concern is that you “find it inappropriate that this type of literature is available to this age group.” You cite your discussion with your daughter, and commented, “This was not the type of conversation I thought I would be having with my seven year old in the nightly bedtime routine.”

Out 1, 2009, 1:02pm

Thanks for sharing! I really appreciate the thoughtful argument and attempt to bridge gaps that this librarian expressed.

Out 1, 2009, 2:21pm

That's one well written letter. I wish I could act with such grace in my life.

Out 1, 2009, 3:33pm

If only, Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life. fit well on a bumper sticker...

Out 1, 2009, 4:10pm

> 4

Maybe on the side of a stretch limo?