Mayor Palin tried to force her local Library to ban books she didn't like.

I think this deserves its own thread. Let’s see hpw the Palin apologists spin their way out of this one.

NYTimes

This is is pretty stark and indefensible. This, along with her desire to teach creationism in public schools, shows at least two examples of gross disrespect for the First Amendment. Shouldn’t a VP candidate be somebody who believes in free speech? I’d love to see an explanation for why it was ok for her to do this.

I find this question sexist and offensive to women everywhere. /sarcasm

Until I know what materials she sought to ban, I have no idea if I support this or not.

I don’t want my local library carrying “How to Form A Local NAMBLA Chapter.” If my local librarian sees fit to spend limited publib funds to get that book on the shelves, I’ll want to see him (or her) fired and the book removed.

What books did then-Mayor Palin want banned?

I actually e-mailed Ms. Kilkenny asking what books were to be banned. She responded:

I think the important part here is the books are selected within some standard library guidelines. So I doubt any NAMBLA books would be on the shelves. That said I do not actually know what the library guidelines are but I feel safe in that assumption and assume a library, especially a small one, wouldn’t have much in the way of questionable material unless The Catcher in the Rye or The Grapes of Wrath offensive.

Just out of curiosity, if someone were to donate that book to the library, how would you feel?

How odd, I cannot seem to find a book by that title. Perhaps Bricker will mention an actual, real live book that he would cotton tossing out of a library. One that meets existing library purchasing guidelines.

It sounds like something that got mentioned in passing, once, but was never followed up on in any way.

Doesn’t strike me as a big deal.

There doesn’t seem to be a cite that addresses exactly what books she wanted removed from the collection. As someone who’s been in the library business for forty years, I can make an educated guess. Requests to pull books come in waves. Every year, the American Library Association compiles a list of the 10 books that have been challenged most often. Here’s the list for 2007, along with the reasons they were challenged:

  1. “And Tango Makes Three,” by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell

Reasons: Anti-Ethnic, Sexism, Homosexuality, Anti-Family, Religious Viewpoint, Unsuited to Age Group

  1. “The Chocolate War,” by Robert Cormier

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Violence

  1. “Olive’s Ocean,” by Kevin Henkes

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

  1. “The Golden Compass,” by Philip Pullman

Reason: Religious Viewpoint

  1. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” by Mark Twain

Reason: Racism

  1. “The Color Purple,” by Alice Walker

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language

  1. “TTYL,” by Lauren Myracle

Reasons: Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

  1. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou

Reason: Sexually Explicit

  1. “It’s Perfectly Normal,” by Robie Harris

Reasons: Sex Education, Sexually Explicit

  1. “The Perks of Being A Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky

Reasons: Homosexuality, Sexually Explicit, Offensive Language, Unsuited to Age Group

http://blogs.ala.org/oif.php?cat=268

Of course, she was mayor prior to 2007, so “And Tango Makes Three” about two male penguins who raise an orphan egg wouldn’t have been there. But people with her social values find a number of these books objectionable.

I’m not concerned (on one level at least) that she might find them objectionable. I would be very concerned that she tried to use her political position to get them out of the library.

Considering even Amazon doesn’t carry that title, it seems unlikely…but couldn’t they stock it if they did have it, nestled on the shelf between *NAMBLA: The Hidden Menace * and Perverts Behind Every Corner: A Parent’s Guide to Cloistering Your Kids?

I was pretty neutral about Palin at first. I was seriously considering voting for McCain up until the last few days (and I’m gonna be honest here, “seriously considering” still had me about 70/30 for Obama), but this lady keeps getting wackier and wackier. Banning books is very offensive to me. Teaching creationism as fact is very offensive to me. Outlawing abortions in cases of rape and incest is very offensive to me. I was worrying that I would be standing in the booth come November still trying to decide who to cast my vote for, but barring any new major turning points or revelations, I can relax now. I don’t want someone like this one grabber away from the presidency.

Did you miss the part about Palin firing the librarian, then rehiring her after a public outcry?

I don’t know…I’m kind of with the OP on this onem. Well…maybe not WITH him, as he tends to go a tad hysterical…(KIDDING, Diogenes!). But I would be interested in knowing which books, and why.

She fired the librarian for not cooperating. That doesn’t count as following up?

Salon has a more in-depth look at Palin’s abuses of power.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/09/03/halperin/

The TIME article on the same subject states her objections were to books with offensive language.

I think it’s a 1000x more likely she was going after something along the lines of Lady Chatterley’s Lover than Guidebook to Raping Babies or whatever spin is going on now.

McCain definitively lost my moderate Republican parents with this pick (irrelevant since they live in MA). Picking a creationist fundamentalist doesn’t tend to go over well with two scientist Hindus.

Banning any book, ANY BOOK- that goes for Protocols/Elders of Zion, Turner Diaries, Anarchist Cookbook, even something as despicable as a pro-NAMBLA book or something by Ann Coulter, is an offense against everything America stands for. (And this is Wasilla, AK for Raven’s sake, I can’t imagine it be a NAMBLA manifesto.)

I have absolutely no problem whatever with making some books available for check-out only by adults, even with making some “in library use” only, but saying that they can’t be in the library at all? That is flat out Nazi shite.

To me this is such a ‘crime’ that I’ll let Palin be innocent until proven guilty, but forget any other fact or allegation, this is the one that needs to be investigated. I’m hoping it turns out not to be true. I’m also hoping that Ms. Emmons and anyone else in the know will be thoroughly “vetted” before the week is out to find out if this happened and if it did what were the circumstances.

I was aghast at this too, the banning and the firing. Then I read that Palin backed down and I thought “Shoot, she doesn’t even have the courage of her convictions.” I might have respected her a little teensy bit if she’d stuck to her guns. She can’t win with me.

I’m not a Palin supporter (I’m not even an American!) but this is pretty thin stuff - the recollections of a political opponent, combined with the insinuation (but not, you will note, statement) that the librarian was fired for not complying.

Sounds like making a mountain out of a molehill. It could be a sign of a real scandal, or it could be a nothing of a nothing.

For me, far more unsettling are her stated views on Creationism, than this sort of thing - every small town mayor in North America has dozens of “scandals” worse than this, if you listen to the locals.

The Salon versionis far more damning. Excerpts:

From an article in Anchorage at the time:

Reality-based, Bricker? You know perfectly well what types of books this type of person tries to ban. Anything with the word “damn”, anything with witches, and anything that depicts sexuality that is non-matrimonial, non-monogamous and/or non-heterosexual in less than a completely condemning style.

Quit with the sophistry, please.