Friday, November 13, 2009

A Change in Emphasis

The West Bend library controversy, so far as I can tell, is over, since the primary censor has moved on to preventing health care reform, keeping Wisconsin sex education in the dark ages, and otherwise defending America from godless Communism.  The other library challenges I've tracked recently (Cheshire, Leesburg, and Jessamine County) each seem to have reached some kind of stalemate or impasse.  So now is a good time to regroup.

I had documented a good part of the West Bend controversy on, and have been wondering what I should do with the site as that particular controversy fades into oblivion.  I've decided to keep the site active, but to change its focus.  This seems quite appropriate, since for me the phrase "Banned In West Bend" is no longer a reference to one particular situation, but has become a label for misguided attempts at censorship in any library anywhere.  So I've revamped the website to that end, reducing the West Bend library issue to just one aspect of a broader set of information about censorship in public libraries.

I don't claim any special expertise, but I have chosen to document what I learned.  Most importantly, I want to leave some easily accessible information that might help others who find themselves in the position of having to fight censorship in public libraries.  So the website now has:
At present, the site also has varying degrees of detail on four separate examples of attempted censorship in public libraries:
I have to give special thanks to Dan/SafeLibraries, more than any other individual or group, for making what it is.  Without his endless deluge of disinformation, I never would have dug so deeply into Free Speech law, nor read so many fine and challenged books.  However useful information on my website might be, it is there largely in response to him.

The Censorfreelib blog has already been opening up to the broader topic, without anything all that noticeable, beyond some minor reformatting installed over the last day or two.

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