Some weeks ago, we published an invitation on our Facebook page for any conservative public library employee to contact us. Surprisingly, we had several reach out with stories of what it’s like to be a conservative librarian in a woke system. Many of them were not willing to step forward, for fear of reprisals. That’s right, they’re afraid their “anti-censorship” government employer would fire them for speaking freely.
However, there are one or two who were willing to speak up in an anonymous capacity. In the first installment, we’re hearing from one librarian who has noticed that not only is the “anti-censorship” system censoring books, but that it’s been doing it for decades! The woke mob is right? Well, sort of. Here’s their story.
I am a conservative public librarian
I am a conservative (or simply politically marooned and critically thinking) public librarian in Louisiana. My entire profession seems to have gone to hell in a hand basket and it appears that I am among no other conservative leaning MLIS librarians within my public library system. And I shockingly appear to be the only librarian in my system that believes in health freedom. It is truly a befuddling time to be a conservative public librarian.
On the topic of censorship within libraries, I speak from the public library perspective. Ultimately, I am not for censorship of any kind. Although I must admit that much of our latest content disturbs me. I do accept and embrace it into our collections as it may not be right for me but may be right for others. What most truly disturbs me is that this content increasingly dominates our collections and we’ve increasingly ramped up censorship of conservative and health freedom content and content that does not support or is critical of current neo-liberal agendas.
Collections are not balanced
The old days of balanced public library collections which offer something for everyone and every opinion appears to have vanished. Right leaning content has become stamped with a label of unfit due to “misinformation” or has been “fact checked” or absurdly donned “hate-speech.” “Censorship” of conservative and health freedom topics has not arisen in such books being challenged in our collections. Instead their censorship is absolute in that such books have been denied entry into our collections. Such books are simply not purchased for our collections and thus never make it to our shelves. The tax paying public has been fully denied access to these materials. This to me is unacceptable and is potentially illegal.
Personally, what I want within our library systems is a return to balanced collections. If we are now getting a vast quantity of books on pronouns and gay and transgender everything, we need to balance that with books that may not support and may question such things. Ditto on content criticizing the right should be tempered with equal criticism of the left. If we must hold a drag queen story hour, we need also to be allowed to hold Christian or other religious story hours. Also, within our popular and new nonfiction content, we increasingly have only “Orange Man Bad” books. There’s nothing on Melania Trump but plenty on Kamala Harris; only slander of the political right, etc. I’ve even found new books in our collection on how free speech should not really be fully free speech because not having government and corporate controlled censorship is “dangerous”!
Request for Conservative content is being actively censored, blocked, eliminated, and ignored
I’ve tried relentlessly, through my own branch discretionary ordering and anonymously through our system’s public “Request a Title” option, to add new conservative centered and health freedom centered books to our collection. My continuous attempts have been entirely fruitless. None of the books I’ve requested, anonymously or as a highly qualified MLIS managerial librarian, have been honored.
I’ve gone to even further lengths, giving lists of these books to local friends and property tax payers who fund the public library system. These friends have submitted these lists of books to “Request a Title” to no avail. These books still remain absent from our shelves. In order to read these books myself, I have to either purchase them for my own home library or attempt to acquire them through Inter-Library Loan. Shockingly, some of these titles are not even available though national Inter-Library Loan portals, indicating that these titles are available in ZERO public libraries across the entire United States! Recently, I heard a podcast with prominent pandemic skeptic, Dr. Judy Mikovits, PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. In it she detailed visiting several public libraries within the Fort Detrick area. None of them had any of her published, top-selling books!
Public libraries are no longer bastions of the free exchange of ideas
It is disgusting that we (librarians) are now only allowed to share one side of political and health related topics. As an example within the heath freedom genre, my library system has only vaccine positive books. Any book that is well researched and educatedly critical of vaccines, the CDC the FDA, and covid narrative, are 100% censored. My system refuses to order Naomi Wolf’s new book, C.J. Hopkins’ new collected pandemic essays, Edward Dowd’s new book, Peter Breggin’s new book, etc… not even J.B. Handley’s book about how he used a letter-board to teach his son how to communicate despite severe autism. God forbid we order Virus Mania or Dissolving Illusions!
Lastly, as a denouement, to the above rant, I’d like to address the ALA’s much touted “Banned Books Week”. In summary, the ALA’s flaunts their supposed staunch stance against censorship and their unwavering support of free speech and tolerance and embracing of all opinions and cultures. I feel it pertinent to point out the obvious and insulting hypocrisy of this entire conceptual celebration. As a case in point, during “Banned Books Week” had I chosen to display truly banned conservative and health freedom related books at my library, 1. I would have to buy these books with my own money and display them at the library from my personal home collection, and 2. I would likely lose my job for displaying “fact-checked,” “misinformation,” or… Gasp… “hate-speech”! The irony of this flabbergasting situation truly confounds me.
Baton Rouge Office Update
We're all set to chase the ghost of Huey Long out of the Roumain Building (and Louisiana). Completed in 1913, Baton Rouge's first skyscraper (and location of Huey Long's 1920s office) has a new owner. His renovation team is working diligently to restore all six stories of the building to its former glory. As such, our target move-in date is May 1st of this year.
Thank you to all who donated to help make this happen. The new address for our Baton Rouge location will be 343 3rd Street, Suite 301. Now, we're turning our attention to furniture and a grand opening celebration. If you'd still like to help get us moved in, it's not too late. We still need you to contribute, volunteer, or assist in your own way.
While running an office isn't free, we're well on our way to covering the $9,000 for the first year's expenses. However your support is critical to making this new location a permanent success. Will you chip-in to help Louisiana become the great state it should have been all along?
So who or what entity orders materials for public libraries in Louisiana?
It must be recognized that the American Library Association became silently dominated by radical leftists a generation ago. Lafayette public libraries are staffed by leftists who approve, even endorse, “gender” over chromosomal sexual identity, and often function as baby-sitting services for the “poor”.
The vast majority of our parish residents never visit a public library, though they are funded by taxes.