August 3, 2016 · 14 Comments
ORLAND PARK, IL. (ECWd) –
Viewpoint discrimination and censorship are on full display at the Orland Park Public Library (OPPL), as staff ban a new book that was written about recent scandals and wrongdoing at the Orland Park Public Library. The OPPL has steadfastly refused to carry the book SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment, despite written requests from Orland Park taxpayers that the Library order the book for its collection so citizens can read the true story of what public officials in Orland Park did to silence critics and cover-up sex crimes that occurred in the library through the years.
The OPPL has even refused to accept an autographed, first-edition copy of the book for its collection that someone wanted to donate to the Library. That means the OPPL has chosen to ban this book from its collection, despite requests from patrons that the book be carried and the Library being offered a free copy of the book for the community to read. There can be no clearer act of censorship and viewpoint discrimination than a public body refusing to allow a written criticism of the public body to occupy space on the shelves of that same public body.
It should be noted that every fall the OPPL participates in “Banned Books Week,” where the Library makes a big production of accusing parents of “banning” or “censoring” books whenever a parent complains about a sexually-charged book like the Kama Sutra being given to small children against the parents’ wishes. The Library’s Director, Mary Weimar, once posed in a bizarre costume dressed as a prisoner during Banned Books Week, holding up a copy of Harry Potter and claiming that it had been “banned” somewhere (because a parent in some small town someplace allegedly questioned if Harry Potter was appropriate for her small child). Clearly, Harry Potter wasn’t really “banned” at the OPPL since Weimar was holding a copy of it in the Library’s lobby. The book SHUT UP! really is banned, however, because Weimar and OPPL staff will not allow SHUT UP! to be included in the OPPL’s collection.
The OPPL is a member of the American Library Association (ALA), which is a lobbying group funded in large part by George Soros that seeks to transform communities by transforming libraries. The ALA deems it to be “age discrimination” to refuse to give a kindergartener Playboy magazine or a middle-schooler Fifty Shades of Grey if they ask for it. The ALA gives librarians a list of books with racy themes, explicit sex scenes, drug use, abortions, and other adult material that the ALA wants promoted to young children, all in the name of “intellectual freedom.” Libraries like the OPPL follow the ALA’s instructions and feature these books prominently in the children’s and young adult sections. If a parent complains about this material, the parent is called a “book banner” and then during “Banned Books Week” the ALA encourages librarians to mock that parent and to give the “banned book” in question to as many children as possible.
Let’s look at the obvious hypocrisy of the OPPL participating in “Banned Books Week” while simultaneously banning a book from its shelves that is critical of the OPPL and that documents law-breaking and bad behavior by OPPL staff members and trustees. This is clear viewpoint discrimination, which is another thing that the ALA is supposedly against (except when the viewpoint they want discriminated against is one that is critical of the ALA). By refusing to carry the book SHUT UP!, the OPPL is discriminating against a viewpoint that is critical of the OPPL. Since taxpaying members of the Orland Park community have asked the Library to carry this book and the Library has refused to carry it, the Library is banning the book so that Orland Park residents cannot read the book and learn about bad things that have happened in the Library through the years, including the reprehensible behavior of trustees such as Diane Jennings and library employees such as Director Mary Weimar and the former Library spokesman, Bridget Bittman. We covered the antics and offensive behavior of all of these people extensively on this site through the years if you are unfamiliar with their names.
A search on the Worldcat site, which is used by librarians to locate books, shows that SHUT UP! is carried on the shelves of the Harold Washington Chicago Public Library, the Bellwood Public Library, the Tinley Park Public Library, the Richton Park Public Library, the Downer’s Grove Public Library, and the State Library in Springfield, Illinois. SHUT UP! has received positive reviews on both Worldcat and GoodReads, which are two sources librarians use for reviews of books. It appears that the book is either checked out or on hold at every library that owns it, with a waiting list to read SHUT UP!. There is clearly statewide interest in the book. Other libraries carry it on their shelves and have included it in their First Amendment sections alongside other books about censorship, free speech, and government attempts to silence the public. Members of the public are asking libraries to carry the book so they can read it.
SHUT UP! is an invaluable resource for people wanting to learn more about making FOIA requests and asserting their rights to speak at public meetings under the Open Meetings Act. It also documents a SLAPP (strategic litigation against public participation) lawsuit that Bittman filed against the authors and teaches readers what they can do to survive and defeat such a SLAPP. There are very few other books that have ever been written on that subject and no other books we can find that have ever been written that are critical of the American Library Association or crimes being covered up in public libraries.
Back in 2015, the OPPL accepted something called the “Downs Award for Intellectual Freedom” in a big ceremony at the ALA’s conference in Chicago. This was an award that the OPPL won for continuing to allow men to view pornography on computers in the Library, even though such activity is against the law due to lewd behavior and disorderly conduct statutes in Orland Park. The OPPL proudly called itself a champion of intellectual freedom because it decided to continue allowing sexual activity to occur in its adult computer lab, despite children and teenagers walking past this open area all day long. The OPPL deemed it necessary for “intellectual freedom” to allow men to view pornography on public computers, sexually arouse themselves in public, and engage in other inappropriate activities in full view of all passersby.
But, here in 2016 the OPPL has been caught being intellectually dishonest by engaging in the viewpoint discrimination of censoring and banning a book that is highly critical of the OPPL’s dangerous and reckless decisions. When a government body refuses to carry on its shelves a book that is critical of that government body, that is censorship. Taxpaying residents of Orland Park have requested this book and the OPPL has refused to carry the book on its shelves, despite other libraries in the area (including the largest library in the world, which is the Harold Washington Public Library in Chicago) having SHUT UP! in their collections.
Clearly, the people running the OPPL do not want anyone in Orland Park to read this book and start asking questions about the terrible things that have happened in this library through the years. Perhaps you should ask your own local library to add SHUT UP! to its collection. The OPPL has made SHUT UP! into a banned book by the ALA’s own definitions, so what better way to celebrate “Banned Books Week” this year than to read the very book that the Orland Park Public Library and its intellectually dishonest staff want banned.
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