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July 22, 2024

Orland Park Public Library and Megan Fox: A Challenger's Point of View

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On September 2, 2015

University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee – UWM (ECWd) –
This case study (bottom of page) is from UWM, who is studying the OPPL challenge as a case study. They have a lot of our articles on the OPPL challenge in their archives for academic research.
We came across this academic paper from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, titled Orland Park Public Library and Megan Fox: A Challenger’s Point of View, that is the best and most comprehensive survey of most of the major issues involved with the Orland Park Public Library in recent years. It leaves a lot of twists and turns out — and doesn’t touch at all on the irony involved in this one public library declaring war on the First Amendment Right to Petition government for change by censoring its critics and doing everything imaginable to scare watchdogs Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan and Dan Kleinman away — but this graduate school research study hits a home run where every reporter struck out. For whatever reason, papers like the Chicago Tribune or Sun Times consistently refused to report on the child pornography that was accessed in the OPPL and the library’s increasingly bizarre war on the people who uncovered it (along with other sex crimes, wasteful spending, violations of the Open Meetings Act and FOIA statute, and other bad things that have been going on for years in that library).
Reporters have mostly tried to do everything possible NOT to report the truth about this library and its Board and all their lawbreaking. But, this academic paper gets into 90% of what the OPPL did wrong and why people should care. That’s a home run, if not a grand slam that it could have been.
The paper is worth your time because some of you might not know the whole saga involved with the OPPL. You might not understand just how egregious the conduct of this one elected board out in the affluent Chicago suburbs was. When you read this paper, keep in mind the irony of this library claiming repeatedly that it had to allow men to keep arousing themselves to porn at computers, to allow men to masturbate without police being called, to look the other way when illegal child porn was accessed in the library, to tell female employees they had to quit if they didn’t like the sexual activity happening in the library (all because this board made the false claim that these things had to be allowed “because of the First Amendment”) when the whole time they were censoring their critics, threatening critics, using the police and a SLAPP suit against critics, and doing everything under the sun to rob their critics of their First Amendment Right to Petition the government. The very same board members who claimed they were “Champions of the First Amendment” completely ignored the fact that the absolute most important part of the First Amendment is the part that guarantees Americans the right to lobby, ridicule, criticize, complain about, and petition elected bodies to correct mistakes and change harmful policies in response to the community’s wants and needs.
So, in a nutshell, here is this renegade public library board that likes to paint itself as a “champion of the First Amendment” because it allowed sex crimes to happen for years in the building (and it is proud of that!) when in reality this library was one of the worst censors and enemies of the First Amendment we’ve ever seen because of all the attacks this library board made in efforts to silence its critics (and, thus, rob them of their First Amendment Rights to lobby and petition government bodies for change and redress of grievances). This board didn’t like being criticized and it didn’t like people uncovering all the bad things that had been covered up in the library for years…so the library board sought to take squash its critics’ First Amendment Right to petition and annihilate these particular critics to put a chilling effect on anyone out there who might try to criticize them in the future.
No reporter has ever been interested in telling that story, the real story, or reporting on this glaring irony. But, it’s heartening to see that graduate students who are studying the OPPL in Master of Library Sciences programs and looking through the mountain of documents and court filings involved in this library’s war on the First Amendment can quickly see just how wrong this library board was and how egregious its conduct became during their “crisis management” campaign to silence and scare away critics and prying eyes like Megan Fox, Kevin DuJan, and Dan Kleinman. The OPPL is a cautionary tale for all public bodies on how the wrong people in key management or board positions can drive a public body to ruin when an institutional obsession to silence critics completely consumes the public body for years. It’s also a good reminder to all watchdogs that if you don’t allow a public body to scare you away and if you hold your ground that you will ultimately prevail against these renegade public bodies.
Your First Amendment Right to Petition is sacred and is the bedrock of our republic. It is the only thing preventing monarchy and aristocracy from taking root in this country. No public body can take away your First Amendment Rights…especially not a public library board. Never forget that.
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  • SafeLibraries
    Posted at 21:40h, 02 September Reply

    One reason why this report by the student is so accurate is that she was being honest. Honest reporters willing to report anything opposed to American Library Association pro-childp0rn diktat are very few and very far between.
    One of the keys of her honesty was doing something ALA advises people not to do: talk to the enemy. Coming with preconceived notions built on ALA propaganda that pervades library schools, most will assume the ALA story is correct and there’s no need to actually speak with the “censors,” the “outsiders,” or whatever else ALA calls people to attack them instead of addressing the issues.
    But this author defied ALA and decided to speak with the enemy. The answers she got had nothing to do with the false narrative ALA and OPPL had built up to defend the library’s allowing and covering up child p0rnography as “intellectual freedom.” Instead, she heard what the enemy had to say, looked at the evidence for herself, then made her own conclusions. Those conclusions do not match the ALA story.
    Brava to the author.
    Fellow librarians better get ready to support that young author as ALA brooks no dissension in the ranks and the young lady’s career is in jeopardy. Librarians: get ready to help the young author to thrive and grow in her chosen career. When more like her finally break through the ALA propaganda machine and maintain their jobs, it will being to spell the end of ALA misleading or bullying librarians into allowing porn and child p0rn in public libraries and the resultant harm that brings, including to sexually harassed librarians who are told to not let the door hit them on the way out of they don’t like the harassment.

    • Anna
      Posted at 20:03h, 12 September Reply

      Since I can’t reply to jmkraft, I am referring to October 2013 being when they lost their credibility. When this whole crap started

      • jmkraft
        Posted at 08:55h, 13 September Reply

        Yes, that’s when the library lost its credibility.

        • Anna
          Posted at 14:22h, 14 September Reply


  • JulieAnn
    Posted at 16:23h, 04 September Reply

    Its one thing to FOIA for good governance, its another thing to FOIA and then take that information and harass an employee that does not make Library policies.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:11h, 04 September Reply

      It is also one thing to follow Library policy, and another thing to use policy in an abusive way to invent ways to threaten and harass people requesting public records.

      • blount
        Posted at 19:47h, 04 September Reply

        So then choose the higher road. Instead they make a decent case, and then lose it all by engaging in rather silly speculation about a personnel issue and attack a person who works for the library with no policy decision position in respect to public records.
        At some point they will destroy themselves and any credibility they have.

        • Anna
          Posted at 13:36h, 06 September Reply

          They did that a loooong time ago.

          • jmkraft
            Posted at 17:05h, 06 September

            May of 2015 is a looooong time ago?

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