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April 19, 2024

Orland Park Public Library Subject of New Book About Censorship –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On May 22, 2016

Orland Park, IL. (ECWd) –

A new book called SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment by Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan debuts later this month, recounting how the Village of Orland Park, the Orland Park Police, and Orland Park Public Library staff and trustees engaged in acts of censorship, harassment, and intimidation to frighten away and silence critics of the Library (who had discovered that Library staff looked the other way and allowed sex crimes to happen and even child porn to be accessed for years without calling the police). 

We covered this story in great detail over the last few years and are looking forward to reading Fox & DuJan’s full account of everything that transpired. Repeatedly, we watched media outlets like The Chicago Tribune, The Orland Park Prairie, the Daily Southtown, the Orland Patch, and Crain’s Chicago Business refuse to accurately report on bad things happening in the Orland Park Public Library. It became clear that most reporters didn’t want to write a negative story about a public library or library board of trustees. So, they either willfully ignored the sex crimes happening in that library or they bent over backward trying to carry water for the OPPL by omitting anything that made the Library look bad. 

That reluctance on the part of media outlets to report on law-breaking and wrongdoing going on in a public library creates an environment where unscrupulous individuals looking to take advantage of taxpayers believe they will never be held accountable for anything they do while on a public library board…since reporters are unwilling to ever expose their law-breaking. Who wants to write a story where a public library is the villain? Reporters avoided the truth like the plague when it came to the Orland Park Public Library. This makes us wonder how many library board members in our state have been getting away with things for years that school board members or village board members would never be able to get away with, since reporters are not reluctant to ever report on school boards or village boards the way they seem to deliberately not report on wrongdoing by library boards. 

Fox & DuJan were threatened, harassed, bullied, intimidated, censored, and had the Library and Village abuse police resources as weapons against them. On top of that, Library Trustee Diane Jennings encouraged former OPPL spokesman Bridget Bittman to file a SLAPP lawsuit against them in federal court to shut them up and scare them away. Fox & DuJan prevailed in that lawsuit against Bittman, who claims on social media that she destroyed herself financially and is now in deep debt as a result of her filing that SLAPP. In addition to Jennings, American Library Association members encouraged and promoted Bittman’s SLAPP lawsuit and egged Bittman on. Her results in federal court are also a major loss for the ALA’s credibility, as all library employees should think twice about listening to the ALA when it comes to being able to censor and silence critics like Bittman tried to do. 

SHUT UP! appears to be a book with everything: unreported crimes happening in public libraries, trustees caught stealing gold and shamelessly breaking the law, violations of the Illinois Open Meetings Act and FOIA statute, police harassment, public employees abusing taxpayer resources to silence and censor the public, and the profound hypocrisy of a public library board claiming that it supports the First Amendment…while ironically using every weapon it could think of (including the police!) to chill free speech and shut up its critics. 

The Edgar County Watchdogs make appearances in the book, as we personally traveled to Orland Park on a few occasions and witnessed first hand the abuses of the Orland Park Public Library and its Board of Trustees (the OPPL-BoT). We confronted this out of control board and in one memorable exchange Diane Jennings shouted foul expletives at us. The OPPL-BoT ended up being one of the worst-behaved and most vicious boards of trustees we ever encountered. No one could have ever dreamed that a public library board — of all things — could do the things that it did to these people. It was incredible. 

We are watching closely to see if the Orland Park Public Library, and other libraries in our state, censor this new book by Fox & DuJan by refusing to carry it on their shelves. Every year in the fall, the American Library Association promotes a “Banned Books Week” where the ALA claims that certain books are “banned” and “censored” because libraries choose not to carry them. By this logic, any public library that chooses not to carry Fox & DuJan’s SHUT UP! The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment is thus guilty of censoring and banning this important book (which appears to be the very first book ever written exposing unreported crimes and acts of censorship in public libraries that chill free speech and stomp out criticism using police and SLAPPs as weapons against critics). 

Will the Orland Park Public Library have the intellectual integrity to carry on its shelves a book that is all about the Orland Park Public Library and the bad things that have happened there through the years? Or will the OPPL ban and censor Fox & DuJan’s SHUT UP! book? 

We will be watching to find out, as the book is published later this month. Expect our review in coming weeks. 





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  • Mitch
    Posted at 18:30h, 22 May

    Nobody cares.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 18:34h, 22 May

      You do – or you wouldn’t have commented.

  • G.Barraclough
    Posted at 19:14h, 22 May

    The Orland Park Public Library and the OPPL Trustees may have to go into full damage control mode.

    Shortly school will be out for the summer and possibly they might see if Roxana Agler is available to help them with some public relations work. And, if it gets ugly and he is available, maybe Troy Agler could help the public relations effort with some heavy lifting.

    • Mike
      Posted at 20:35h, 22 May

      Good stuff right there G. Barraclough!

  • Mike
    Posted at 20:33h, 22 May

    Fox and Dujan are gaining a reputation as the only media that will take on corrupt local governments and public bodies to hold them accountable for their wrongdoings. I followed this particular library case and am so glad that they were able to put a halt to the Orland Park Library’s shenanigans and make them basically admit they were wrong and win the FOIA lawsuit against them. I can’t wait to buy the book and get my copy signed!!

  • Mike
    Posted at 20:35h, 22 May

    I have watched Klein Thorpe Jenkins in Tinley Park and I know that they’re written about in this new book. I can’t wait to read this EXCITING NEW BOOK to learn more about the bad things KTJ did in Orland Park and also the FOIA and OMA problems in Orland. I’m looking forward to ordering and reading this book.

  • SafeLibraries
    Posted at 21:20h, 22 May

    I am so looking forward to read the complete version of this book. I have read parts that involved me. It is really well written and really interesting (generally, not just because I’m in it!).

    And it has national implications since this is a book about how governments act to silence whistleblowers no matter what it takes.

    Homophobia? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Breaking criminal laws? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Falsely arresting people and “throwing them in the tank”? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Repeatedly violate state sunshine laws and teach librarians to do the same? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Denying librarians are ever sexually harassed by patrons viewing Internet porn? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Teaching librarians to destroy public records and violate state record retention laws if it helps to hide the crime of child pornpgrpahy? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Ordering librarians to destroy evidence of American Library Association’s own homophobia? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Sending out harassers to attack people for years to mislead people into ignoring the issues (sort of like commenter “Mitch” who always attacks the whistleblowers and never addresses the issues)? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Getting family members to make threatening, false arrests of the whistleblowers? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    Constantly calling child porn whistleblowers fags or gay or assholes? Yes, if if furthers the goal of silencing whistleblowers.

    All of this and so much more is in this book, and it is so interestingly written that a wide audience will want to read this.


    To be clear, Jamie LaRue took the helm of ALA’s OIF only recently. The book discusses his predecessors’ actions, not his. Further, Jamie LaRue has been willing to discuss matters with me and in public, unlike his predecessors who did absolutely anything to avoid me discussing the issues publicly, including violating their own principles and ethics or cancelling national appearances on Fox News during the annual Banned Books Week hoax.

    I hope Jamie LaRue keeps an open mind and guides libraries to follow, not break the law, reversing past/current ALA OIF policy. And if he stops his OIF from facilitating child p0rn nationwide, all the better.

    No one’s interested in real censorship, and everyone should be interested in stopping criminality, so I hope his open-mindedness carries through to ALA generally and community libraries become safer for patrons and librarians alike.

    And this new book SHUT UP! exposing ALA OIF policy and procedure in such an interesting way may be what breaks the log jam. Definitely get and read this book.

  • pives
    Posted at 12:33h, 24 May

    Sweet cover photo!

  • SafeLibraries
    Posted at 09:04h, 26 May

    I just bought: ‘Shut Up!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment’… via @amazon

  • SafeLibraries
    Posted at 09:28h, 26 May

    I’ll give a free copy of this book to any librarian who reveals the video that American Library Association ordered destroyed to hide its own homophobia. ALA provided training with trainers from OPPL on 17 December 2013. One of them made homophobic comments while training for ALA. Then ALA, knowing this, signed her up to provide the same training to more librarians. When ALA caught wind of FOIA requests seeking the recording of the training, it used a personal email address to order all librarians trained or involved in providing the training to destroy all evidence whatsoever.

    If you work for an employer who provides training, one of the trainers makes homophobic comments during training, your employer knows this yet signs up that trainer to provide more of that training, would your employee allow that? What would you think of your employer if it did allow that? What if your employer ordered you to destroy the evidence of its having done that? What if that destruction order came after an investigation began? What if your employer’s leader used her personal email to order the document destruction?

    There are still librarians out there who may still have this evidence. Yes, you’ll get a free copy of “Shut Up!,” but more importantly you’ll be helping to stamp out homophobia, at least in ALA’s OIF.

    And I will keep you anonymous so you do not get fired or otherwise suffer negative consequences for speaking truth to power.

    • Mitch
      Posted at 20:28h, 28 May

      You’re broke. How will you buy copies?