Dear Ms. Patron – a librarian responds to a challenge

I thought this blog post containing a librarian’s response to a challenge to the book Uncle Bobby’s Wedding — an easy reader book that has a gay wedding in it — to be a model of responsiveness and informativeness and, at the same time, upholding the policies and procedurs of the library with politeness and compassion.

Finally, then, I conclude that “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” is a children’s book, appropriately categorized and shelved in our children’s picture book area. I fully appreciate that you, and some of your friends, strongly disagree with its viewpoint. But if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won’t agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don’t imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life.

There’s a lively discussion going on in the comments sections as well as on MetaFilter which is where I first read about it. Nicely done, Jamie Larue.

4 comments for “Dear Ms. Patron – a librarian responds to a challenge

  1. Rhonda
    31Jul08 at 2:31

    Hey Jessamyn – thanks for posting this link. What a great letter Jamie wrote and reading through the comments was interesting, too. I kept a copy of the letter and some of the comments for inspiration when challenges come up. Rhonda

  2. 02Aug08 at 3:07

    I would add to the discussion at Metafilter, but seeing as you had me banned from it . . . I can’t. So kindly stop pretending you’re the big anti-censorship activist.

  3. 05Aug08 at 4:29

    Here is an interesting post on what censorship is and isn’t, should anyone take an interest.

    Jessamyn, that’s an interesting response to a patron challenge; I passed it around at work and it met with much interest (though I doubt the patron read it all, in spite of its thoughtfulness–I bet apoplexy got the better of her by the third paragraph).

  4. Kathleen
    13Aug08 at 8:38

    What an incredibly condescending attitude toward the patron, John. Glad you’re not my librarian.

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