“Banned Books Week” is September 25 – October 1 this year. BBW is a program originated by The American Library Association “Office for Intellectual Freedom,” which purports to protect threatened books from attempts at suppression. The ALA website states:
The ALA promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them.
A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.
It is difficult to imagine that members of this venerable organization are themselves attempting to suppress the release and distribution of a book—but that is exactly what is happening.
What book could possibly spur such an outrageous reaction from professionals purportedly dedicated to intellectual liberty? Why, a book about how these same people routinely suppress materials with which they disagree. The book, released May 26, 2016, is called Shut Up!: The Bizarre War that One Public Library Waged Against the First Amendment by Megan Fox and Kevin DuJan.
Shut Up! details the duo’s adventures when they caught their local library allowing perverts to use publicly funded computers for viewing porn—even child porn—in plain sight, masturbating publicly, and harassing patrons. As would any reasonable citizens, Fox and DuJan reported the situation to library officials, naturally expecting they would be anxious to rectify it. Not only was this not the case, the library management, with the guidance and backing of the ALA, attempted to intimidate and hush them, even to the extent of suing them. But Fox and DuJan don’t scare easily, and Shut Up! is the tale of the epic battle for truth that followed.
Fox and DuJan weren’t afraid to name names and detail unethical and illegal behavior in their new book, and the reaction from librarians has been fast and frightening. However, the authors, having been embroiled in legal altercations with the ALA gang for a couple years (ultimately emerging triumphant from court), are familiar with the tactics they would face and were prepared for it. For example, the book has been launched exclusively as a pricey, hefty 666-page paperback. Why no ebook? “Here’s our concern,” explains Fox. “These librarians WILL steal it. Ebooks are easy to steal, but a large paperback is expensive and time-consuming to copy and distribute. Even so, a librarian at Boise State in Idaho just got caught plotting that, wanting someone to buy it and scan it and then put it on TOR, in violation of our copyright. They are openly advocating that. We have screengrabs. When librarians are openly discussing on social media stealing from authors and posting fake reviews to harm those authors, it’s a real issue that The American Library Association ought to address.”
DuJan has been busy as well, accumulating screengrabs and meticulously documenting librarians’ unethical behavior on his website, HillBuzz.org. So far he has caught his detractors red-handed as they conspire to post falsified reviews on Amazon and other websites, suppress sales of Shut Up!, and even encourage theft of intellectual property. These behaviors are considered the lowest of the low by authors, which are the very group the ALA purports to defend and support. Clearly, as with so many other large Left-leaning organizations, only the “right” kind of citizens benefit from their operations.
The CLFA salutes the courage and tenacity of Fox and DuJan, who were unafraid to go to war with the behemoth of local bureaucracy and the ALA itself. Indeed, the pair seem simply to be enjoying themselves at this point, as reflected in the plucky, humorous tone of their book, even as they discuss such serious behavior.
In an attempt to alleviate the ALA’s loss of credibility in this instance, the CLFA recommends Shut Up! be named the #1 title on this year’s Banned Books list. We can’t see how else the organization recovers a single shred of credibility.