In response to Ms. Ottosen’s letter, “LIBRARIES: these are agendas”.
This is an agenda. The same agenda that generations of librarians have worked so hard to defend, protecting First Amendment rights from trampling by those who would silence marginalized voices, dissenting opinions and unpopular ideas; the protection of the freedom to read for all, regardless of age; and ensuring that all members of a community are represented in their public library.
Ms. Ottosen’s position runs counter to this mission. Contrary to Ms. Ottosen’s opinion, there is nothing in the Community Library Network’s children’s collection that sexualizes LGBTQ + people. There are items in this collection that represent LGBTQ + people. There is a difference between representation and sexualization.
Lies of omission remain lies; censorship by segregation remains censorship.
Ms. Ottosen was missing some things in the “Statement of Ethics for Public Library Administrators” which was adopted by the Idaho Commission for Libraries. First, trustees “must not” be swayed by partisan interests. Second, “Trustees must not discriminate”. Third, and perhaps most important, “administrators should support the efforts of librarians to resist censorship of library materials by groups or individuals.”
Our community should not be held hostage by Ms. Ottosen and her supporters just for not understanding the job description.
Ms Ottosen encourages censorship to infiltrate the institutions librarians are responsible for managing. It is our duty as librarians to oppose this effort.
NATHAN A. HANSEN
Author of “Involuntary Librarian”
Community library network employee