Sarah Palin: Book-Banning Update (13 Oct)

STILL WONDERING about Sarah Palin and the allegations that she attempted book-banning at the Wasilla Public Library when she was mayor? We’ve reported on this before, for example: Sarah Palin: Creationism & Book-Banning Update (12 Sept).

The magazine Library Journal, has posted this: LJ Talks to Wasilla Public Library Director KJ (Kathy) Martin-Albright. It begins by getting right to the issue:

There’s been a lot in the news about the Wasilla Public Library, AK, circa 1996, when then-mayor Sarah Palin, now the Republican Vice-Presidential candidate, asked then-library director Mary Jane Emmons (now Baker) about the process for banning books, an episode that, according to the local Frontiersman, Emmons described as clearly distinct from the established book-challenge policy.

Then they digress:

But what’s it like now at the Wasilla Public Library? LJ queried director KJ (Kathy) Martin-Albright about the challenges of running a library that gets most usage from outside the town that supplies most of its funding and outgrew its building during the early part of Palin’s mayoralty (1996-2002).

We don’t care what the place is like now! What happened back when Sarah was mayor? Oh, wait — this is unexpected:

In the wake of the Palin news, an activist donated two gay-themed children’s books to the library. Martin-Albright tells LJ, in news not previously reported, that the library will give Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate to its Friends group for sale.

Giving them away? How — gasp! — prudish. The article also says:

In the past, Wasilla Public Library held both Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate, although the books are no longer on the library’s shelves. Wasilla outgrew the size of its library about 20 years ago. Library collections are dynamic, and anything on the book shelves has to earn its real estate. If it is not circulating, it does not stay. This is not the ideal, but it is the reality. The books were removed as part of on-going collection development and not due to the subject matter presented in the books. Wasilla Public Library holds many titles that deal with the same subject matter, including the popular And Tango Makes Three.

They don’t say if the library had those books back when Sarah was mayor. Here’s more:

Question: I understand that copies of Pastor, I Am Gay were in the library once but disappeared. Do you know when the library last had copies?

Answer: In regard to Pastor, I am Gay, by Howard Bess, the Wasilla Public Library does not have a copy; however, there are three libraries in the Mat-Su Library Network that do. Since the network provides intralibrary courier service, these copies are available to any library patron. I don’t know when the library last had copies—even if our library automation kept information on deleted materials, which it doesn’t, we migrated from Dynix to Sirsi in August 2004, so there’s no way to mine that data.

Things are wilder in Alaska than you thought!

The article has a lot of chit-chat about the library’s stacks and it’s budget, but there’s nothing about Sarah Palin and the alleged book-banning allegations. Presumably there’s nothing to say — and maybe there never was.

[Our related articles are here: Sarah Palin & Creationism.]

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

Comments are closed.