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Douglas County Libraries - the Digital Branch

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Uncle Bobby's Wedding

Recently, a library patron challenged (urged a reconsideration of the ownership or placement of) a book called "Uncle Bobby's Wedding." Honestly, I hadn't even heard of it until that complaint. But I did read the book, and responded to the patron, who challenged the item through email and requested that I respond online (not via snail-mail) about her concerns. I suspect the book will get a lot of challenges in 2008-2009. So I offer my response, purging the patron's name, for other librarians. Uncle Bobby's wedding June 27, 2008 Dear Ms. Patron: Thank you for working with my assistant to allow me to fit your concerns about “Uncle Bobby's Wedding,” by Sarah S. Brannen, into our “reconsideration” process. I have been assured that you have received and viewed our relevant policies: the Library Bill of Rights, the Freedom to Read, Free Access to Libraries for Minors, the Freedom to View, and our Reconsideration Policy. The intent of providing all tha

Installing Linux on a 2011 Macbook Pro

I had two MacBook Pros, both 13" models from late 2011. One had 4 gigs of RAM, and the other 8. Both of them were intolerably slow. In the first case, I wound up installing CleanMyMac , which did arcane things to various files, and put up alerts to warn me about disappearing memory. But it made the machine useable again, albeit not exactly speedy. I changed some habits: Safari as browser rather than Firefox or Chrome. I tried to keep tabs down to four or five. The second Mac had bigger problems. Its charger was shot, but even with that replaced, the battery tapped out at 75%. More importantly, the whole disk had been wiped, which meant that it wouldn't boot. Recently, I had downloaded a couple of Linux distributions ("distros") on USB drives. Elementary OS 5.1 (Hera) was reputed to be a lightweight, beautiful distro that shared some aesthetics with the Mac OS. So I thought I'd give it a try. Ahead of time, I tried to read up on how difficult it might be to

Intellectual Freedom and Social Justice

After giving a couple of talks on this topic, I was invited to submit an article to the Texas Library Journal, which comes out today. I'm reposting it here.  Embedding professional values takes time, and grows from social context Professions are predicated on values. In 1892, the American Library Association (ALA) was guided by this modest motto: "The best books for the most people at the least cost."   In 1938, Des Moines Public Library director, Forrest Spaulding, noted that, "Today indications in many parts of the world point to growing intolerance, suppression of free speech and censorship affecting the rights of minorities and individuals." Among those indications was the rise of Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy, and Stalin in the Soviet Union. Books under attack in Des Moines eventually included Mein Kampf (anti-Semitic) and Grapes of Wrath (communist). In response, Spaulding pitched a "Library's Bill of Rights" to his board. In 1939,