Library Juice 4:29 - August 15, 2001


  1. Howard Fast and NY Public
  2. Call for Nominations - ALA and Council Committees
  3. Center for the Public Domain
  4. Merritt Fund Helps Librarians in Need
  5. Cites & Insights 1:9 (August 2001) available
  6. Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not Decency
  7. Support Christ and Your Local Library
  8. CLIS 752:  A Bibliography of Zines

Quote for the week:

"Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible,
Thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and
comfortable habit. Thought is great and swift and free."
--Bertrand Russell

Homepage of the week: Susan Broman


1. Howard Fast and NY Public

Howard Fast, who worked in the NY Public Library as a teenager, before he
became a popular novelist and then an unpopular novelist, wrote this in his
memoir, _Being Red_ (Houghton-Mifflin, 1990):

"A curious note in this curious year of 1949.  On January 18, at a meeting
of the New York School Librarians Association, an announcement was made
instructing all school librarians to remove any and all copies of _Citizen
Tom Paine_ from their shelves.  At the same time, J. Edgar Hoover, who had
become the shadow dictator of the United States, sent his G-men to the New
York Public Library and the main libraries of other cities, instructing the
librarians to remove Howard Fast's books from the shelves and destroy them.
 Not the books of Karl Marx or Lenin, but the historical novels of Howard
Fast.  God only knows why.

"Immediately, a committee of librarians of the New York Public Library
system invited me to speak to the librarians at the main building at Fifth
Avenue and Forty-second Street.

"About two hundred librarians and library workers were at the meeting,
chaired by a lovely white-haired lady, who said words to this effect: 'An
agent of the Justice Department came to me and told me that, by orders of
the director of the FBI, the books of Howard Fast were to be destroyed.
But this is not Nazy Germany and we do not burn books.  Mr. Fast, your
books are safely stored in the basement, and when the time comes and this
madness has passed, they will be restored to the shelves.  Now we would
like to hear what you think about this strange time we live in.'

"That was forty years ago, and she has passed away, but she taught me a
lesson in simple, quiet courage.  She put her life and her career on the
line, for she was not young, and to be thrown out of her job would have
been like a death sentence.  I don't remember her name.  God bless her."


2. Call for Nominations - ALA and Council Committees

Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 16:42:21 -0500
From: "Elizabeth Dreazen" <edreazen[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

ALA President-elect Maurice J. (Mitch) Freedman is seeking applications
and nominations for members to serve on the 2002-2003 ALA and Council
committees, with the appointments to be effective at the conclusion of the
2002 Annual Conference.

Freedman will fill slots on the following committees:  ALA: Accreditation;
American Libraries Advisory; Awards; Chapter Relations; Conference;
Constitution and Bylaws; Election; Human Resource Development and
Recruitment Advisory; Information Technology Policy Advisory; Literacy;
Literacy and Outreach Services Advisory; Membership; Nominating;
Orientation, Training, and Leadership Development; Research and Statistics;
Standards Review; Web Site Advisory; ALA-Children's Book Council Joint; and
ALA-Society of American Archivists Joint. Council:  Budget Analysis and
Review; Education; Intellectual Freedom; International Relations;
Legislation; Minority Concerns and Cultural Diversity; Organization;
Council Orientation; Pay Equity; Policy Monitoring (current Council members
only); Professional Ethics; Public Awareness Advisory; Publishing;
Resolutions; and Status of Women in Librarianship.

Letters of application and nomination should include a brief summary of
the nominee's qualifications for the committee(s) for which he or she is
being nominated.  The name of the committee(s) for which the application or
nomination is being submitted should be clearly indicated.
Self-nominations may also be submitted.  Applicants may apply
electronically by completing the form at

Geographical location, type of library, gender, ethnicity, previous
committee work (not necessarily with ALA), ALA and related experience, and
other factors are considered when the committee slates are compiled in
order to ensure broad representation and diversity on all committees.

Send nominations and applications by November 30, 2001 to Maurice J.
(Mitch) Freedman, American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street,
Chicago, Illinois 60611; email lgregory[at]


3. Center for the Public Domain

          "Center for the Public Domain is a non-profit foundation that
          supports the growth of a healthy and robust public domain by
          establishing programs, grants, and partnerships in the areas of
          academic research, medicine, law, education, media,
          technology, and the arts." This site includes information on
          applying for grants and the organizations supported by the
          Center. There are also sections on leaders and organizations
          dedicated to the public domain, a glossary, and a timeline of
          intellectual property history.

From Librarians Index to the Internet -


4. Merritt Fund Helps Librarians in Need

Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2001 14:41:19 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <dwood[at]>
To: <ifaction[at]>


Dear Friends,

It's hard to believe, but after more than thirty years of assisting
librarians, there are still those out there who don't know about the
LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund.

And what they don't know ... can't HELP them.

A sister organization to the American Library Association, the Merritt
Fund gives unique aid to librarians who face:

Since its inception in 1970, the Fund has provided over $80,000 in
grants to support librarians in their fight for intellectual freedom and
professional integrity.  Some of the individuals who received grants

If you or someone you know faces a professional and personal challenge
of this kind, go to for an application.  At
the Merritt Fund Web site you also will find information about donating
to the Fund (contributions are always needed and welcome!), and can
learn more about Dr. LeRoy C. Merritt and the Fund established in his

Help us spread the word about the Merritt Fund, and help us directly
assist librarians in need.

If you have any questions, please call or email the Merritt Fund
(800-545-2433, press 1, then ext. 4226; merritt[at]


LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund Trustees
David Cohen, Senior Trustee
June Garcia, Trustee
Francis J. Buckley, Jr., Trustee

LeRoy C. Merritt Humanitarian Fund
50 E. Huron St.
Chicago, IL  60616
toll-free: (800) 545-2433 x4226
phone:  (312) 280-4226
fax: (312) 280-4227


5. Cites & Insights 1:9 (August 2001) available

Date: Tue, 7 Aug 2001 19:30:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: Walt_Crawford[at]
To: publib <publib[at]>
Subject: Cites & Insights 1:9 (August 2001) available

Cites & Insights: Crawford at Large v. 1 n. 9 (August 2001) is now
available for downloading at:

This issue is 18 pages and includes:

*Webvan Lessons? (NOT an exercise in schadenfreude)
*PC Values: August 2001
*Bibs & Blather
*Trends and Quick Takes: six items
*Ebook Watch: Catching Up, Part Three [almost half the issue]
*Whose Risk?
*Press Watch I: twelve items
*Product Watch: six items

If you missed v. 1 n. 8, the Midsummer Extra, it continues to be available
from the "previous issues" section.

-walt crawford-

6. Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not Decency

Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 09:25:38 -0500
From: "James B. Casey" <jimcasey[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Here are some links to charts depicting average teacher
salaries for various states.

This is a chart depicting the averages for every public school
district in Illinois.  The range is astounding with average
teacher salaries in some districts reaching the $80,000 per
year level and administrator salaries well into the six figures.

Keep in mind that the average for the USA of $41,820
is for a 9 month contract (September to June) with many
days off on holiday during that 9 months (Christmas-New
Year, Thanksgiving, Spring Break, etc.) and many
one day holidays (far more than a public library).  The
teachers also don't have to work regularly assigned
evening and weekend hours.  They may correct papers,
etc., but don't have to be on duty at service desks every
week until 9 PM or on Saturdays or on Sunday
afternoons, etc..

Consider that a full time Librarian with MLS earning
$35,000 per year on a 12 month year puts in 1,950 hours
per year.   A teacher on a 9 month year (not even
considering the many paid holidays) puts in 1,560
hours per year.  $35,000 divided by 1,950 =
an hourly rate of  $17.95.  $41,820 divided by
1,560 = $26.81 per hour  ---- $8.86 per hour
more (49%) than the Librarian and without regularly
scheduled evening and weekend duty.  This is a typical

Small wonder that we are having a very difficult time
recruiting new people for those MLS programs which
have not already been forced by enrollment declines
to close their doors.  The Public Schools take $98 for
every $2 of public money going to Public Libraries
(State, Local and Federal) as was noted by a member
of the E-Rate Task Force.  In property taxes
alone, the public schools might take 15 to 20 times
more locally generated tax money than the public
library.  (Check your own local property tax bills.)

Why has this disparity come about?  Public Education
has been able to convince tax payers that Education is
the #1 priority.  At the same time, Public Education has
given Libraries (School & Public Libraries alike)
no "place at the table" when it comes to determination
of standards, student competencies and division of
resources.  Libraries are "expendable" while all
"real learning" is supposed to take place within the
classroom alone.  In academia, College and University
accreditation is partly dependent upon the quality of
Library service in support of learning.  Such is NOT
the case in K-12 Public Education.   Nor does K-12
Public Education generally hesitate to turn its back
on the intellectual freedom concerns (such as filtering)
which Librarians have been representing as a core value.

What can we do to address this situation?  On every
public speaking opportunity, newspaper article, etc.
allowing Librarians a chance to speak out to the taxpayers,
we MUST remind them that quality education requires
quality Library service.  Learning outside of the classroom
is Lifetime Learning for persons of all ages (including students).
It is just as important to the cultural and fiscal health of a
community as a good public school system.   Libraries
cannot afford to continue to be left out of this funding

We must fight for the very life of our profession in this way.
If we don't, the future of education will continue to be
a matter of regimentation, orderly classrooms and spoon
feeding while the spirit of independent inquiry and learning
represented by Libraries may gradually disappear.

James B. Casey --- My own views as a public librarian and
ALA Council Member.

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[ALACOUN:6323] Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 08:32:04 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ann Sparanese <sparanese[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Hello? I hate to beat the same old drum but...

Teachers are organized into powerful unions, which are
responsible, at least in part, for demonstrating their
value to the public.  I have mixed feelings about some
teachers unions' tactics and attitudes towards the
people they serve, but the idea of placing a high
value on their indispensable service to the public is
somethey THEY worked at creating -- it was not handed
to them, or achieved by simply pleading their case.

I don't know HOW we can continue to have this kind of
conversation without putting unions into the equation.
I still wonder how many of us are organized and what
difference that makes in our salaries and/or working
conditions?  Isn't it time to find out?

Ann Sparanese
Head of Adult & Young Adult Services (& Union Steward)
Englewood Public Library
Englewood, NJ
.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[ALACOUN:6324] Re: Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 12:02:22 -0400
From: suekamm[at]
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Ann, I second that!

The National Education Association, IIRC, at one time was very much like
ALA in its purpose.  They provided a forum where teachers could develop

According to their website (, NEA works on local,
state, national, and international levels to support public education and to
conduct workshops for teachers and support staff on issues such as

I think it is fair to say that librarians in small to medium-sized libraries are
organized for collective bargaining purposes in larger unions, such as the
Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of
State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), or American Federation
of Teachers (AFT).  Librarians who have their own bargaining units may
affiliate with these or other unions.

Perhaps we should survey our membership:
    *    What percentage of ALA members belong to a union or other
collective bargaining organization?
    *    If librarians are part of a larger unit that bargains for all city or
county employees, are library issues (such as coverage of part-time
employees, intellectual freedom, time to attend professional meetings and
conferences) covered in the contract?
    *    Are other workers prepared to go to the wall with librarians over
issues of concern?

It is unfortunate that even in agencies which have a strong union presence
that librarians are unwilling to take job actions to draw public attention to
our problems.  Alternatives to strikes may include picketing and
distribution of leaflets.

Maybe Council should authorize the establishment of a task force whose
charge would be to review our mission statement.
Your friendly CyberGoddess and ALA Councilor-at-large,
Sue Kamm
Truest of the Blue, Los Angeles Dodgers Think Blue Week 2000
Visit my home page:
email:  suekamm[at]
"Good is not good when better is expected."  -- Vin Scully

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[ALACOUN:6325] Re: Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 11:50:05 -0500
From: "James B. Casey" <jimcasey[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Ann Sparanese wrote:

> Hello? I hate to beat the same old drum but...
> Teachers are organized into powerful unions, which are
> responsible, at least in part, for demonstrating their
> value to the public.  I have mixed feelings about some
> teachers unions' tactics and attitudes towards the
> people they serve, but the idea of placing a high
> value on their indispensable service to the public is
> somethey THEY worked at creating -- it was not handed
> to them, or achieved by simply pleading their case.

In fact, Teachers unions have been among the single
most powerful sources of political campaign contributions
and on election nights, they have mobilized members
into potent action groups (perhaps while Librarians
are working at night to cover service desks).  Teachers
outnumber Librarians by 50-1 (if not more). and have
both infinitely more time and money to offer political
candidates than Librarians could ever scrape together.

> I don't know HOW we can continue to have this kind of
> conversation without putting unions into the equation.
> I still wonder how many of us are organized and what
> difference that makes in our salaries and/or working
> conditions?  Isn't it time to find out?

The reality for most Librarians in this country isn't a
large staff with dozens or hundreds of professional
librarians within a 5 mile radius.  It is more like one
MLS as the single Librarian Director for a County
system or perhaps, a meeting of the entire
Professional Librarian contingent serving a rural
population of 500,000 amounting to fewer bodies
than the number of classroom Teachers employed
in one of several dozen elementary schools in that
same multi-county service area.

To say to Librarians: "Let's Organize!" is about as
silly as a bunch of kids saying: "Let's play Cowboys
and Indians."  We simply do not have the numbers
and the critical mass to make a creditable showing.
Even if we could be absorbed by Teacher's Unions,
the voting majority within the Union could crush our
agendas --- Library service, Intellectual Freedom
--- amid the demand for such priorities as smaller
class size, discipline, order, security, etc..

Our greatest advantage as Librarians is our direct
access to the taxpayers (voters) and to decision makers
in our local communities.  We can also use the media
to present our case directly.  If we have access to such
power centers, Legislators will listen.  Through that access,
we can argue for more money and more influence.  With
bigger budgets we can offer more jobs and better pay.

James B. Casey --- Councilor-at-Large

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..

[ALACOUN:6326] Re: Librarianship in Danger -- Dollars, not
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 16:21:24 -0400
From: "Maurice J. Freedman" <freedman[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

Ann, Sue, Jim, et. al.,

I am in the process of forming a task force that will study some of the
issues that Ann has raised, and Sue & Jim have commented on.  Without
tying the hands of the task force, the following are the products I
anticipate will be produced.

  1. A toolkit for every library worker on how to go about improving one's
    salary and achieving pay equity.  Included in the toolkit will be:
  2. Research & data relevant to library worker salaries and compensation
    -- comparative, historical, regional, etc.
  3. Case studies where salary improvement and pay equity campaigns
    succeeded and failed--and why.
  4. Strategies and approaches toward achieving better salaries,
    compensation, and pay equity.
  5. Scripts and sample dialogs for advocating for better salaires, etc.
    in public, academic, school, and special library settings.
  6. A series of roadshow institutes to educate and promote local library
    worker empowerment.
  7. One or more major programs and activities at the 2003 Annual Meeting,
    if not sooner.
  8. A theme title. (this won't require a whole bunch of work)

There is no way that the task force's work can be done without a careful
examination of the role of unions in this process.

The hope is that the toolkit will help library workers at any level to
negotiate and/or struggle on their individual or collective behalfs for
improving their compensation.  ALA cannot negotiate local salaries.  But
it is the goal of my presidency that the Association will come up with
the wherewithal to empower individuals and collections of individuals to
advocate on their own behalf.

The task force will build on the work done by Nancy Kranich's Status of
Librarians Committee and will keep a liaison--at the minimum--with the
ALA Pay Equity Committee.

I welcome any nominations for the task force.  There are a number of
people who I already have met with, plan to appoint, and begun
discussions.  There will be room for more because of the number of
sub-task forces needed to develop information in at least the six areas
listed above.

Please go to:

You can use the form at that site should you wish to be a volunteer for
this or for any other ALA committees for which I have appointment

Maurice J. Freedman, MLS, PhD
ALA President Elect
Director, Westchester (NY) Library System
410 Saw Mill River Road - Suite 1000
Ardsley, NY 10502-2605
Voice: (914) 674-3600 x223; fax: (914) 674-4193
For all matters concerning the U*N*A*B*A*S*H*E*D Librarian,


7. Support Christ and Your Local Library

By Matthew J. Barry
April 21, 2001

Imagine my surprise when I saw the following inscription on a walkway
outside the brand new public library: "Christ Died For Our Sins. He Rose
Again. 1 Cor 15:3-4."  I rubbed my eyes in hopes that I was hallucinating,
but the message was still there when I stopped.

King County's new Redmond Regional Library is right next door to the old
one.  The new building is an attractive addition to the city of Redmond,
Washington, and it's located on a busy street about a block from city hall.
The walkways along three sides of the library contain 3,000 square red

I learned that the Friends of the Redmond Library (FRL) were selling
engraved messages on these bricks as a fund-raising effort for the new
building.  The tiles were 6" by 6" and cost $40, $45, or $50, depending on
the length of the caption.  There were no - repeat, no - restrictions on
the content of the messages.

Plague of Jesus Bricks

When I first saw the "Christ" brick on that fateful day in early 2000,
only about one-third of the bricks had inscriptions.  Those that had
messages were closest to the library's two entrances.  The FRL told me that
there would be another engraving during the summer or fall.  Future
engravings would apparently spread outward from the entrances to the side
streets.  So the "Christ" brick, being part of the first engraving, was
very close to one of the entrances, only about 20 feet away.  A very
prominent location.

But that wasn't the only brick with religious wording.  Located near the
opposite entrance, also only about 20 feet from the door, was this brick:
"Christ Is Risen. He Is Risen, Indeed." Another brick encouraged patrons to
"Read About Jesus."  Another: "Read Your Bible; Prevent Truth Decay."
Another tile read, "Thy Word Is A Lamp To My Feet And Light For My Path."
Still another: "Psalms 119:160. All Your Words Are True."  And, of course,
there was a "John 3:16" brick.

It was like a plague!  And there were about 2,000 blank bricks remaining,
all waiting to be infected with more of this religious proselytizing!  I
began to have visions of Redmond pastors telling their congregations all
about the new library and suggesting that everyone buy a brick for Jesus.
Can you imagine a public library surrounded by thousands of "Jesus Loves
You" tiles?  That thought might keep you awake at nights, so I suggest you
repress it immediately.

The library's fund-raiser, on the face of it, was a great idea, at least
the way the FRL and the King County Library System (KCLS) likely envisioned
it.  They probably thought the vast majority of people would place their
family names on the bricks to show their support for the library.  Perhaps
they thought a few might engrave pleasant "We love books" messages.  And
there are many tiles with exactly that.

The mistake the library made was not placing any restrictions on the
content.  Perhaps it should have had a guideline that prohibited political,
religious, and vulgar messages.  Or perhaps it should have had an even more
restrictive policy where only family names were allowed.  But the library
didn't think it through and opened the floodgates.  And now we have several
Jesus bricks on the grounds of the library - and more to come - and they
will stay there as long as the library stands. That didn't sit well with

Plan A: Remove the Religious Bricks!

So I decided on a two-prong attack.  First, I would attempt to get the
religious tiles removed.  If that failed, I would then test the
content-neutral policy of the library by purchasing my very own engraved
bricks and suing the library if it refused my requests.

So in May 2000, I wrote a letter to Bill Ptacek, the director of the KCLS,
saying that the "Christian inscriptions on government property are a
blatant violation of the separation of church and state."  I mentioned that
the Supreme Court had let stand a ruling that allowed a school to ban a
citizen from displaying the Ten Commandments on the school's baseball field
fence, even though the citizen was willing to pay for the message and even
though the school had accepted nonreligious messages (Di Loreto v. Downey
Unified School District).  So if that school could ban religious messages
from its fence, the library could certainly ban religious messages from its
walkways.  I asked that the religious tiles be removed immediately.

Ptacek responded in a timely manner but said that the library and its
grounds served as a public forum, thus the KCLS could not "restrict speech
in public areas except to serve a compelling governmental interest."  The
religious tiles would stay.

I have a problem with authority, so I pursued the matter by writing to the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).  In my letter, I explained why I
thought the public forum argument wasn't sufficient in this case:

"A citizen can certainly display a temporary sign in a public forum such
as Washington DC's Lafayette Park, but that doesn't mean a citizen can
purchase a permanent structure inscribed with Christian verses (e.g., Ten
Commandments) and have it placed forever in that public park.  Also,
according to KCLS's logic, a library could constitutionally sell sections
of wall space and allow citizens to permanently place the Ten Commandments
on the internal or external walls of the library.  This would be a clear
violation, regardless of whether the inscriptions were purchased by the
government or by a private citizen."

Okay, How about a Disclaimer?

The ACLU didn't agree that the religious bricks should be removed (or at
least it thought the courts would not agree).  But the ACLU did think a
prominent disclaimer should be posted near the bricks to indicate that the
government did not sponsor the inscriptions.

ACLU attorney Aaron Caplan wrote to Ptacek in June, asking for a
disclaimer.  In the letter, Caplan explained that a 1995 case (Capitol
Square Review and Advisory Board v. Pinette) "makes clear the need for a
disclaimer where private religious speech in a public forum consists of
structural displays."  Caplan even suggested wording for the disclaimer.

Caplan also creatively pointed out (with a hint of humor) that the library
had opened a Pandora's box:

"The Friends of the Library web site does not provide any subject matter
limitation or other guidelines.  Thus, the library would accept tiles that
said both "Jesus Saves" or "Religion is the Opiate of the Masses."  In a
designated public forum operated on the content-neutral principles you
describe, the library would also be obliged to display tiles that said
"Keep Abortion Legal," "US Out of UN," "Vote Jones for County
Commissioner," "Jimmy Is A Creep," "White Power," "The Holocaust Is A
Hoax," or "Overdue Fees At This Library Are Too High."

On July 3, 2000, attorneys for the KCLS replied to Caplan: "While the
Library District does not agree with the legal conclusions in your letter,
the Library District is willing to provide a disclaimer regarding
sponsorship of the tiles."  The wording was almost identical to that
proposed by Caplan:

"About the Tiles: The inscribed tiles you see on the walkway were
purchased by individual library supporters, who chose the messages. The
views expressed on the tiles are those of the sponsors, not the King County
Library System.  To sponsor additional tiles, contact the Library staff or
the Friends of the Redmond Library."

The library placed this disclaimer on two 11" by 11" plaques, one near
each entrance to the library.

Plan B: Get My Own Bricks! (Insert Evil Laughter Here)

So I didn't succeed in getting the offensive tiles removed, but at least
it is now abundantly clear that the government didn't sponsor the religious

Onto the second part of my strategy!  I now filled out order forms for
four bricks of my very own and sent them to the FRL. I decided that my
messages had to push - if not exceed - the boundaries of good taste.  Why?
Because if the County decided it couldn't bear to have my words appear on
its property, then I hoped the library - knowing that the ACLU was
breathing down its back - would reverse its decision, remove the religious
bricks, and henceforth refuse to accept any religion-related messages
(including mine).

Less ideally, the library might refuse to engrave my messages but keep the
religious tiles, in which case the ACLU would likely have threatened a

The third option was that the library would actually accept my requests.
In that case, the library would learn that its free-for-all collection of
commemorative bricks was a bad idea, and perhaps the KCLS would discourage
other libraries from making the same mistake.

The result?  The library mailed me a confirmation letter and subsequently
engraved my messages in the fall of 2000, exactly as ordered and without
any complaint whatsoever!  Here, without further ado, are my four messages
that now appear permanently (barring any God-inspired vandalism) on the
library's walkway, sorted from least to most offensive:

First Amendment: Keep Church & State Separate
Evolution Is A Fact. Read About It.
Jehovah, Allah, Zeus, Thor & Brahma. They're All Myths.
God Kills Babies. Read 1 Samuel 15:3. And God Is Love??

I hasten to add that I never would have dreamed of placing such
inscriptions on the grounds of a library under normal circumstances.  I
don't think it's the place for personal sentiments, especially
controversial ones.  Yes, my statements are true (well, okay, God didn't
actually kill babies because he doesn't exist), but I don't normally go out
of my way to offend.  However, if Christians (or any other religious folks)
decide to shove their religion down my throat, and if the government
facilitates their efforts, then I'm going to play ball, too.  If you can't
beat 'em, join 'em.

The More the Merrier

By the way, when I mailed in my brick orders, I also encouraged other
nonreligious folks to buy tiles.  You will not be shocked to learn that our
very own FFRF purchased a tile: "Freedom From Religion Foundation.
WWW.FFRF.ORG."  I was very pleased to see the name and Internet address of
our fine organization etched permanently in the walkway.  I can easily
imagine curious library patrons writing down the web address and visiting
the site to learn more about our group.

Others who took me up on my suggestion had this witty message engraved:
"With Soap, Baptism Is A Good Thing. Robert Ingersoll."

As expected, the latest engraving also added at least one other religious
brick: "God Can Change Life."  I am very happy to report that the Gods of
Juxtaposition smiled upon me and placed that tile directly next to my "God
Kills Babies" tile.  It's a beautiful sight.

Other Cases: Public Schools and Public Parks

Raising money through bricks or tiles is apparently becoming a popular
activity.  And it has spawned other controversies.  In October 1999, the
Rutherford Institute sued Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado for
removing ceramic tiles that contained religious content.   The tiles had
been purchased by friends and relatives of students murdered by Klebold and
Harris.  The tiles had been placed above lockers in the school's hallways.
One tile said, "Jesus Christ Is Lord."  Another said, "There Is No Peace,
Says The Lord, For The Wicked."

The Rutherford Institute also sued an upstate New York public school in
September 2000 after the school removed bricks with messages such as "Jesus
Saves" and "Jesus Christ Is The Lord Of This School."  A Jewish woman had
complained about the Christian inscriptions, so the school placed a
disclaimer near the walkway: "The messages on this walk are the personal
expressions and contributions of the individuals of Mexico Academy and
Central School Community."  The woman then decided to buy a tile that said,
"Keep Abortion Legal."  Realizing that it had stepped into a quagmire, the
school refused her request, removed the previously accepted religious
bricks, and forbade such inscriptions in the future.  That's when the
Rutherford Institute stepped in.

In June 2000, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a group
founded by Pat Robertson, sued a school district in Tennessee to force the
inclusion of a brick at the entrance of the new Westview Elementary School.
The brick in question contained the name of a student along with the words
"To the Glory of God."  Although the school had placed no restrictions on
the content of the bricks, the school excluded the brick for fear it would
indicate governmental endorsement of religion.  But in August, under
pressure from the ACLJ, the school district reversed its decision,
installed the brick, and paid the ACLJ $7,500 in court costs.

Early in the heated debate, the principal of Westview, Margo Williams,
observed, "If we allow something about God, a Satan worshiper could expect
the same thing.  If we do it for one, we would have to do it for all. And
we would be mortified if that happened."  ACLJ representative Stuart Roth
responded by saying, "If they countered with the hypothetical parade of
horribles, that's never enough to violate somebody's freedom of speech.
There are always opinions we don't like. That's what happens when you live
in a free society."

I'm going to save Roth's quote, because if the ACLJ ever sues the Redmond
Library for displaying bricks that are deemed offensive to Christians, I
plan to throw his statement back in the ACLJ's face.

The city of Newburyport, Massachusetts also found itself embroiled in
controversy when it removed two commemorative bricks from the city's
Woodman Park.  The city had not placed restrictions on content, but removed
the two bricks - "Jesus Loves You" and "For All The Unborn Children" - in
response to citizen complaints.  In January 2001, the ACLJ once again
reared its ugly head with a federal lawsuit that demanded the return of the
two bricks to the park's walkway.

According to an ACLJ press release, Ben Bull of the ACLJ stated, "The
heavy hand of censorship of the local government has no place in quashing a
person's religious expression."  Of course, local governments have no
business placing permanent Christian inscriptions on public property,

Hurry While Supplies Last!

By the way, more than a thousand bricks are still available at the Redmond
Library.  Feel free to download the order form from the library's web site
( and get your own personal message
inscribed.  Sure, Christians will step all over your brick, but they won't
like it one bit!


This article is published here with the permission of Matthew J. Barry,
the original publisher (Freethought Today) and its parent organization,
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (  It is not
in the public domain.


8. CLIS 752:  A Bibliography of Zines

By Sean Stewart

"For those of you unfamiliar with zines, here's a quick definition:  a zine
is typically a self-published not-for-profit magazine. Heterogeneity
characterizes the zine world, which spawns diversity in format, size,
scope, purpose, and periodicity (often erratic).  In my opinion, one of the
best attributes of many zines is honesty.  Zines form out of passion, not
profit, and so a reader often finds viewpoints and ideas not commonly found
in commercial magazines.  A zine can provide refreshing purity of content
in comparison with the watered-down mainstream media, and in the process,
give an unfiltered voice to people who are routinely stigmatized and

"Dr. Walling asked me if I would be willing to compile a list of zines
related to the subject matter of this course.  It is in no way
comprehensive; there are thousands of zines published worldwide.  When
available, I've included accompanying websites or email addresses. It's
always best to contact a zine editor first before sending payment
(especially if you're a librarian who wants to set up a standing order or
get a sample copy).  Contact information for most of the following zines
(if not provided) can be found in Zine Guide, mentioned in the resource
list at the end of the bibliography...



          A lexicographer's delight. Includes a word of the day; quote of
          the week; proverb of the week; quotations; sound bites; guide
          to family history; literary jargon buster; guide to better
          writing; word games; information about world English; collective
          terms for animals; frequently asked questions about grammar,
          spelling, symbols and word origins; the history of Scrabble;
          notes from the archives; a place to ask questions of the
          experts; and basic facts about and recent additions to the
          Oxford English Dictionary.

From Librarians Index to the Internet -


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