Thursday, September 04, 2008
There's a thousand library trustees just like her.
I wouldn't elect Sarah Palin to anything, but this old censorship charge is really reaching. As far as we know, as mayor of Wasilla she asked the public library director three times about the possibility of removing "objectionable" books from the collection. Three times the director said no. (Positively biblical!) Then Palin tried to fire the director but changed her mind. Unless that former director (who is not talking) tells us otherwise, we have no reason to believe that Palin's request went beyond the hypothetical.
This is actually pretty typical of people who get power--and three-year-olds, come to think of it. They want to see how far they can push it. Mayors, school superintendents and library trustees alike are often surprised to discover that they don't get to personally decide on library purchases or discards. It's the librarian's job to explain to them why this is a bad idea and arguably illegal.
I'm reminded of the time when Chicago aldermen removed--at gunpoint--a satiric portrait of the late Harold Washington from an exhibition at the School of the Art Institute. THAT was censorship. But just asking? Nope.