Tag Archives: Opinion

Opinion | Book bans raise the question: Have we forgotten what a library is for? – The Washington Post

By Deborah E. Mikula and Loren Khogali, September 30, 2022 at 12:18 p.m. EDT

The Patmos Library on Aug. 11 in Jamestown, Mich. (Joshua Lott/The Washington Post)

Deborah E. Mikula is executive director of the Michigan Library Association. Loren Khogali is executive director of the ACLU of Michigan.

Imagine a town without a library.

In August, people in Jamestown, Mich., just outside Grand Rapids, signaled with their votes that they would rather defund — and possibly shutter — their only public library than keep books with LGBTQ themes on the shelves.

The impact of such a vote is deeply concerning. And the place from which it stems — a small but vocal minority trying to dictate what others can and cannot read — is even more troubling.

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/10/02/jamestown-patmos-library-defund-book-bans-lgbtq/

Science Must Not Be Used to Foster White Supremacy – Scientific American

It’s scientists’ responsibility to reveal the inherent biases of studies used to disparage Black people and other groups

By Janet D. Stemwedel, May 24, 2022

A Buffalo resident covers his face with his hands near a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at Tops Friendly Market at Jefferson Avenue and Riley Street on Thursday, May 19, 2022 in Buffalo, N.Y. The fatal shooting of 10 people at a grocery store in a historically Black neighborhood of Buffalo by a young white gunman is being investigated as a hate crime and an act of racially motivated violent extremism, according to federal officials. Credit: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The white supremacist who drove 200 miles to a Buffalo, N.Y., supermarket and opened fire, killing 10 people, had posted a screed.

Most of the people he killed were Black. The document’s 180 pages cited not only racist conspiracy theories, but also scientific research on behavioral genetics. The research focused on finding heritable differences in IQ and propensity to violence between racial groups.

There’s no reason to believe, on the basis of his screed, that the Buffalo shooter understood, or even read, the scientific papers. It’s more likely that he collected them, like the racist tropes he reproduced in the document, from message boards and social media channels whose users latch on to titles that seem to promise scientific support for white supremacy.

Scientists who research genetic bases for complex behavioral traits using genome-wide association studies have urged care in the conclusions drawn from population means, and especially in how their scientific results are communicated to general audiences.

But there is compelling evidence that research on the evolution of sociobehavioral traits finds an eager audience among white nationalists.

Source: Science Must Not Be Used to Foster White Supremacy – Scientific American

Opinion | The Battle for the Soul of the Library – The New York Times | Guest Essay

The declaration adds, “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” This professional stance is known as “neutrality.”

By Stanley Kurtz, Feb. 24, 2022
Dr. Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative think tank.

Javier Jaén

Recent news stories covering clashes over what books students should read in class and have access to in their school libraries have overlooked a major player in our unfolding scholastic drama.

We’ve been reading about traditionalist parents, progressive teachers and politicians of various stripes. Missing, however, has been the figure of the woke librarian.

What in the world is a woke librarian?

After all, through venerable proclamations like the Library Bill of Rights, America’s librarians have long pledged to “provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues.” The declaration adds, “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” This professional stance is known as “neutrality.”

Source: Opinion | The Battle for the Soul of the Library – The New York Times

Underfunded Libraries Are Critical Infrastructure | Opinion | Voice of San Diego

Disclaimer: I worked for 15 years at San Diego Public Library, and know of its up and down over the years, in terms of funding. There’s an unfunded ordinance, and the ordinance calls for the city to spend a minimum of 6 percent of its operating budget on libraries. Never been done…

City Council leaders recognize libraries and parks as critical infrastructure. But recent budgets do not reflect the increasing demands for services these departments provide.

By Patrick Stewart, January 20, 2022

Shelves of books at the Central Library in downtown San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Mayor Todd Gloria passionately laid out his vision for San Diego in his 2022 State of the City address.

The mayor made a case for needed investments in infrastructure, policing and public safety, and tools to address homelessness and housing. He also itemized, with conviction, his administration’s top priorities for the coming year. I share the mayor’s vision that to be America’s Finest City and truly be great, we must all feel safe, have access to housing, and know that as our city grows, our roads, water, and other tangible assets are modern and capable of managing such growth.

However, conspicuously absent in this vision are investments in the types of services that, when well-funded and managed, create avenues to safety, health, and economic development. What was missing was a vision and plan to invest in what makes our communities great places to live – our neighborhood services.

Source: Underfunded Libraries Are Critical Infrastructure — Voice of San Diego

Opinion | The golden age of public libraries dawns again – The Washington Post

By Editorial Board, Yesterday, 1/1/2021, at 8:00 a.m. EST

The Deichman Bjørvika library in Oslo has six floors held up by three towers, leaving an open atrium at the building’s center. It was named public library of the year in 2021. (Sigrid Harms/picture alliance via Getty Images)

As the world enters 2022, public libraries are emerging as one of the bright spots — literally.

An abundance of new and newly renovated libraries have opened their doors in the past two years.

In addition to being breathtakingly beautiful, many are exemplars of what great community spaces can and should be.

Indoors, they are filled with natural light. Books once packed together in dark corners are now on display on bright, welcoming shelves that could rival those in an Apple store.

Some libraries have added outdoor patios and roof decks.

Source: Opinion | The golden age of public libraries dawns again – The Washington Post

Opinion | No, the Constitution is not ‘neutral’ on abortion – The Washington Post

The vision of getting the courts out of the abortion-deciding business sounds so reasonable, so alluring. It is also wrong, misleading and dangerous.

By Ruth Marcus, Deputy editorial page editor, Post 12/07/2021

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Photo by CQF-Avocat on Pexels.com

Abortion is different from these examples, of course, because it is not mentioned in the Constitution. But that does not make abortion unique among constitutional rights. There are any number of rights that the court has long found fall within the bounds of constitutional protection even though they are not specifically mentioned in the text. The right to travel. The right of parents to educate their children as they choose. The right to contraception. The right to private sexual conduct. The right to marry a person of another race. The right to marry a person of the same gender.

Source: Opinion | No, the Constitution is not ‘neutral’ on abortion – The Washington Post