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Reports
16th Annual Report
Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse
Sixteenth Annual Report
July 1, 2002 РJune 30, 2003
 
Goal of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse  
The goal of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse is to uphold the principles of the intellectual freedom in all types of libraries, by improving communication between librarians, board members, professional associations, and other concerned groups in Oregon about challenges to intellectual freedom, and by increasing awareness as to how threats to intellectual freedom can be addressed.
 
Objectives of the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse  
To establish a central clearinghouse to collect and disseminate reports about challenges to intellectual freedom in all types of Oregon libraries.
 
To provide information about challenged materials to public library directors and library board members, school media center librarians and academic librarians when requests for reconsideration of materials are received.
 
To provide information to public library directors and library board members, school media center librarians and academic librarians about establishing appropriate policies and procedures before a challenge to intellectual freedom occurs.
 
To cooperate with other persons and groups concerned with intellectual freedom or related issues.
 
Scope of the Clearinghouse  
The Clearinghouse collects information about written challenges to library materials in any type of library in Oregon. The information is submitted voluntarily and an annual report is prepared. The content of the Annual Report is taken from the reports that are submitted to the Clearinghouse. Challenges to materials that have been reported to the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse are included in the Annual Reports produced each year since 1978.
 
The Sixteenth Annual Report summarizes 25 challenges to library materials in six public libraries and one school district between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003. The Title Index to Challenges on the Oregon State Library website contains summary information while the Annual Reports contain more complete information. Beginning with the 9th Annual Report, 1995-96, the reports are posted on the Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse page of the Oregon State Library website. To obtain copies of Annual Reports prior to 1995-96 contact Val Vogt, Oregon State Library, at 503-378-2112, extension 222, or val.t.vogt@state.or.us.
 
        Summary of Challenges Reported in 2002-03  
The Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse received information about 25 challenges to library materials between July 1, 2002 and June 30, 2003. Seventeen of the challenged titles were books, five were videotapes, two were magazines, and one was an audiobook. Six public libraries reported twenty-four of the challenges and one school district reported one challenge. Fifteen of the challenged items were designated as children's or young adult materials, and ten were materials for adults. In all twenty-five of the challenges, library staff committees, library boards, or a school board decided that the challenged materials should be retained. In one case an additional copy of the book was purchased for the adult collection.
 
The challenges listed below are organized according to library type, public or school, and arranged alphabetically by the title of the challenged material. Under the summary of events, the phrase "Staff review process" refers to adopted procedures by which library staff read or view the materials, collect reviews and other information about the material, and make a decision about the challenged item. This procedure is more common in public libraries. Generally, the library director writes a letter informing the library patron of the decision and explaining the appeals process, in case the citizen is not satisfied with the decision. The phrase "Committee review process" refers to adopted procedures by which a committee, such as an Instructional Materials Review Committee, makes the decision about the challenged item. This procedure is more common in schools. The school board, superintendent, or site council often makes the final decision based on a recommendation from the committee.
 
Challenges in Public Libraries  
Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke by Susan J. Napier (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about inappropriate pictures.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 3/18/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture by Michael Bellesiles (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed this title has been discredited as a fraudand the library would be doing the public a disservice by leaving it on the shelf as a legitimate work of historical research.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 1/22/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Bedlam Burning by Geoff Nicholson (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed over sexual language and disrespect for people with mental illness. 
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 11/8/02. Letter sent.
No further appeal filed.
 
 
 
Bosnia: Fractured Regionby Eric Black (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed that book was too disturbing for children.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained in children's collection 4/3/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Buried Alive: The Startling Truth About Neanderthal Manby Jack Cuozzo (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Described book as creationist religious tract and requested that it be re-cataloged from science to religion.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Decision to retain as cataloged 4/17/03.  Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
For a Lost Soldier(Adult Video)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about graphic sexual content.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Video retained 2/7/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
His Wicked Waysby Samantha James (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about explicit sexual references.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 2/25/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
How to Make Great Love to a Manby Phillip Hodson & Anne Hooper
(Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about graphic sexual content.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 10/29/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
I Spy Fun House: A Book of Picture Riddles by Walter Wick and Jean Marzollo  (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about scary clowns portrayed in book. 
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 11/5/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Jefferson's Children: The Story of One American Family compiled by Shannon Lanier & Jane Feldman (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about difficulty in locating in the  children's section. 
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained and additional copy purchased for adult section 6/26/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Learn Gun Safety with Eddie Eagle (Children's Video)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about introducing children to firearm use without adult supervision. 
Summary of events: Staff review process. Video retained in children's collection 11/18/02.  Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
The Long Hard Road Out of Hellby Marilyn Manson (Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about graphic sexual language.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 11/4/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
 
 
 
 
The Long Night of Leo and Breeby Ellen Whittlinger (Young Adult Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about vulgar language.
Summary of events: Library Board voted to retain book 1/9/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Monster Goose by Judy Sierra (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about the violent nature of the book.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 8/27/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Odile and Yvette at the Edge of the World (Children's Video)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about violence in the video and requested it be moved to the adult collection.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Video retained in children's collection 11/4/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Peter and the Wolf by Loriot(Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed that the story doesn't adhere to original story in Russian.
Summary of events: Library Board voted to retain 1/9/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Pinkerton, Behave!   by Steven Kellogg (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about scary illustrations and lack of warning about them.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained with older cover showing robber with gun 3/25/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
The Rebuilding of Bosnia by James P. Reger (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concerned expressed that subject matter is disturbing to children.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained in children's collection 4/3/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Rideby Stephen Gammell (Children's Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about violence portrayed by pictures.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained 10/14/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Song of the Lioness Series by Tamora Pierce(Children's Audio Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about adult content of tapes for children, requested that they be re-cataloged adult.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Book retained in children's area 3/5/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
The Sopranos: First Season (Adult Video)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about graphic language and violence and requested that the video have a warning label.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Library Board voted to retain without warning label 12/3/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Spin (Young Adult Magazine)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about graphic sexual content.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Magazine retained 5/29/03. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Sweet Movie (Adult Video)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about strong sexual situations.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Video retained 7/12/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
XY Magazine (Young Adult Magazine)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about explicit sexual content of magazine for teens.
Summary of events: Staff review process. Magazine retained in YA collection 12/5/02. Letter sent. No further appeal filed.
 
Challenges in School Libraries  
Oh, How Silly!   by William Cole. Illustrated by Tomi Ungerer  (Book)
Summary of objections: Concern expressed about cover portraying man with a gun to his head.
Summary of events: Committee review process. Recommend to School Board to retain without restriction. School Board approved Committee recommendation 5/6/03.
 
  Other Intellectual Freedom Issues in 2002-03  
USA PATRIOT ACT: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT ACT) Act of 2001.
 
The legislation originated with Attorney General John Ashcroft, who asked the
U. S. Congress for additional powers that he argued were needed to fight terrorism in the wake of the events of September 11, 2001. Few amendments were made to Ashcroftճ initial proposal to Congress, and the bill became law without any hearings or markup by a Congressional committee. The new law moved quickly through Congress and, as a result, lacks an extensive legislative history that can be referenced. The library community is specifically concerned that the privacy of library users may be compromised and that access to information about library patron computer use can be monitored without the patronճ consent or knowledge. The American Library Association and others in the information community will continue to analyze the act, monitor how it is implemented, and gauge its impact  on libraries and library users. At the 2003 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting the ALA Council passed Ҕhe Resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users.Ӽspan style="mso-spacerun: yes">  The ALA Washington Office and Office of Intellectual Freedom have a wealth of resources on the ALA website.
  
 
The USA Patriot Act continues to be of concern to a range of organizations and individuals.   Many communities and organizations have passed resolutions against the Act. U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the Freedom to Read Protection Act, HR 1157, which would exempt libraries and bookstores from Section 215 of the Patriot Act. On July 31, 2003 Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced the Protecting the Rights of Individuals Act S. 1552. Cosponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the legislation's ten provisions leave in place expanded law enforcement and intelligence powers granted by the PATRIOT Act, but ensure that privacy and other civil liberties will be better protected when the FBI and other agencies exercise those powers. The Oregon Library Association Executive Board adopted a resolution on the USA Patriot Act and Related Measures That Infringe on the Rights of Library Users on June 13, 2003 that is available online.
 
Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)
                   
On June 23, 2003 the United States Supreme Court issued their opinion on the Childrenճ Internet Protection Act (United States v. American Library Association, No. 02-361).  The Court reversed the lower court's ruling and upheld the federal law in a very narrow plurality opinion. Theresa Chmara, of ALA's legal counsel Jenner and Block, provided the following Quick Summary of Decision:
 
Five justices plainly agreed with the lower court that filtering software blocks access to a significant amount of constitutionally protected speech. Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg dissented from the judgment on the ground that the blocking software blocks access to an enormous amount of constitutionally protected speech. Justices Breyer and Kennedy, each of whom filed concurring opinions, joined only in the judgment of the plurality and not the opinion. They agreed with Justices Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg that the filters block access to constitutionally protected speech.
 
Nonetheless, Justices Breyer and Kennedy joined in the judgment that the law should be upheld on the ground that the disabling provision of the statute can be applied without significant delay to adult library patrons and without the need for the patron to provide a reason for the request to disable.
 
For example, Justice Breyer made clear in his concurring opinion that he only joined the plurality's judgment because "[a]s the plurality points out, the Act allows libraries to permit any adult patron access to an 'overblocked' Web site; the adult patron need only ask a librarian to unblock the specific Web site or, alternatively, ask the librarian, "Please disable the entire filter." Concurring Opinion of Justice Breyer, at 5.
 
Additionally, Justice Kennedy cautioned that "[i]f some libraries do not have the capacity to unblock specific Web sites or to disable the filter or if it is shown that an adult user's election to view constitutionally protected Internet material is burdened in some other substantial way, that would be the subject for an as-applied challenge." Concurring Opinion of Justice Kennedy at 1. There is no doubt, therefore, that libraries that refuse to disable filters at the request of an adult patron or that impose substantial burdens on a patron's ability to have the filter disabled risk an individual litigation in which the library will be a defendant.
 
The Federal Communications Commission and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are providing rules on applying the federal law to public libraries who receive e-rate reimbursements and LSTA grants. 
 
The Oregon Intellectual Freedom Clearinghouse would like to track all intellectual freedom challenges in libraries, including those relating to the Internet. We are encouraging libraries to communicate with us about concerns and challenges that you receive. Contact MaryKay Dahlgreen, Clearinghouse Coordinator, marykay.dahlgreen@state.or.us or 503-378-2112 ext. 239.
 
Information on the USA Patriot Act and CIPA was adapted from the American Library Association web site. Our thanks to Val Vogt at the Oregon State Library for her assistance with data organization and reviews about materials.