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Sarah Palin, aspiring book banner?


Time magazine, in its reporting on John McCain's vice presidential choice, Sarah Palin, has uncovered some information that is making librarians uncomfortable.

[Former Mayor John] Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

Librarian Jessamyn West, who blogs at librarian.net, writes, "Usually I’m just happy to see libraries even mentioned in national level politics, but not like this."

This seems like a good time to mention Banned Books Week, beginning Sept. 27, which celebrates the freedom to read. 2007's most challenged book was "And Tango Makes Three," a children's book about a penguin with two dads; books by Mark Twain and Alice Walker appear, again, on the list. Exactly what books Palin might have wanted to ban have not been identified (other than some unsupported rumors), but it's safe to assume that she won't be joining in to celebrate the idea that no books should be banned at all.

— Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (110)

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Palin wants to take "choice" out of everything- religion, education, birth, and knowledge. How, when we have established our country on the ideal of freedom, can we sit back in our seats and elect a person who wants to ban books from our public libraries? Shame on her for trying to take choice out of our literature. If she is offended by "Brave New World" or "Catcher in the Rye" then she doesn't have to read it, but allow everyone else to make that same choice. This has happened more than once in our presidential history. For example, the Nixon administration wanted The Beatles albums burned all because they sported ideas (such as peace) that were different from his. We made the same mistake once, people. Let's not do it again.

I am personaly tired of having to chose the least worse canadate. Yes the right to vote gives us a chance to chose who runs the coutnry. However, is it really freedom when our choice leaves us with someone we really don't want?

Has anyone ever thought about taking a page from the movies and voting "None of the Above?" I think we need some type of "rebelious" behavior to show all politics we expect and demand better. Just a thought....

For those who think a college degree shouldn't be looked at and means nothing I hail the idea that the next time you fly on a jet you take one designed in someone's garage by the handyman down the street who has a lot of practical experience! Also go get your med exam from the idiot ith the sign up in his window and no degree! Perhaps you could turn your legal affairs over to Fred, your next door neighbor, who does a lot of reading at night. I've never seen so much BS in all my life! People who object to the degrees are just the ones that don't have them! Palin's pathetic educational preparation is one example of this mentality and seems to be one sided when you really consider reality. As for the books; if you don't like your children reading the books in the library keep them out of there! It's your job as parents NOT the governments job to censor the material your child can read! Why should my children be denied the ability to read those books because you feel they aren't appropriate? Keep your beliefs in your own damn church!

Palin is not cute, nor a babe, but very homely indeed. She has NO class or style and is a very poor choice.
Her message of change is "to force ALL americans into her brand of right wing evangelical beliefs and then this further by forcing her religion on the entire world. So folks when America is bombed again those of you who voted for the McCain/palin ticket only have to look in the mirror for it is YOUR fault.

When I first saw Sarah Palin, I thought it was Super Nanny. Later I learned that "Super Nanny" would like to become a VP. Hard to believe.

its not the fact that she didnt propose to burn books. its the fact that she wanted to ban certain books. books that SOMEONE might like reading. thats why there is always in libraries, most of the time different sections.
teen and

i for a fact, whether i enjoy the book or not, hate to see books get banned for some stupid reason by a person that has a power trip. and the day that some one has to ban books because of someone doesnt like the language in it...is messed up.
there are warnings on books just like movies.

This story is a completely unsubstantiated slander that has already been disproven numerous times. If you are going to attack her, at least tell the truth and get your facts straight.

Gov Palin never asked that any books be banned or burned. She asked the Librarian, as the new Mayor, what the policy was for handling requests from the citizenry to ban books. It was a question about policy, not a request to ban any books.

Here's the link to the Snopes.com write up.


greg - everyone knows librarians choose books, rejecting those that are deemed inappropriate for a given community, but my local librarian is NOT the executive branch of the United States government. Palin is an egomaniac, period!! Scary as hell!

okay - here's the point.
Of course every library,bar national libraries in any country, exercise a degree of choice about what does or does not get stocked on their shelves. This is does for reasons of space, the requirements of the community that library serves and, significantly, the expertise of the librarians involved.
And this is the important bit. Librarians are trained professionals. They read far more than most people, they know far more about what is out there, what is good, what is not. They exercise judgement with young people wishing to borrow books from their library - because they have the expertise, and the job remit, to do so.
A politician trying to become involved in the decision as to what can or can't be stocked in libraries is dangerous precisely because they are unlikely to be doing so from a position of expertise and knowledge, but rather as a matter of policitical or personal expediency.
It is the motivation that is so scary!
Doesn't matter who the politician is, which party they represent or where in the world they are from.

full name is Anne Kilkenny and she did write it just check snopes...

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