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Barack Obama on Libraries

“Libraries remind us that truth isn’t about who yells the loudest, but who has the right information.”

These words were uttered by our new president-elect Barack Obama. Back in 2005 Obama keynoted at the ALA National Conference in Chicago.  An adapted transcript of the speech is available on Obama’s Illinois senator website.

It is really rad to have a new president that is not only against banning books (Palin I am looking at you), but keynoted at an ALA conference and talked at length about the importance of libraries and literacy.  I’ll just leave you with a few quotes that made me smile and realize that our new president-elect is on the side of libraries.

“I want to work with you to ensure that libraries continue to be sanctuaries of learning, where we are free to read and consider what we please without the fear that Big Brother may be peering over our shoulders to find out what we’re up to.”

And this one:

“We should make sure our politicians aren’t closing libraries down because they had to spend a few extra bucks on tax cuts for folks who don’t need them and weren’t even asking for them.”

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This Really Frosts my Cupcake

This news story from CNN about a teacher in Indiana who was fired for using the book Freedom Writers to get her students excited about English really got me angry.  I found myself yelling at the moving picture of the school board president.  She said that the teacher, Connie, was sending “students a very poor message, in that, if you’re told no, do it any way; if it feels good do it.”  It seems to me that that is just not the case.  Connie was standing up for what was right no matter what the consequences.  I think that is an excellent message to be sending today’s students.

The teacher Connie has been teaching for 27 years and 149 out of the 150 students she was teaching got permission from their parents to read the book.  This is a clear case of censorship and narrow-mindedness on the part of the school board.  Is anyone one else aggravated by this?