Friday, November 14, 2003


Those great opponents of censorship, American librarians, strike again:

“There are a few places on this planet where I can imagine the sight of an American flag might be unwelcome. In the mountains of Afghanistan, maybe. Or in some of the funkier neighborhoods of Tikrit, not to mention Paris. In such places, the Stars and Stripes might strike fear in the hearts of men and maybe even spark feelings of hatred, which is too bad.

However, I never thought of Havertown as being such a place. And it never occurred to me that the Haverford Township Free Library would have to concern itself with the feelings of such American flag-hating people. But it does. Imagine that!

As I understand the story, back in September the "Friends" of the library, a volunteer group that helps it raise money, attempted to present an American flag to Director Addie Ciannella for display in the building. She declined the gift.

Or as she explained it in a e-mail to library’s board of trustees:

"It was a rather awkward situation .. but she didn’t feel as if she had much of a choice given her "professional opinion" which is "the library (any public library) is a place for all people of all beliefs, backgrounds, etc. Symbols can send a message of unwelcome philosophical orientation, expectations of others, and can produce ill will and even fear. I know we are an adjunct of the government but we are not the (township) or county or other government. All (Haverford Township) people pay taxes, not just those who fly the American flag."

More here

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