Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Coudersport Public Library Response To Tea Party Attack

To The Coudersport Public Library Patrons

The award-winning documentary film “Out In The Silence” will be shown at the
Coudersport Public Library on Wednesday, July 28 at 6:30 p.m. The film depicts the struggle of a gay teen in a small town in Pennsylvania.

The filmmakers, Joe Wilson and Dean Hamer have conducted more than 75 town hall style screenings in public libraries, churches, high schools, colleges, theaters and community centers around the state. Other area screenings are planned in libraries in Smethport and Emporium.

Some in our community have expressed opinions that the subject matter presented in this film is objectionable to them.

The mission of any public library is to serve a diverse community with varying opinions about what is and is not objectionable material. The Library Bill of Rights (from the ALA, American Library Association) states (in part):

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.

II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

We believe the library would fail in its mission if it did not provide information
about ideas or topics that each of us might find uncomfortable at some level.

Our society’s beliefs and ideas are diverse. A public library, in support of intellectual freedom, must provide broad access to divergent viewpoints and materials.

While these viewpoints may not be popular or necessarily represent the majority’s opinion, they must be available.

American libraries are the cornerstones of our democracy. Libraries are for everyone, everywhere. Because libraries provide free access to a world of information, they bring opportunity to all people.

Coudersport Public Library

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