Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fundamentalist Librarian Freaks Over Harry Potter Party, Sues Poplar Bluff Public Library

From: KFVS 12 News > The New Yorker > Library Journal > Gregory Holman’s blog

Librarian Deborah Smith, from Poplar Bluff, had religious concerns over working a library-sponsored Harry Potter party. According to the KFVS 12 News report, she allegedly refused to work the party and was suspended for 10 days.

She doesn’t work there now and with the help of the ACLU, has sued the library. According to the religious wrong, the ACLU is an anti-Christian, communist organization, hell bent on destroying all things Jesus. That’s their story anyway. No mention of the ACLU standing up for Christians on the local fundamentalist blogs thus far. Be that as it may …

Poplar Bluff is not known, to my knowledge, as a liberal hideout of pinko commies and hippie dope smokers. The bootheel is pretty conservative.

I want to know if this library staffer checks out Harry Potter books to patrons or stocks the HP books on the shelves? Are they so evil that the bound copies cannot be touched? Or does God simply draw the line elsewhere, forbidding her to be staff at a work-related party where people might read and enjoy the evil witchery? I don’t really understand the whole hate-Harry movement, as The Wizard of Oz, Narnia, and Lord of the Rings have all kinds of magic and whatnot. Why is it okay to work in a library that houses “witchcraft” and yet it is not okay to work a book-specific party? It doesn’t seem consistent.

Me thinks there is much more than meets the eye. I disagree with her choice, but is it so difficult to find another staffer? Can’t a good manager just respect her irrational belief and just find someone else? And a 10-day suspension? That seems harsh. I just get the feeling that there is a history here, perhaps a long history of insubordination? No surprise that the library is all hush-hush over the ordeal.

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