Monday, June 20, 2005

Sno-Isle Library policy discounts men's issues

Detecting a "hole" in the Sno-Isle Library collection, I requested that they add Tom Ellis's book, Rantings of a Single Male to the collection.

I have not read this, just heard its promotion, and read reviews on Amazon.

It was rejected because it was not "professionally reviewed", therefore not meeting the library's policy.

I pointed out that that policy would have excluded the early writings of the civil rights movement, and the equity feminism movement, but to no avail.

Here is the email I sent to Mme. Director, who I count as my friend, and was my former employer.

To: Jonalyn Woolf-IvorySubject: Re: Rantings of a Single Man


It is not about this book in particular. I offered Fred Reed's books as an example too. He is not reviewed, but certainly is an accomplished author, having written the police column for a Washington DC newspaper, and currently retired, but writing a weekly technology column for them too. His past engagements include writing for the Stars and Stripes, Soldier of Fortune, and other mainstream publications. So, his recounts in article form, of his boyhood growing up in Virginia, would not count either.

The difficulty I have with the policy is that is causes a serious imbalance in the collection. This is particularly critical in the area of emerging movements, and in combating the "popularly believed, but purely urban legends" of the wholesale victimization of women, and the secret patriarchy that supposedly perpetuates that.

If this were applied in the late 50's to the 60's, you would have nothing about the civil rights movement, or the early movements of equity feminism in your collection, both of which I worked for and supported, as the roots of those movements and enlightenments were made up of ''yellers and screamers, discontents, and other folks who got no respect.....and no reviews".

Now, we have an emerging body who wants to raise consciousness of the dire straits that many men face in today's society, and the lack of respect and marginalization that they currently endure. They have been majorly disenfranchised, their children have been stripped from them, they are valued only for their "Human ATM machine" capabilities.

They take the most dangerous jobs (90+% of workplace deaths are men), die 7 years earlier, commit suicide 12X the rate of women, and yet my library tells me that those issues are not important enough to have a balanced collection for those who wish to explore the great untold truths in these areas.

I challenged you to punch some relevant search words into your own search thingy, which it appears you did not bother to do.

Well, let me share the results of my efforts in doing so.

Women's rights--199 hits
Men's rights--2 hits--of course, since men have no rights, that should not be a surprise

Women's studies--39 hits
Men's studies--5 hits

Women's issues 44 hits
Men's issues 3 hits

Women and Domestic Violence 43 hits
Men and domestic violence 10 hits

abused women 152 hits
abused men 33 hits.

Women whatever 477
Men whatever 53

Now, how on earth can you tell me that the collection, as driven by your current selection process, is without bias as to having resources for discovering this great emerging issue?????

Your process is driven to perpetuate the fallacies that men have it great, that the patriarchy is alive and well, and that wimmin' are still running around barefoot and pregnant.

I want a discussion on the board's part, since they are the sponsors of the current policy, as to how it perpetuates this huge imbalance in points of view in your collection, perpetuates the myths of woman as victim, and I want to find a way to get more balance in your collection on these emerging issues as to the status (or lack of the same) of men in this modern, woman dominated society.

I can give you reviewed statistics that would cause your jaw to drop on the dreadful way men are treated these days by society, and the conspiracy, via untruths and perpetuation of long ago debunked "facts" to further marginalize men in today's society.


Blogger Iguana said...

What search engine were you using?

I entered Women and Domestic Violence and got 7.6 million hits!

(And, the scream queens say that we need to stop brushing DV under the rug).

6/20/2005 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger One man said...

I wonder who at the library you spoke with. I have always felt that the library was pretty nuetral. In fact, I do what I can to insure the libraries are not left behind during budget crisis'. It would be interesting to see how wide spread this problem is. Granted, there is alot more material available regarding women's issues. Somehow I doubt that women's issues publications are subjected to the scrutiny you mentioned was required for the men's book. This might require some attention.

6/20/2005 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger The Geezer said...

Iggy--I was using Sno-Isle's own search engine of their collection. Not that it would be accurate, but illustrative.

Onedude--Yeah, I thought they would be neutral too. I am not suggesting it was egregious or intentional. What I discovered was that their selection policy had the inadvertent effect of ignoring certain literature. My initial parry with the Director Lady, who, like I said, I count among my friends and former employers, resulted in her exclaiming, "but, but we have Iron John!!!"

Gimmeafriggin break. I pointed out in the email how that had an unintended consequence, and she took it to the board, and the board agreed that they will now ask for alternatives from their suppliers, that are not reviewed.

That to her credit.

OTOH, King County Library, when requesting the book, proudly emailed me that they were ordering it, even though it was NOT critically reviewed.

Two thumbs up to the usually anal retentive KCLS.


6/20/2005 06:16:00 PM  

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