The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman has republished the BEST article we have about Palin’s conversations with Mary Ellen Baker (Emmonds) regarding censorship of library materials! Local reporting, at the time, including quotes from both Mary Ellen and Sarah Palin.
The Whole Article can be found here: Palin: Library Censorship Inquiries ‘Rhetorical’ by Paul Stuart.
Here are some interesting snippets. It is ALL interesting, and I hope that the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman doesn’t mind my liberal quoting:
WASILLA — In the wake of strong reactions from the city’s library director to inquiries about censorship, Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin on Monday was taking pains to explain her questions about censoring library material were “rhetorical.”
Library Director Mary Ellen Emmons last week said Palin broached the subject with her on two occasions in October – once Palin was elected mayor Oct. 1 but before she took office on Oct. 14, and again in more detail on Monday, Oct. 28.
Palin said Monday she had no particular books or other material in mind when she posed the questions to Emmons.
But on Monday, Oct. 28, Emmons said Palin asked her outright if she could live with censorship of library books. This was during a weak when Palin was requesting resignations from all the city’s department heads as a way of expressing loyalty.
Emmons said Palin asked her on Oct. 28 if she would object to censorship, even if people were circling the library in protest about a book.
Palin called Emmons into her office Monday [12/14/1996] to discuss the censorship questions again.
Emmons said the current Wasilla policy, which she described as written in more general terms than the borough’s, also worked procedurally in a book-challenge case last year. Emmons said then-council-woman Palin was distressed about the issue when it came up, indicating she was aware of the city’s book-challenge policy.
Emmons said in the conversations with now-Mayor Palin in October, she reminded her again that the city has a policy in place. “But it seamed clear to me that wasn’t really what she was talking about anyhow,” Emmons added. “I just hope it doesn’t come up again.”
Wow. It seems that Palin was VERY pre-occupied with censorship & the library challenge policy. I cannot believe that this was just Palin studying library policy. Palin questioned Emmonds Three Times, and seemed to force the issue. ‘What if people were picketing…’ ‘Could you live with books being censored…’
I would love to know what the meeting on 12/14/96 was like.
Mary-Ellen, if you’re reading, you seem like a very strong and proud librarian, standing up for the rights of ALL community members against censorship. I understand your present dilemma – If Palin isn’t elected Vice President of the United States of America, she is still in the powerful position of Governor of Alaska. I would imagine that for your well-being, and the well-being of your library and community, you would be very careful to speak out against her. Nevertheless, your aplomb and defense of ‘freedom to read’ presented in this article are laudable, and we appreciate the stand you took in 1996.
Finally : Thank you to the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. I have been trying to access this article for days.
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