From West Bend Public Library Wins Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award
In the wake of the ongoing controversy over select Young Adult books at the West Bend Community Memorial Library, the Intellectual Freedom Round Table of the Wisconsin Library Association has named Director Michael Tyree and Young Adult Librarian Kristin Pekoll, along with the other staff, members of the Library Board, supportive community members (especially blogger/organizer Maria Hanrahan), as winners of the 2009 Wisconsin ProQuest Intellectual Freedom Award.
Our colleagues at West Bend Public Library were indeed tested. Going through any challenge requires commitment, professional integrity—and guts. It is a long mental and physical process and, with each day, a new commitment to the core values of intellectual freedom in our profession is required. Our colleagues met this challenge and, while this case may not be over, it is our hope that they can be proud of their actions and their ﬁrm standing in the face of strong controversy.
A not incidental irony: Protecting free speech protects the very same Christian Fundamentalists who attempted to ban free speech in the West Bend Library. In a strange way, this is a victory for the Maziarkas as well.