"parents who would tell their children not to read playboy 'don't really care about their kids growing up and learning to think and explore.'"
9/18/95 citizen, quoting judith krug,
ala director of oif.
link/legal notice.

effects of ala policy:  list of crimes and filters in libraries and schools; please help an 8 year old library crime victim.

apa online - click for sexualization report
another effect is the sexualization of children.  see:  report of the apa task force on the sexualization of girls
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unequal access

table of contents

ala refuses access to ala first amendment class

the following correspondence speaks for itself showing how the ala refuses to allow me access to an ala event required by court rule to be open to all attorneys. i am publishing this here in a last ditch effort to obtain access into the class.

on or before 4/10/07, one member of safelibraries.org applied online for entry to an ala training on 5/19/07 in philadelphia, pa.

on 4/10/07, the ala's office for intellectual freedom wrote to safe libraries:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

i am in receipt of your recent application to register for next month's lawyers for libraries training institute.��please note that attendance at this program is limited to licensed attorneys, and your application is therefore denied.

on 4/10/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

thank you, i am happy registration is limited only to licensed attorneys. ��that means i qualify. ��i am licensed in both new jersey and pennsylvania. ��therefore, please register me.

also, are cle credits available to me in both nj and pa?

thank you.

on 4/10/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

please tell me what is required to confirm one of my legal licenses.  i have again carefully reviewed the various application forms and i find no mention of such a confirmation requirement on the forms, and such a requirement was absent from the online application process i used. ��i was surprised my application was denied on the basis of a confirmation not sought in the application process, particularly where no proof was requested in the denial. ��please forgive me if i have overlooked anything and allow me to reapply.

thank you very much for the continued consideration of my application to attend this excellent seminar given by the leading lights on this important first amendment topic. ��this is an opportunity that i do not want to miss for me to increase my understanding of the law.

thanks again.

on 4/11/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

it's been almost a day, any response yet? ��i was one of the first to sign up so i don't want any delay in registration to cause me to miss out on this excellent educational opportunity that also includes cle credits.

thank you.

on 4/12/07, the ala's office for intellectual freedom wrote to safe libraries:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

the lawyers for libraries sessions are intended to train practicing attorneys engaged in representing libraries and defending first amendment freedoms associated with the use of the library. ��in following up on your application to attend, we have discovered that your status as an attorney is "inactive" in pennsylvania and "retired" in new jersey.  because you are not currently a practicing attorney representing libraries in defense of frist [sic] amendment principles, or otherwise eligible to practice law in any state, we cannot accept your registration application or fee.

thank you for your interest in lawyers for libraries.

on 4/12/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

i thank you for your response.

no where in your documentation or application process is the requirement that one need to be practicing. ��one wonders if this new requirement has just been made up just now just to keep me from attending the lecture, particularly since this is the second hurdle created just for me.

be that as it may, i still have an active legal license, and that would be as a patent attorney. ��such a license never goes into retired or inactive status. ��therefore, even with the rule newly created just for me, i still fulfill that newly created requirement.

besides, the cle credits i could earn would help to return me to active status in nj and/or pa, if i so choose, and i may, so having such credits is still valuable.

therefore, based on this new information, i ask you to again reconsider your denial of my application.

even if you want the slots available for all 60 attorneys to go to 60 lawyers actively assisting libraries, then please allow me to "audit" the class by attending as the 61st lawyer but without obtaining the cle credits or paying the fee. ��certainly you can see that is reasonable for all concerned.

let me add this. ��i am making an application to the "office for intellectual freedom" to attend a class open to registered attorneys, which i am. ��how would it look that such intellectual freedom seems to apply only to certain people? ��how would it look that hurdle after hurdle is raised only for certain people? ��how would it look that the ala attends the seminars of organizations like family friendly libraries with approval and even a chance to have the floor, but in return the ala locks out such people from its own seminars? ��further, the ala believes in equal access for all, does it not?  children get access to everything, do they not, and only the parents can limit a child's access and for only their own child, is this not central to the ala? ��doesn't denying me access to your lectures essentially mean equal access to all only applies in special circumstances?

clearly this would be newsworthy that i am being denied access by the ala's oif in the manner in which i am being denied access. ��but i do not want to be forced to go that route in order to attend. ��i really want to take the training to learn what you have to teach. ��i really am interested. ��i want to be a student just like everyone else. ��i do not want to be excluded for reason after reason that applies only to me. ��while i might be able to understand that in any other organization, the ala doing this right in its "office for intellectual freedom" is quite frankly shocking.

please reconsider. ��please let me attend -- i'm not going to cause any trouble. ��i just want to learn the information and be treated just like anyone else. ��i feel i am being singled out and equal access is unevenly applied. ��therefore, please let me attend and no one will ever know the oif almost rejected me under the circumstances and in the manner it has so far.

thank you.

cc: ��ala president leslie burger since i wrote for her help on this matter

on 4/12/07, the ala's office for intellectual freedom wrote to safe libraries:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

i am in receipt of your request for reconsideration. ��let me reiterate that the intent of lawyers for libraries is to train practicing attorneys engaged in representing libraries and defending first amendment freedoms associated with the use of the library. ��nothing in your email leads the office for intellectual freedom to believe that our decision was incorrect. ��therefore, we cannot accept your registration application or fee for lawyers for libraries.

on 4/15/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif attorney:

dear [office for intellectual freedom attorney], esq.,

my name is [safelibraries.org]. � i am an attorney who seeks entrance into the "lawyers for libraries" seminar in philadelphia offered by your office for intellectual freedom (oif) of which you are the deputy director. � my application has been thrice rejected, as illustrated in the below email thread. � i now bring to your attention an important issue, and i ask once again that i be admitted into the may 19th seminar.�

as you know, the class provides its attendees with continuing legal education (cle) credits. � as you know, the oif has so far denied my application to attend and thereby gain cle credits.�

i am certain that being a cle provider necessarily means admission cannot be denied to me. � i ask you to look into this matter, then direct your oif to allow me permission to attend the seminar, with all full rights and privileges available to all other students.

thank you for your consideration.

cc: � [office for intellectual freedom], oif; leslie burger, ala president

on 4/19/07, without notice to safelibraries.org, the pennsylvania continuing legal education grants approval to the office for intellectual freedom for the "lawyers for libraries mid-atlantic training institute."  here is the actual text:  "this letter will serve as official notice that the pa cle board has approved the following course....  please note:  when lawyers from pennsylvania attend your course, please give them ...."  see for yourself:  pdf [89 k]; gif [47 k]; jpg [437 k].  notice this is dated days after i raised the issue of cle certification requiring the attendance of all interested attorneys.  notice there is no restriction on which lawyers may or may not attend the class.  later we will see how both the ala and the pacle use this letter to exclude me from the training.  by that time, because the deadline will have expired, no time will be left to argue that this letter does not exclude attorneys.

on 5/11/07, safelibraries.org wrote to pacle, cc ala oif attorney:

dear [pennsylvania continuing legal education],

status on the pennsylvania continuing legal education query to the ala is requested.  below is an email solicitation just received stating the cutoff date for admission is may 14th.  today's the 11th.  cle credits are still being advertised.  i have heard nothing further from the ala, and i would still like to attend in a week or so, but i am still denied access.

however, the ala has changed tactics.  it has affirmed its disregard for pa supreme court rules.  likely in response to my situation, the wording on the invitation has changed to exclude certain attorneys despite the rules of which they must be aware by now.  "this training is open to practicing attorneys who work with libraries; library trustees; and librarians (who are accompanied by an attorney)."  it used to say, "if you know an attorney who would benefit from lawyers for libraries (perhaps one of your board members, or your city/county attorney), and can travel to philadelphia, have them register today!"

in an attempt to gain admittance due to the ala's actions, i have placed the matter online: http://www.safelibraries.org/unequalaccess.htm

please help.  thank you.

and this time i will cc [office for intellectual freedom attorney], deputy director of the oif at the ala, as she is an attorney as well and has ethical obligations to comply with various rules of various courts or to advise her client/employer to do so.  i have written to her directly before but no response was received.  perhaps she can intervene before further harm is done.

cc [office for intellectual freedom attorney], esq., deputy director, oif, ala [office for intellectual freedom], oif, ala

---------- forwarded message ----------
from:  [ala communications]
date:  may 11, 2007 12:01 pm
subject:  monday deadline for lawyers for libraries/philadelphia


dear friends:

monday, may 14, is the deadline to register for the may 17 lawyers for libraries mid-atlantic training institute.  this training is open to practicing attorneys who work with libraries; library trustees; and librarians (who are accompanied by an attorney).  lawyers for libraries is the perfect opportunity to learn about the case law, policies, and procedures impacting intellectual freedom in libraries.  issues to be addressed include challenges to materials, the internet, privacy and confidentiality, and much more.

the training is from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the loews philadelphia hotel.  contintuing [sic] legal education credit is available.  the charge for one attendee is $395 and for two its $745.  it's an investment that scores of libraries and attorneys over the past 5 years have found well worthwhile.

for more information and to register, visit http://www.ala.org/lawyers or contact [office for intellectual freedom]

[office for intellectual freedom]

on 5/12/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif, emphasis in original:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

i am again requesting admittance to "lawyers for libraries," only this time i can comply with your requirements.  specifically, i am now "working with libraries."

you personally sent out the following email solicitation a few days ago, emphasis mine:

dear friends:

monday, may 14, is the deadline to register for the may 17 lawyers for libraries mid-atlantic training institute.  this training is open to practicing attorneys who work with libraries ; library trustees; and librarians (who are accompanied by an attorney).  lawyers for libraries is the perfect opportunity to learn about the case law, policies, and procedures impacting intellectual freedom in libraries.  issues to be addressed include challenges to materials, the internet, privacy and confidentiality, and much more.

the training is from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at the loews philadelphia hotel.  contintuing legal education credit is available.  the charge for one attendee is $395 and for two its $745.  it's an investment that scores of libraries and attorneys over the past 5 years have found well worthwhile.

for more information and to register, visit http://www.ala.org/lawyers or contact ....
this phrase, "this training is open to practicing attorneys who work with libraries" has been added to your solicitations.  it has never appeared before.

be that as it may, this new requirement was made only days ago.  since then, i can report that i am now working with my local library in that the library's trustees will be considering whether to send me as an official representative who will then come back and advise them on what i learned.  then they can apply those lessons to the local library.  for example, i could advise them on what i learned about "defending first amendment freedoms associated with the use of the library," a requirement you specifically required of me in a previous email.

i spoke with a trustee, who has been copied on this message, and he said he will bring this to the attention of all the trustees.  however, they will meet after your deadline expires.  but in consideration of your newly minted requirement that lawyers must "work with libraries," the trustee said now that the full board of trusteess [sic] will be considering my request, i am effectively working with the library.  indeed he was attracted to my willingness to pay my own way, and he did not anticipate any problems.

therefore, besides submitting this further request before the deadline, i see no further reason to deny my access into the ala oif's class "lawyers for libraries."

thank you for your further consideration of this matter.

cc: [office for intellectual freedom attorney], esq.; leslie burger, ala president; [elided], library trustee; [elided], pa continuing legal education

on 5/14/07, the ala's office for intellectual freedom wrote to safe libraries:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

please note that our standards for admission to lawyers for libraries have not changed.  the training is and always has been for attorneys who represent libraries.  with regard to the pennsylvania cle board, we have been granted approval for accreditation with an attendance restriction for "lawyers representing libraries," which they granted as a bona fide education objective for our program.

you still do not fit the criteria for attendance.  based on your "inactive" status in pennsylvania and "retired" status in new jersey, you cannot represent a library or library trustees or represent to them that you can advise them in the capacity of an attorney.  you cannot provide legal advice to the library or trustees while on inactive status.  we therefore decline your registration.  this is our final determination.

pacle assists ala in unequal access injustice

on 5/14/07, safelibraries.org wrote to pacle:

dear [pa cle board],

regarding the american library association's office for intellectual freedom repeatedly denying my access into its training for lawyers despite court rules, i have the following questions:

is it true that that the pa cle board has "granted approval for accreditation with an attendance restriction for 'lawyers representing libraries'"?

if so, how has the pa supreme court rule that all interested attorneys must be accepted into cle classes been set aside?

if so, does the date of my application precede the date of the approval of the restriction?  and if so, should i not be "grandfathered" in since my application was presumably made before the approval of the restriction?

if so, does not my local library trustees sending me to get the education to bring back to them to discuss what was learned still make me a "lawyer representing libraries" well within the terms of the granted restriction?  and if so, is the ala still violating the granted restriction necessitating that cle applications from pennsylvania attorneys will not be granted?

if so, what are my recourses for raising this matter with the pacle board?

may i please be sent a copy of the grant made to the american library association?

i note in the ala's home state of illinois, today many illinois libraries are denying access to library patrons to the internet or otherwise imposing many hurdles to obtain such access.  ( see http://www.illinoislibraryday.info/ )  all this is an effort to protest an alleged potential lack of access to information.  on this very "day of unity," the ala is denying me access to information in its training seminar despite my jumping repeated hurdles it raised just for me, as evidenced below.  i find this to be appalling, to say the least.

thank you for your attention to this matter.

cc: � pacle board and others

on 5/15/07, safelibraries.org wrote to ala oif:

dear [office for intellectual freedom],

i am currently seeking confirmation of the american library association's [ala] claims regarding the pa cle board.  in the meantime, based on reasonable grounds, i intend to seek redress unless i am allowed access into the ala's "lawyers for libraries" class this week.

1)  coming up with this fourth hurdle to keep me out of the class at this late hour is like applying a law after the fact.  i applied for a slot in the class when it was first announced, before the ala raised this hurdle that, as applied, keeps me out of the class after i submitted my application and fee.  at the least, that is fundamentally unfair, particularly from the "office for intellectual freedom" always on the lookout for "as applied" challenges to cipa which was found constitutional in us v. ala.

2)  even given the new hurdle being "lawyers representing libraries," i have already informed you my library trustees may be looking forward to having me attend the training, particularly since they will not be paying for it, so i can come back and advise them on what i have learned.  i am a lawyer and i will be representing a library when i am attending that class.  this meets the requirement, unless a further "intention" of the ala is made known.  i say may because the new hurdle was raised only days ago and the full library board has yet to meet, but the one member i spoke with feels the approval will be granted.

3)  even if the pa cle recognized the "bona fide education objective for our program" being "lawyers representing libraries," that does not mean the pa supreme court rule requiring admittance to all interested attorneys is abrogated.  alternatively, it does not mean the ala can deny me access based on my professional status, nor can the ala ignore that my patent law license never expires.

4)  the safest route to avoid controversy for the ala would be to allow me access into the training seminar until this matter is fully explained.  as of now, only your word of what pa cle said stands, and given the tight time schedule, it would be fundamentally unfair to say in a few days that the ala misinterpreted what the pa cle said and the ala apologizes i missed the class.  that will not be acceptable.  this is basically the only chance i may have to attend the class.

5)  people just do not get denied access to cle classes, and when they do, it is due to some wrongdoing.  ("how did he get in?" asst. da unwelcome at defense-oriented cle event," by john council, texas lawyer, february 25, 2005.)

i am sure the pa cle board will follow its own rules and will not allow apparent hurdle after hurdle from being erected again and again to deny access to an attorney interested in taking a class.  that would go against the whole purpose of cle classes.  i feel it possible that cle approval will not be granted under these unusual circumstances.

in sum, i am a lawyer representing a library.  you may not deny me access without adding yet another hurdle, and silence or an evasive reply in response to this email will be taken as another hurdle.

based on the above and for other reasons, i strongly urge the ala's office for intellectual freedom to reconsider yet again and allow me access into the class for the purposes of intellectual freedom, among others.  time is of the essence.

thank you for your reconsideration.

cc:  pa cle board; relevant others

on 5/15/07, the pa cle administrator wrote to safe libraries:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

i write to offer assistance in your attempt to obtain continuing legal education credits.

first, according to information provided by the american library association, attendance at the "mid atlantic training institute" is restricted to attorneys whose active practice includes representation of libraries, library trustees and to librarians under the condition that they be accompanied by their attorney.  accreditation for this program is provided under section 13 of the regulations for cle in pennsylvania which outlines exceptions to the rule requiring that courses to be open to any lawyer interested.

second, and relative to your interest in obtaining cle credits, i trust that the following may be of assistance.

the pa cle website contains an extensive database of upcoming approved cle courses.  this searchable feature is updated daily and is customizable in that you may search for programs based on subject matter ("type of law") or geographical preference.  also noteworthy is the large amount of courses offered on a regular basis in and around the philadelphia area and in new jersey.

you may access the searchable course listing here:  https://www.pacle.org/search/search.asp  i am confident it will provide many options to meet your cle needs.

i hope this information is helpful.  should you have any questions regarding your cle record or what is required for your return to active status, please contact me.

on 5/14/07, safelibraries.org wrote to pacle:

dear [pa cle board],

thank you so much for responding. please allow me to ask some questions.

first, seeing as pacle provided the ala with accreditation, since i applied to the course before that accreditation, am i not allowed entry into the class?

second, my i have a copy of that accreditation?

third, seeing as the ala applied for pacle accreditation as a direct result of it efforts to exclude me personally combined with my stating the ala may be violating pacle rules, is this not a fundamental unfairness, and will pacle cure this fundamental unfairness by denying cle credits for this class while allowing future classes to proceed, unless the ala allows me to attend the class this week?

fourth, would you please list cases of other instances similar to this where cle providers were allowed to obtain accreditation during the open application process as a means to exclude lawyers seeking entry into the class?

fifth, as you are the program's administrator, how may i seek redress from the pacle board members themselves. naturally i will point out the fundamental unfairness of pacle creating accreditation late in the cle provider's application process as a de facto means to exclude me from training that was advertised until a few days ago as open to all attorneys and that until a few days ago was required by pacle rules to be open to all attorneys.

sixth, i have no fear of exposing injustice wheresoever and however it may have occurred. the ala's repeated efforts to exclude me from a cle class is one thing. pacle's last hour accreditation of the ala class under the circumstance of this matter is something entirely different. after my initial inquiry to pacle, all subsequent inquiries such as for status were never answered, until now. what communications were maintained between pacle and the ala and when, what was the substance of those communications in detail, and what was communicated about me personally? how else may i have a chance to respond? i have legitimate concerns i may have been the subject of a smear campaign, a successful one at that.

[seventh], to what judicial authority or court of equity i can take this matter on an emergent basis to grant my access into that ala class, to ensure attorneys who attend are not granted cle credits, or, alternatively, to void the accreditation itself nunc pro tunc?

i have always had concerns, now borne out, that the ala is an intimidating organization expert at giving the impression they are truly interested in equal access, freedom of information, and a lack of censorship. i cannot otherwise explain why neither the ala nor pacle communicated with me for a long time until it was too late to take any action, then both have the same terse statements that have the effect of excluding me from a class open to all when i first applied.

it is clear to me that both the ala and pacle suddenly raising this final hurdle on the last day of sign up and the day after without either party having communicated with me until it was too late indicates a potential problem, let alone issues of fundamental unfairness. honestly, i do not believe the pacle board members would approve of what has happened in this case. honestly, i do not believe that just because the ala is large and well-respected means it should be rewarded in its effort, obviously successful, to bar admission to a training program to an interested attorney with whom its leaders disagree. one has to wonder exactly what they are teaching that they are working so hard to keep to themselves.

please respond as soon as possible.

thank you for your consideration.

cc: � pacle board and media

on 5/16/07, the pa cle administrator wrote to safe libraries, and finally attached the official pacle document regarding the ala training:

dear [safelibraries.org]:

the accreditation of the ala training program was granted in accordance with the rules, regulations and procedures for cle in pennsylvania. approximately 250-300 programs per year are approved under the exception provisions detailed in section 13(c) of the regulations. per your request the accreditation documentation for this particular program is attached.

if you wish to bring any portion of this matter to the attention of the cle board, or request reconsideration of the issue, you are welcome to do so by formally writing:

pa continuing legal education board
5035 ritter road, suite 500
mechanicsburg, pa 17055

i will make sure that your request is presented to the board for review.

attachment:  a6 4_19_2007.pdf {pdf [89 k]; gif [47 k]; jpg [437 k]}

on 5/17/07, safelibraries.org was successfully blocked from attending the ala training in philadelphia, pa, by the nation's self-arrogated censorship police and equal access proponents.  the blockage was performed through the use of deception, trickery, hypocrisy, and misinformation, all of which is evident in the above email messages.

relevant facts and rules

ala class offers cle credits

the ala has a training seminar called "lawyers for libraries." the course is advertised as allowing for cle (continuing legal education) credits that are required in some states to maintain one's license to practice law.  without the availability of cle credits, many attorneys would likely not attend the course as a day away from the office can be costly, so it might as well be spent at a course that provides cle credits.

model aba and pa supreme court rules for cle credits

the aba model rule for minimum continuing legal education states (emphasis in original):

section 7:  individual course or activity approval to be approved for credit, continuing legal education courses or activities ... offered by non-approved sponsors must meet the following standards.  ....

(g) subject to section 8, and except for courses or activities offered by professional organizations primarily or exclusively for the education of their members and courses or activities offered primarily or exclusively for government lawyers, the course or activity must be open to any lawyer thought to be interested in the subject matter;

....

comment: to encourage lawyers to attend courses or activities of value to them, credit is given for courses or activities wherever offered and on whatever subject, provided the course or activity standards are met.

these course or activity approval standards are consistent with standards used by the majority of mcle states.  ....

the pennsylvania rules for continuing legal education state:

section 5: credit for cle activities
(a) general standards:
5. courses offered by a provider which is not an accredited continuing legal education provider but which otherwise comply with the rules and these regulations shall be submitted to the board pursuant to section 12 of these regulations for review and may be given such credit, if any, as the board deems appropriate.

section 12: accreditation of a single course or cle activity
a provider of cle activities which has not qualified as an accredited continuing legal education provider or a lawyer may apply for accreditation of a single cle activity on a form provided by the board.  ....

(b) publication that the cle activity has been accredited is prohibited unless prior written approval is granted by the board.
(c) the cle activity must meet the standards set forth in the rules and these regulations.

section 13: standards for approved cle activities
all cle activities approved for credit shall meet the following standards:

(c) each cle activity shall be open to all lawyers thought to be interested in the subject matter and there shall be no attendance restrictions, except as may be permitted by the board, upon application from a provider, where:
1.  attendance is restricted on objective criteria for a bona fide educational objective to enhance the cle activity.
2.  attendance is restricted due to applicable state or federal law.
3.  membership in the provider organization is open to all interested lawyers, on reasonable non-discriminatory basis and cost.

pacle official notice on ala class

on 4/19/07, pacle grants approval to the office for intellectual freedom for the "lawyers for libraries mid-atlantic training institute."  here is the actual text:  "this letter will serve as official notice that the pa cle board has approved the following course...."  observe the course is "approved" but no mention appears of a restriction of those who may or may not attend the course.  see for yourself:  pdf [89 k]; gif [47 k]; jpg [437 k].

relevant text of pacle notice to ala.

the crux of the injustices committed by the ala and pacle

this "official notice" only recognizes the training for the purposes of providing cle credit.  there is no mention of any restriction to lawyers representing libraries, let alone "active" lawyers.  yet both the ala and pacle use this "official notice" to exclude safe libraries:

from the ala - an open lie made up out of thin air:

with regard to the pennsylvania cle board, we have been granted approval for accreditation with an attendance restriction for "lawyers representing libraries," which they granted as a bona fide education objective for our program.

from pacle - a statement that does not comport with the "official notice" that lists no exceptions:

first, according to information provided by the american library association, attendance at the "mid atlantic training institute" is restricted to attorneys whose active practice includes representation of libraries, library trustees and to librarians under the condition that they be accompanied by their attorney.  accreditation for this program is provided under section 13 of the regulations for cle in pennsylvania which outlines exceptions to the rule requiring that courses to be open to any lawyer interested.

section 13:

section 13: standards for approved cle activities
all cle activities approved for credit shall meet the following standards:

(c) each cle activity shall be open to all lawyers thought to be interested in the subject matter and there shall be no attendance restrictions, except as may be permitted by the board, upon application from a provider, where:
1.  attendance is restricted on objective criteria for a bona fide educational objective to enhance the cle activity.
2.  attendance is restricted due to applicable state or federal law.
3.  membership in the provider organization is open to all interested lawyers, on reasonable non-discriminatory basis and cost.

what's missing?  pacle's "official notice" does not disclose that "attendance is restricted on objective criteria for a bona fide educational objective to enhance the cle activity"!  keeping lawyers who do not represent libraries out of a class for lawyers who do cannot possibly "enhance the cle activity"!  there is no "bona fide educational objective" explained by the ala or even by pacle itself, not even in the "official notice," although pacle syas the ala claims there is!  no "objective criteria" exists or is even claimed to exist—rather subjective criteria was obviously used to deny access to this class as evidenced right from the start by the initial refusal to allow access without even asking politely if safe libraries's representative was an attorney!

so the ala has uses lies and trickery to ensure unequal access despite pa supreme court rules, and pacle has essentially colluded in this gross miscarriage of justice.  in this case of david versus goliath, goliath is just too big for little davids to overcome.  "office for intellectual freedom"?  definitely not!

this is a valuable lesson on how the ala throws its weight around to get people to do what it wants, even getting people to violate supreme court rules the people themselves are responsible for enforcing!!!

months later, the ala cements its exclusionary practices in stone

on 7/31/07, the ala's office for intellectual freedom wrote:

registration open for lawyers for libraries rocky mountain regional training institute

registration is now open for the rocky mountain regional lawyers for libraries training institute in denver, november 8, 2007.  this program, sponsored by the ala office for intellectual freedom, will double as a preconference to the colorado association of libraries (cal) annual conference.

note:  separate registration is required for the cal conference and lawyers for libraries.  lawyers for libraries workshops are open to licensed, practicing attorneys retained to represent or advise libraries on legal issues.  library trustees or board members who are responsible for establishing library policy may also attend.  librarians may attend if they are accompanied by a library attorney.

....

continuing legal education credit will be available for this full-day program.

the original application to which i responded, dated april 9, 2007, said, "if you know an attorney who would benefit from lawyers for libraries (perhaps one of your board members, or your city/county attorney), and can travel to philadelphia, have them register today!  let them know that continuing legal education (cle) credits will be available...."  no mention of the need to be "licensed" or "practicing."  indeed nonpracticing attorneys are required to get cle credits to practice again.  so ala policy to allow only practicing attorneys, created to exclude me, is directly contrary to one reason for the provision of cle credits by state courts.  the ala is defying state court rules.

and the ala knows this but cares not.  for example, in a feedback comment to "greenwich library, ct, rescinds permission for pro-palestinian speaker, then reverses course," i added the following comment that has produced nothing in return:

congratulations to deborah caldwell-stone of the ala's oif for righting this wrong.

curiously, just like with books, when access to speech is limited, it seems to magnify the number of people interested in the speech in the first place.

now if only deborah caldwell-stone will rescind the escalated and specific denials of my admission to her own oif's "lawyers for libraries" program.  see www.safelibraries.org/unequalaccess.htm

after the events listed there, the oif changed the wording of its advertising for the "lawyers for libraries" to deny access to anyone of whom the oif does not approve.  it did this as a direct result of my request for admission to the class.  state supreme court rules requiring open access to continuing legal education classes, such as this oif program, are being flouted by the ala and deborah caldwell-stone, esq., who allow only a limited set of lawyers to attend.

i hope deborah caldwell-stone's actions regarding the greenwich library represent a change of position, the oif will again support the intellectual freedom for which it is named, and i will be able to attend the next "lawyer for libraries" class in compliance with state supreme court rules.

related information

ala "equal access" authority:  no longer—obvious hypocrisy

from "privacy:  an interpretation of the library bill of rights," american library association, adopted 19 june 2002 by the ala council.  [isbn 0-8389-8208-5].  http://www.ala.org/ala/oif/statementspols/statementsif/interpretations/privacy.htm (accessed 6 may 2007):

the library bill of rights affirms the ethical imperative to provide unrestricted access to information and to guard against impediments to open inquiry.  article iv states:  "libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgement of free expression and free access to ideas."

from "network neutrality," american library association, 29 september 2006.  http://www.ala.org/ala/washoff/woissues/techinttele/networkneutrality/netneutrality.cfm (accessed 6 may 2007):

network neutrality (or "net" neutrality) is the concept of online non-discrimination.  it is the principle that consumers/citizens should be free to get access to - or to provide - the internet content and services they wish, and that consumer access should not be regulated based on the nature or source of that content or service.
the american library association is a strong advocate for intellectual freedom, which is the "right of all peoples to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction."  intellectual freedom is critical to our democracy, because we rely on people's ability to inform themselves.  ....  our libraries' longstanding commitment to freedom of expression in the realm of content is well-known....

texas:  another unequal access situation

the pennsylvania continuing legal education board informed me it has "never had this problem before."  indeed it is very rare.  only one other similar case was found.  a texas case from 2005 reveals a prosecutor was kicked out of a defense attorney's cle class after being recognized.  see "how did he get in?  asst. da unwelcome at defense-oriented cle event," by john council, texas lawyer, 25 february 2005.

if there was any doubt about which segment of the criminal bar the four-day continuing legal education seminar was meant for, all anyone had to do was consider the title:  "capital trial advocacy -- the defense."

but on jan. 26, the first day of the event, numerous criminal defense attorneys attending that plano, texas, seminar were hopping mad when they discovered a prosecutor in their midst at the program put on by the center for american and international law.

the prosecutor, stephen tittle, a hunt county, texas, assistant district attorney, initially was told the seminar was full.  but on jan. 26, with the permission of the person at the registration desk, tittle gained entry by taking the spot of a defense attorney who was unable to attend the seminar, says tittle's boss, hunt county district attorney duncan thomas.

tittle declines to comment, instead referring all questions about the incident to thomas.  on jan. 27, tittle was asked to leave the seminar, thomas says.  but tittle had good reason to be there, thomas maintains; tittle attended the seminar as a way to prepare for some of the 10 capital murder cases pending in hunt county.

the incident has touched off a controversy over who should and shouldn't be allowed to attend criminal law cle courses funded in part by state money.

....

later on the first day of the seminar, several criminal defense attorneys recognized tittle as a prosecutor, thomas says.

on jan. 27, seminar officials "took it upon themselves to unprofessionally and, i believe, wrongly throw him out of the seminar," thomas says.

....

animal farm—more equal than others

the following is a quote from http://www.bartleby.com/59/6/allanimalsar.html, emphasis added:

the new dictionary of cultural literacy, third edition.  2002.
 
all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others
 
 
a proclamation by the pigs who control the government in the novel animal farm, by george orwell.  the sentence is a comment on the hypocrisy of governments that proclaim the absolute equality of their citizens but give power and privileges to a small elite.  
 
 
the new dictionary of cultural literacy, third edition. edited by e.d. hirsch, jr., joseph f. kett, and james trefil.  copyright © 2002 by houghton mifflin company.  published by houghton mifflin company.  all rights reserved.

ala attends family friendly libraries conference

shockingly, the ala's office for intellectual freedom has been invited to the conferences of organizations like safelibraries.org, in one case family friendly libraries, but apparently turnabout is not fair play to the oif.  the oif refuses safe libraries access to its own training sessions, while in the past the oif was invited to a family friendly libraries conference.  invited!

here is proof.  in 1995, associate director of the oif, donna reidy pistolis, attended a family friendly libraries conference and reported, in detail, on its agenda and more:

http://lists.webjunction.org/wjlists/publib/1995-november/071259.html

ala election fraud:  an overtly political case of discrimination

given all the ala has done, it has not explicitly tied its triple denial of access to anything political.  however, in a matter unrelated to safelibraries.org, the ala has purposely denied equal access, and stated publicly it was for political reasons!  see "ala election fraud" and subsequent stories with the same name.  here's a sample:

this is rich.  the social [responsibilities] round table ... just sent out a postcard of srrt candidates for the election and left my name off... deliberately.  ....  they didn't ask.  in fact the person who sent them, elaine harger, said flat out:
your name is not included because i could not in good conscience play any role in votes being cast for you by anyone who is unaware of your hostility toward everything that srrt stands for.  the other name left off the list was my own, because i also could not in good conscience accrue any possible votes myself while depriving someone else (even you) of the same.

ala applauds legislative fix for foxnews, rush limbaugh

the ala applauds the resurrection of the "fairness doctrine" as a legislative fix to shut down rush limbaugh and foxnews.  free speech only goes so far for the ala.  the ala's keynote speech by robert f. kennedy jr. at its annual meeting had little to say about libraries but a lot to say about shutting down the free speech of only certain people and organizations.  the following quote is from "ala:  day 2," by david durant, heretical librarian, 25 june 2007, emphasis mine:

the saddest part, though not surprising, was the reaction of the audience.  the groupthink in the auditorium was too thick to cut with a knife; it would have required a chainsaw to penetrate.  there were numerous applause lines, many in response to kennedy's contemptuous slurs about red staters.  particularly disturbing was the reaction to kennedy's bemoaning the 1987 repeal of the fairness doctrine.  when he declared that there would be no rush limbaugh or fox news if the fairness doctrine was still in effect, there was enthusiastic applauseyes, people who claim to support intellectual freedom and oppose censorship expressed delight at the thought of government being used to limit the spread of ideas they disagree with.  the willingness of many of those in attendance to subordinate professional principles to partisan politics could not have been clearer.  of course, the end of kennedy's rant was greeted by a standing ovation accompanied by whooping and hollering.

....

make no mistake:  this was an upraised middle finger directed at everyone who wants partisan politics kept out of ala.

when will i consider renewing my ala membership?  when hell freezes over.

who is linking to this page?

shush:  "what is ala hiding?"

shush logo

greg mcclay of shush and an ala member, himself discriminated against by the ala (see "ala election fraud"), has questioned why the ala is concerned about openness in government when ""they seem to be incapable of being the least bit open themselves."  and look at the responses too.  see "what is ala hiding?," by greg mcclay, shush.ws, 7 may 2007. (accessed 8 may 2007, http://www.shush.ws/wordpress/?p=255)

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