Welcome to the new newsletter from the State Library of Kansas! We hope that this format will make it easier for our readers to find information, link to similar information and submit comments. We’ve come a long way since the paper newsletter printed on tan colored paper and mailed to libraries all over the state, but hopefully this newsletter still has that down-home connectedness that was evident from the beginning.
I added “sex” to the title of my column this month because it has dominated the news around Topeka. As many of you may know, the board of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library voted to restrict access to four non-fiction books about sex. I listened to much of the testimony leading up to the vote, including the 14 individuals who asked to speak in defense of access to the materials. In all my years of librarianship, I have never heard intellectual freedom defended as eloquently and compellingly as those 14 concerned citizens who simply told of their love for the library and their desire to see it remain a place to freely get information. Yet even after this defense, five members of the board voted to restrict. I’m sure we haven’t heard the end of this story.
And I included “love” in the title because right now I’m looking back at my career. I’ve been doing this for 35 years, and I cannot imagine a better, more fulfilling profession. I love being a librarian! And I love that my grandchildren will know me as a librarian and I will be remembered that way.
I hope you enjoy our new format, and I hope you will add information and comment as you feel moved to do so. That’s what librarianship - and democracy - is all about.