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framing the debate

"It's not a matter of censorship," John Raines of Marshall said, "but a matter of looking out for our kids."

Graphic novels are a relatively new literary medium, and it's vitally important to make sure public libraries are not restricted from offering them.

I looked for organizations working on this issue. Comic Book Legal Defense Fund is positioned to do so, but they haven't focused on libraries in the past, as far as I know (sadly, their news page has a lot more to say about all the fundraisers and parties they are having than about what they are actually doing with all the funds). The American Library Association has a large section of their web site devoted to Advocacy issues, which includes pages entitled Intellectual Freedom Basics and What You Can Do to Oppose Censorship.

You can join the ALA as an associate member, which includes the opportunity to join an Intellectual Freedom special interest group.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
selki
Oct. 9th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Thanks for the pointer to the ALA advocacy page. It's a shame the CBLDF doesn't seem to be doing more.
firecat
Oct. 9th, 2006 04:16 am (UTC)
Or telling us more about it, or something, yeah.
mackenzie
Oct. 25th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
Back when all my income was disposable, I was a CBLDF member.

I never liked their website, but I can tell you what they do with those big piles of money they collect. CBLDF's main purpose is to provide people fighting the good fight for 1st Amendment rights for comic books money for legal battles.

They try to find "volunteers" who have been charged with obscenity or other comic-hatin' charges and see if they're interested in pursuing the appeals process. Their big goal (which has been as-of-yet unsuccessful) is to get some major cases take to the Supreme Court and get precedents that protect free speech set.

CBLDF then covers the cost of their legal funds. They find lawyers for them, pay the lawyers, and basically make the process as cost-free as possible for the defendant. When you're talking about taking cases up to the gate of the Supreme Court (a lot of cases have gotten there, only to not make the cut when the Court decided what to hear), that's a lot of money.

The goal really was to put together a giant war chest and raise awareness (they have a quarterly newletter called Busted!) when I was a member. I don't know if that's changed (my guess is not) in the two years since I've paid up, but that was what they did.

I had a great time being a member, too. Auctions at ComicCon, mixers for members at local bars, fun stuff. I can definitely understand how it feels like they're not doing much, especially since they're stingy with who they give the newsletters to (and that's really the only way to figure out what in God's name they're doing at any given time).
firecat
Oct. 25th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC)
Thanks! I used to be a member and yes, Busted did have more info on the court cases than their web site does currently.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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