Sunday, September 26, 2010

Libraries Take on Witnessing Christians

America's libraries appear to be in a battle with those pesky Christians, such as mysterious believers placing tracts in the stacks in Brunswick, Maine, and a persistent kid in Columbus, Georgia who initiates conversations about faith.

-- From "Christian pamphlets planted in H-L stacks" by Erin K. McAuliffe, Orient Staff, Bowdoin College 9/17/10

The shelves of Hawthorne-Longfellow Library (H-L Library) became the targets of pointed religious propaganda when Christian tracts were discovered inside several books concerning Islamic and Jewish Studies.

"I spent an hour taking out about 40 pamphlets until my shift was over and if I had kept going, I know I would have found more" said [student librarian Tommy] Cabrera. "What really bothered me was the way it was set up. They were hidden in random pages and definitely targeted toward the person who was going to read that book. It was a personal sort of attack."

"The library resources we provide are the bedrock of the intellectual freedom this campus enjoys," said [Librarian Sherrie] Bergman. "Central to that is that this information is presented without bias."

"We have found these tracts in books on abortion and on gay and lesbian rights and some of those were particularly hurtful and offensive because the tracts specifically targeted those groups," said Bergman. "We have had many people come to the front desk very upset by these tracts and we spend a lot of time and money on collecting and disposing of them."

"The library should challenge censorship and we certainly view these [tracts] as being a type of interference," she said.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Teen banned from libraries over ignoring requests to quit proselytizing" by Allison Kennedy, McClatchy Newspapers 9/25/10

A 16-year-old boy has been banned from all branches of the Chattahoochee Valley Regional Library system for six months for proselytizing.

According to a letter from Kirsten Edwards, acting manager of the North Columbus Public Library, Caleb Hanson repeatedly asked patrons "about their religious faith and to offer biblical advice."

He said he was given several warnings, since June, from the library on Britt David Road.

"At first (library employees) warned me not to do it," he said. "Then they took me into an office and told me not to do it."

He said he then began talking to people outside the library, and patrons continued to complain.

The letter from Edwards says Caleb's library card has been blocked, and that if he returns before Feb. 28, he'll be criminally trespassing.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.