Waging war with books

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This past week I feel like my colleges and myself have been on the frontlines of a war of information.  Over the past two days the public library I work at has received four large boxes of Scientology materials, in book and audio form.  The total value of the materials has to be in the thousands of dollars, especially when you consider that all this material is being couriers straight from the USA.

Book donations to public libraries is a great way of getting your information into public view.  Libraries have an obligation to be open minded about material we receive and recognise there may well be people who want to know this stuff.  That is where the Scientology come unstuck. 

Firstly, we have to be fair. If I have a couple of books on Islam, I am certianly not going to give over shelves to Scientology, even if the material is given away for free.  Which leads to another problem.  Public libraries need to cover lots of topics and we just can’t afford the space that seven  kit boxes of CD and fifteen hard cover books take up on just one subject.

So, advice to those cultist that want to spread the joy of their beliefs.  Choose wisely those materials you want to donate.  Introductions on the faith are best and are easy for librarians to justify adding to the shelves.  If you do as the Church of Scientology have done this week you will find much of your material being sorted and recycled, the pretty boxes given for kids assignments and the CDs made into craft materials.

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