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I had an experience today which I at first took at face value and didn't
give any more thought to until later in the afternoon.  Now I'm curious
as to how some of you would have responded, and am wondering if I should
revisit it or let it go.


I was on my way to xerox when the principal called me into his office.
This is never a good sign, as we generally try to avoid one another, and
I've probably been in there less than 10 times in the approx. 17 years
he's been there.  He opened his desk drawer and took out 3 copies of
Star magazine, which is one of those tabloid-type magazines at the
grocery checkout, where I seldom even read the cover.  It was addressed
with my name and school library address.  I sometimes end up getting
complimentary magazines that I've never subscribed to as a result of
being on some mailing list somewhere.  I've received Time for a couple
of years now, sometimes get a cruise or travel magazine, have gotten a
gardening magazine, etc.  I never pay much attention to them, and either
put them in the faculty room or send them to the high school library to
do with as they please.  I don't think I've gotten any previous issues
of Star.


He questioned whether I had subscribed to it for our (elementary)
library.  I explained that I sometimes receive copies of magazines that
I don't subscribe to and send them to the high school, and said that of
course I know that Star wouldn't be appropriate for our library.  He
questioned why a company would send it to an elementary school library.
(Which seemed to me a strange question for a sensible adult to ask....
as if there's some watchdog at every magazine publisher looking at
address stickers to see if they're sending them to appropriate places.)


He threw the magazines away, which was fine with me, and I went back to
my xeroxing.  However, when I had time to think about it I realized that
someone must have sorted them out of the library mail and called his
attention to them, as he only periodically reads his own mail.  I don't
know whether they came all at once or over a period of time.  I also
thought it a little strange that he had them in his desk drawer, as he
seldom puts anything away, and I wonder why he didn't come to me right
away.  I guess it leads me to wonder if one of the secretaries is acting
as a watchdog, and I found it a little insulting that my ability to
select appropriate materials after 30 years seemed to be questioned.
Also, the bigger picture seems to be the possibility that a clerical
person checking in mail or purchased materials could "help" determine
what was appropriate for our library before I even see it.


This seems a little similar to (although not as blatant as) Marian
Royal's problem a few months ago with censorship by a janitor, although
it didn't involve things that had already been in my personal
possession.  Should I try to explain my position further, or view it as
a one-time occurrence not worth pursuing unless it happens again?  I
don't really need to worry about repercussions, as I won't be dealing
with this principal after this year.


Thanks for any opinions.

Kathy Ofsharick, Librarian

Blue Ridge Elementary

New Milford, PA   18834

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