Previous by DateNext by Date Date Index
Previous by ThreadNext by Thread Thread Index
LM_NET Archive

Noted author Neil Gaiman has decided to "chime in" on the controversy
on his web-log.

Perhaps a few of you would like to send along comments to him via is
FAQ page.

My response to him follows:

Mr. Gaiman-

If I may, a few comments about today’s posting about the appearance
of the word “Scrotum” in the children’s book.

1.      A few librarians in this NY Times article were quoted out of
context from e-mails taken from LM_NET, a listserv for school
librarians. In fact, LM_NET postings are subject to copyright and
librarians were not contacted by the times in response to their quotes.
2.      All librarians are not tight-bunned, tight-a$$ed “Shh-ing”
maniacs. (I know, I am one-a librarian, that is, not tight-a$$ed.)
3.      Given the current climate of education in the US, you can’t
blame a public (or private) school librarian for being incredibly
sensitive to this issue. Unfortunately, we live in a period where it’s
easier to throw away books and tell kids to “just google it” rather
than keeping librarians on-staff. Each of us fights for our credibility
and necessity every day. One conflict with a prominent community-member
over (an admittedly) ridiculous matter such as this can end a career, as
it’s easier to drop a staff member’s salary than fight a legal
battle over censorship. While there are those of us who are willing to
throw our chins out and fight, there are many battle-scarred vets of the
library wars who have been cowed by the system and will quietly drop it
rather than fight anymore. The public school librarian is fighting to
keep of the endangered species list.

While I’ve been an ardent fan of yours, I could not let today’s
journal slide without some commentary.


Harry F. Coffill

Harry Coffill

Harry F. Coffill
Media Center Specialist
East Grand Rapids Middle School

Please note: All LM_NET postings are protected by copyright law.
  You can prevent most e-mail filters from deleting LM_NET postings
  by adding LM_NET@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU to your e-mail address book.
To change your LM_NET status, e-mail to:
In the message write EITHER: 1) SIGNOFF LM_NET  2) SET LM_NET NOMAIL
3) SET LM_NET MAIL  4) SET LM_NET DIGEST  * Allow for confirmation.
 * LM_NET Help & Information:
 * LM_NET Archive:
 * EL-Announce with LM_NET Select:
 * LM_NET Supporters:

LM_NET Mailing List Home