Wisconsin State Journal article: "Library welcomes controversy"
An article in the Wisconsin State Journal today discusses the way the Sun Prairie library has functioned as a forum of sorts for debate over the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions:
Front and center as patrons enter the city's library are pictures of happy couples and families along with a sign urging voters to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions.
The political message by Vote Yes for Marriage at the Sun Prairie Public Library is in response to a September display advocating against the ban by Fair Wisconsin, which held a similar space in the library's entrance.
While the library offers the space as a public forum and has posted displays on controversial issues such as school referendums, these most recent messages have been the most political the library has displayed.
'(The displays have) been a very popular way for the community to share all kinds of information about itself,' said Sharon Zindar, the library's director. 'This is the first time we've had such a political message in our (display) case. It could turn out that's all the case becomes.'
Complaints about both displays have prompted the library board to consider changing its policy - not to end the practice but possibly to remove the signs further in advance of an election, since the library is also a polling place.
As it is, the pro-amendment group's sign is due to stay up until just a week before the Nov. 7 election.
The atticle continues for those who would like to read the rest of it. What do LIS 450 students think about this debate in light of what we have been reading and discussing in class? For those of you who currently work in area libraries, what has been the policy on displaying political speech or encouraging political debate at your sites?