Wicca, censorship, and the library

[So, one of my goals this year is to update this blog weekly on average. I did not quite expect to start with this topic, though.]

I’ve just seen a number of news stories come across my professional blog RSS feed about the case of a resident of Salem, Missouri (Anaka Hunter) who (supported by the ACLU) has sued both the library and various other named parties (including the library director) for blocking reasonable access to material – namely information about Wicca and Native American religious practices, among other topics.

 Ars Technica has an excellent overview, and links to the PDF of the complaint.

Reading the stories I’ve seen so far, I have both a few questions – and the thought that a lot of people don’t know how libraries are supposed to handle this sort of thing, or what the common considerations around filtering/etc. are in public libraries and schools.

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New Seeking posts

A little housekeeping – I’ve added some new pages to the Seeking portion of my website in the last six weeks or so.

As always, I’m totally up for suggestions or “Hey, would you talk about X?” assuming that time/energy/site focus are a good fit. (But in general, someone saying “Hey, would you ramble about X?” is a good way to encourage me to do it.) I do have an ongoing list of things I’m looking to discuss, as well.

In the Practices area:

In the (Broader) Questions area:

The shiny new project

Hi! This would be the announcement of the shiny new project that’s been occupying a lot of my spare time on and off since August. It’s actually not all that secret – I’ve had a link in the header here for a while, and I’ve mentioned it (usually in relation to specific pages) on several forums over the last few months.

Welcome to Seeking: First Steps and Tools at http://gleewood.org/seeking . It contains 107 (and counting) separate articles about general Pagan topics, with a focus on getting started in religious witchcraft paths. They work from basic definitions, to a series of articles on connecting with other Pagans, to a selection of core and common practices (and some ideas on how to start with them), to broader questions that come up a lot, and where I wanted to collect my answers and thoughts.

And welcome to its new sister site, Liminal Words at http://gleewood.org/books. There’s only a few titles up there right now, but more are on the way. It’ll include both Pagan titles, and other books of interest – on my current list are notes on books about the natural world, productivity and time management, food, and much more.

Both these sites are a way for me to use tags and other organizational tools in a way that’s clear, useful, and easy to understand, rather than trying to throw everything together on this blog.

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I love your blog

Much thanks to Cat over at MetaPagan for including me on her list of favorites! The way this goes is:

  1. Put the logo on your blog.
  2. Link to the person from whom you received the award.
  3. Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
  4. Put links to those blogs on yours.
  5. Leave a message on the blogs nominated.

I read a number of blogs. Several of those I’d otherwise include on this list – Pandora’s Bazaar, The Wild Hunt, and of course, MetaPagan itself – have already been tapped by this. So, here, a few others (in no particular order but my whim and the order I pulled tabs up.)

1) Dianne Sylvan’s Dancing Down the Moon. I’ve known Sylvan online for years now, and always love reading her stuff, no matter what she’s talking about. Her posts range from a current series on runes, to the struggles of life, to all sorts of other topics.

2) Sia over at Full Circle News does a great roundup of information and topics currently of interest to the Pagan community – I look forward to her thoughtful comments in my RSS reader.

3) Donald Engstrom’s It’s the Journey, not the Destination. Many people know Donald through his work as a teacher in Reclaiming, but I got to know him through his relationship (and now marriage) to one of my tradmates. I adore talking to him: even though there are things we don’t always agree on, I always come away having learned something, or seeing something differently. Also, I adore conversations with people who are passionate about what they’re doing – and Donald definitely qualifies!

4) Lupa’s Pagan Book Reviews provide great thoughts (and details) about the good and bad of Pagan books. (I like her other writings, too). She’s starting grad school, so her time to post may drop off a bit, but they’re worthwhile gems.

5) Dw3t-Hthr’s Letters from Gehenna: The World on a Slant . This blog, from a friend since college, always makes me think. She’s also hooked into different parts of the blogosphere (and from different angles) than I am, which I find very healthy for my perspective. As she says: “I do all my weird normally and all my normal strangely. My blog is a repository of a variety of pontifications, on a variety of subjects including, but not limited to, religion, sex, BDSM, gender, sociopolitical neepery, the hell is wrong with people nowadays, and the art of living in the world one wants to bring into being while acknowledging that we’re not there yet.” Good description.

6) PostSecret is pretty widely known, but I didn’t start reading it until around this time last year. PostSecret is an art project wherein people send in postcards with a secret on them – which are then posted in the blog (and sometimes included in the printed books.) I read every Sunday, because there’s such a huge range of perspectives and stories out there, even when some of them are very painful.

7) Finally, for a professional note, The Feel Good Librarian is a rarely updated blog these days, but well worth the archives. It’s written by a librarian at a public library – and she talks about why we do what we do, and what kind of difference it makes for people. I reread it to remind myself why my job is a good thing, and also that what I think is a single, simple act can have a huge effect on someone else.