9/11 Truth and Public Libraries
by Andy Schmidt
March 26, 2007
The 9/11 truth movement has a wonderful resource at its disposal that it may not be using to the fullest extent possible – public libraries. I’m a librarian by profession, and I encourage everyone in the movement to connect with their local public libraries in order to increase community awareness of 9/11 truth.
One way to do this is to simply ask a librarian at your local branch library to order some 9/11 truth books and DVDs. Last year, I presented my local library with a list of 9/11 truth books I wanted them to order, including the first two 9/11 truth books by David Ray Griffin and Webster Tarpley’s 9/11 Synthetic Terror: Made in USA. The library ordered all three titles, and they’re now part of the library’s permanent collection. The library is also in the process of ordering several 9/11 truth DVDs for its audio/visual department.
It’s one thing to buy a 9/11 truth book at the bookstore and keep it for yourself. It’s another thing to give your entire community the gift of access to that book, which is what you do when you request an item for your library.
Now, there is an obstacle in our way, which is that librarians are in denial about 9/11 just like people in every walk of life throughout U.S. society. If your library’s collection development manager is true to the noble goals of the profession, which include fighting for intellectual freedom and against censorship, he or she should have no problem with purchasing these materials and making them available. However, if that person doesn’t like the idea of 9/11 truth and refuses to order something, you may have to ask your friends, neighbors, and the local 9/11 truth community to also request the materials in question. There’s strength in numbers. The more requests the library receives from different library patrons, the more pressure is on them to order the items.
I ran into this obstacle recently, when I tried to request 9/11 and American Empire Volume I: Intellectuals Speak Out, edited by David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott. The collection development manager told me, “These 9/11 books just don’t get checked out.” But this reasoning didn’t stop the library from ordering a copy of the notorious Popular Mechanics book, Debunking 9/11 Myths, for every single neighborhood branch in the library system (nine locations, total). The 9/11 truth titles, by contrast, are available only in small quantities at the three larger branches, even though they have more accurate information in them.
While not outright censorship, this is an example of “stacking the deck” against 9/11 truth, and it must be fought against. If the Popular Mechanics book is the only one available at a library branch, then the community there doesn’t have access to the best information available about 9/11 – in fact, it has access to some of the worst information available. Of course, the 9/11 Commission Report also qualifies for this designation, and it is also widely available at most library locations.
Another way to increase 9/11 truth awareness by using your library is to have meetings there. Your local 9/11 truth group can have regular meetings at your public library, for free. All you have to do is ask a librarian how to reserve a meeting room, and he or she will provide you with the information you need, which usually includes a form and a set of meeting room policies. Most libraries will let you meet at least once a month, depending on room availability. My local library now allows patrons to reserve meeting rooms over the internet, which is a wonderful new development.
If you’re hosting a 9/11 truth event, make sure you encourage everyone in the audience to get a library card, because you typically need a card to request materials for the library and to reserve meeting rooms. Another thing you can do is provide them with a welcome packet that includes some item request forms. Tell them how to fill out these forms and where in the library to drop them off. If even just five or ten people do this, the library will most likely order the items in question, and you’ve just increased the availability of 9/11 truth information in a very dramatic way.
Libraries still have the advantage of operating under the radar of society at large, including the massive propaganda machine that distracts us and kills our interest in being thoughtful, active citizens. The powers that be would like nothing better than to flatline the budgets for all things public in their insane quest to privatize everything in sight, thereby eliminating the entire concept of the public good and making the world safe for business. But somehow, public libraries still manage to survive and perform little miracles every day, like making 9/11 truth information available and accessible to everyone.
Your public library is a treasure. Please make use of it while you still can.