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The attack on “The Marketing of Evil” by professors at Ohio State University – who branded their head librarian a “sexual harasser” simply for recommending all freshmen read the bestselling book – is making some librarians wonder if they too may be persecuted for selecting “conservative” books.
“I’ve asked my colleagues in the Virginia Tech library whether they have become fearful of actually purchasing books for the Tech libraries, given what happened to Mr. Savage for merely recommending a book for a reading list,” said one veteran librarian at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Va.
“Mr. Savage” of course is Scott Savage – a devout Quaker and head research librarian at OSU’s Mansfield, Ohio, campus. Last month, as a member of the university’s First Year Reading Experience Committee, Savage suggested four books be considered as required reading for incoming freshmen: “The Marketing of Evil” by David Kupelian, “The Professors” by David Horowitz, “Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis” by Bat Ye’or, and “It Takes a Family” by Sen. Rick Santorum.
Unexpectedly, however, the book suggestions drew blood. Three professors – two openly homosexual – condemned “The Marketing of Evil” as “hate literature” and “homophobic tripe” and filed a sexual harassment complaint against the librarian, contending his suggestion that students should read Kupelian’s book “threatened” them and made them feel “unsafe” and “harassed” on campus. After a stunning 21-0 faculty vote (with 9 abstentions) on March 13, the school launched an official “investigation” of Savage for “harassment due to sexual orientation.”
Defended by the Christian law firm Alliance Defense Fund, and with widespread media coverage for the last 10 days, OSU finally reversed itself and notified Savage last week that the harassment charges had been dropped. But now Savage and his lawyers are considering some sort of legal action against the university.
Question: If conservative books – even popular bestsellers – and their authors attract so much condemnation on college campuses today, how is that bias reflected in the schools’ library systems?
The Virginia Tech librarian ran a database search on “The Marketing of Evil” to see how many libraries worldwide had a copy, and came up with some surprising results. He searched WorldCat, an online database of the Dublin, Ohio-based Online Computer Library Center, or OCLC, which is accessed by more than 53,548 libraries in 96 countries and territories worldwide.
“According to WorldCat,” he said, “only 188 libraries worldwide report owning a copy of ‘The Marketing of Evil.’ I’m pleased that Virginia Tech is one of only eight libraries in Virginia that reports owning the book. I had requested it because I wanted to read it. One of my colleagues saw to it that it was purchased. We are now pleased to see that it is currently checked out.”
“But,” he added, “could we be at risk for recommending the book and adding it to the collection? We’ll have to get more books like this to find out.”
Of the many academic libraries in Virginia, he added, “only two of six public doctoral institutions (Virginia Tech and University of Virginia), and two private universities (Regent University and Liberty University) report owning a copy of the book.”
“In North Carolina, UNC Wilmington and Elon U. are the only 4-year institutions that report owning the book,” he said. “And in Ohio, home of the controversy, not a single academic library reports owning the book, though nine public libraries report owning it.”
Other “conservative” books – despite their bestseller status with the public – often do not end up in university libraries, he said. “Books by Regnery Publishing seem especially unpopular on campuses. For example, only 185 libraries report owning a copy of ‘The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science.’ Only NC State and two public libraries in North Carolina report owning a copy.”
“Perhaps we need some philanthropist to start donating such books to libraries across the country,” he quipped.
But would the libraries accept the books, even if donated?
“Everything has changed in libraries,” Savage explained, noting that many, though certainly not all, librarians “strongly disassociate themselves from anything on the right.”
Indeed, the American Library Association, the oldest and largest library association in the world with more than 64,000 members, is unapologetically left-wing. It is currently debating whether to sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America, vigorously defends the acquisition of X-rated children’s books in public libraries, and has repeatedly defended communist dictator Fidel Castro over dissident librarians imprisoned in Cuba.
Predictably, as the Virginia Tech librarian told WND, “the American Library Association has had an incredible silence about Scott Savage. Here’s a librarian under attack for recommending a book!”
With such a leftist leadership, said Savage, in many libraries there isn’t much likelihood of conservative, traditional-values-oriented books ending up on the shelves.
For a lot of librarians, said Savage, “it’s a nonessential purchase if it’s on the right.”
Savage confirmed the WorldCat database search for “The Marketing of Evil” in Ohio institutions of higher learning.
“I can give you stats for the 84 Ohio colleges and universities and the state library,” he said. “There are zip – zero – none of them have it in their collection.”
Not every library links to OCLC, so the statistics on WorldCat are not totally inclusive, but are very valuable – and accurate – for comparison purposes.
Here’s a comparison between “The Marketing of Evil” and another bestselling book, one written by an unabashedly liberal author: Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America.” Here’s how the books lined up.
- “Nickel and Dimed”: 3,542 copies in libraries worldwide.
- “The Marketing of Evil”: 188 copies in libraries worldwide.
Released in August, “The Marketing of Evil” has become one of the nation’s most talked-about books, widely praised by Dr. Laura, David Limbaugh, Michelle Malkin, D. James Kennedy and many others and garnering over 100 five-star reader reviews on Amazon.com. Although some 1-star Amazon reviews attack Kupelian in the same vein as the OSU professors, most readers sound a very different message, as reflected in the following reviews:
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