Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Addie Moves On, Flag Stays

Haverford Township Librarian Addie Ciannella is resigning her post.

In announcing her resignation she told the Haverford board of commissioners:

"I want to encourage you to continue the work of bringing the library into the 21st century - we're almost there."

Back in 2003, Ciannella thought bringing the library into the 21st century meant excluding certain potentially offensive "symbols" because they might "send a message of unwelcome philosophical orientation, expectations of others, and can produce ill will and even fear."

The symbol at the library Ciannella was most concerned about? The American Flag.

Her attempt to ban the Stars and Stripes won Haverford a mention on Fox News with Brit Hume, the notice of the Wall Street Journal, and this newspaper.

(Here's a link to my original column on the subject.)

Addie is leaving. But the flag she sought to ban is staying. Good luck and best wishes to them both.


Blogger Franny Ward said...

That flag that she sought to ban gave her the right to have books to read, if you catch my drift. Someone should remind her that the Nazi's burned books and people in her former profession were tortured and even killed.

August 27, 2008 at 1:02 PM 
Anonymous randal said...

Sometimes it is funny to watch anti-America Liberals wiggle and try to defend and couch their anti-Americanism. Although there really nothing funny about this. Can you imagine the young minds she’s polluted over the years with her warped Lib views? That’d be like having Dishonest Dave Diano teaching children American History! No one holding such views should be permitted on a public payroll or be allowed anywhere near children.

August 28, 2008 at 11:39 AM 
Anonymous Jeff Miller, Board President said...

To clarify, the board was only to consider the question of how to display gifts to the library. The flag was a gift to be displayed and the library had no policy in place for such donations. The gift prompted a discussion...what is the obligation to display and what are the limits of that obligation. What if it had been a Nazi flag, or other controversial item? That was the only question. Unfortunately, it was spun into a different story.

September 2, 2008 at 9:58 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

Readers can decide if the story of Addie Ciannelli and her hesitancy to accept an American flag as a gift to the Haverford public library was "spun" into something it wasn't.

But it seems to me, it's Mr. Miller who's attempting to spin it several years after the fact.

That one library board member (Bill Mingey) resigned over the silliness of Ms. Ciannelli and the rest of the board questioning whether the Stars and Stripes should be accepted as an appropriate gift is a fact.

The flag in question was NOT a Nazi flag. But if Mr. Miller is so obtuse as not to know whether a anti-semetic symbol of Hitler's Nazi Germany should be displayed at the Haverford library he should think about resigning too.

What if? Well, you tell the Nazi-flag lover to take his swastika and shove it.

It allegedly took the Havertown library board hours of research, a review of "court rulings" and "legislation" to determine they could, in fact and in good conscience, allow an American flag to be displayed in their library.

Geez. Makes you wonder if they researched whether a picture of George Washington is "appropriate," given his ownership of slaves and what not.

What's wrong with these people.

September 2, 2008 at 6:38 PM 
Anonymous r said...

What's wrong with these people.

They're Libs.

Did that guy really just liken the Swastika to the Stars and Stripes??

September 3, 2008 at 4:11 AM 
Anonymous Jeff Miller said...

Spencerblog, there is nothing wrong with those people. Just ordinary folk who volunteer for their township library and want to make smart choices - not knee-jerk reactions.

The flag incident was unfortunate. No doubt that the flag should have been accepted and displayed.

To put it in context, when Ms. Cianella joined the library it had nothing in the way of personel manuals or procedures and was extremely light on a basic framework for the library association itself. I joined the board and helped develop these manuals along with a strategic plan and other essential guidelines for the longterm health of the organization (in an odd twist, I must credit the departure of Mr. Mingey for opening a spot that must have allowed for me to enter). What I can say is that over the past 6 years the library has grown in attendance and reputation throughout the Delware County Library System with most of that good report coming from the strong talent of Ms. Ciannella and the dedication of the board.

I invite you to stop by, see the flag, visit our website, and in general enjoy all that the library has to offer (you would be impressed with the many free databases available, too). You might even find some books on tolerance and forgiveness....;-)

September 3, 2008 at 10:24 AM 
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