Lesbian/Gay section of Chi. Pub. Library hit by arson

Via Professor Ken Sherrill, head of the Poli Sci dept. at Hunter in NYC, comes this e-mail. This article seems to confirm many aspects of the e-mail.


Any information from dKos members would be appreciated. (E.g., Anyone in Chi-town seeing this story on the nightly news?)

Friends,

    Some time around or just after 12:30 p.m. [on June 13, 2006--original post stating June 14 was in error] person or persons unknown started a fire in the Gay and Lesbian (GLBT) book collection of the John Merlo branch of the Chicago Public Library at 644 W. Belmont.

    The fire destroyed about 100 gay books, mostly fiction, and damaged others, some of which appear to be the only ones in the entire Chicago Public Library system. The gay specialist reference librarian who curates the collection is currently taking an inventory of what is no longer usable.

    Police and fire departments have been brought in as well as senior library personnel. At this point, I do not have any more information.

    I hardly need to point out the implications (and tradition) of book burning, of attacks on gays and gay symbols, and that the Merlo branch library goes out of its way to be gay friendly. It is Gay Pride month, less than two weeks until the Gay Pride parade.

    Some readers may recall a Chicago Free Press article and commentary column about the gay collection last March.

    Paul Varnell
    Chicago

----

*UPDATE:* I've changed the title from "Possible" to "Probable" in light of that fact that the Tribune is calling it the work of "vandals."

Tags: arson, book burning, books, Freedom of Speech, gay (all tags)

Comments

3 Comments

Re: Lesbian/Gay section of Chi. Pub. Library hit b

Yes, I did hear about it on WGN: will watch another late night news as well -- wasn't paying close attention as I'm still trying to get my kid into bed. Sigh.

The Trib reports this on the website:
"Vandals set fire to gay books in library

Tribune staff reports
Published June 14, 2006, 9:12 PM CDT

Chicago police are investigating a fire in a Chicago Public Library branch on the North Side that damaged about 100 books, most of them in the gay and lesbian collection.

A patron at the John Merlo Branch Library, 644 W. Belmont Ave., alerted staff members to a fire on the branch's second floor about noon Tuesday, Officer JoAnn Taylor said

Firefighters were called, but library staffers were able to put out the fire, said library spokeswoman Maggie Killackey.

Killackey said fire damaged about 10 books in the branch's African-American history collection and 90 books in the gay and lesbian collection.

The library remained open.

Library officials had not immediately tallied the value of the damaged books, but Killackey said the books will be replaced. The branch houses about 1,000 books in its gay and lesbian collection, she said.

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune"

by Maven 2006-06-14 07:02PM | 0 recs
Re: Lesbian/Gay section of Chi. Pub. Library hit

Yes, I did hear about it on WGN: will watch another late night news as well -- wasn't paying close attention as I'm still trying to get my kid into bed. Sigh.

The Trib reports this on the website:
"Vandals set fire to gay books in library

Tribune staff reports
Published June 14, 2006, 9:12 PM CDT

Chicago police are investigating a fire in a Chicago Public Library branch on the North Side that damaged about 100 books, most of them in the gay and lesbian collection.

A patron at the John Merlo Branch Library, 644 W. Belmont Ave., alerted staff members to a fire on the branch's second floor about noon Tuesday, Officer JoAnn Taylor said

Firefighters were called, but library staffers were able to put out the fire, said library spokeswoman Maggie Killackey.

Killackey said fire damaged about 10 books in the branch's African-American history collection and 90 books in the gay and lesbian collection.

The library remained open.

Library officials had not immediately tallied the value of the damaged books, but Killackey said the books will be replaced. The branch houses about 1,000 books in its gay and lesbian collection, she said.

Copyright © 2006, Chicago Tribune"

by Maven 2006-06-14 07:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Lesbian/Gay section of Chi. Pub. Library

Sorry for the double post.  I must be tired.

by Maven 2006-06-14 07:04PM | 0 recs

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