Christian videos

Mary Gontarek --- Owatonna Public Library (MARYG@selco.lib.mn.us)
Wed, 22 Sep 1999 08:25:47 -0700 (PDT)

I'm a media specialist in a medium-sized public library. Lately we've noticed
a rather subtle campaign to get certain Christian materials into our collection.A donation of the complete Veggie Tales series - which we did add by the way -
and lately, and not so subtle, brochures from the Moody Bible Institute pushing
science videos with the Christian creationist viewpoint lying open on my
desk. Most of these titles have sweet names like "God's Rockin' World" and
"Newton's Workshop". My concern is that some librarians will fill their
shelves with these titles, they're inexpensive and often free, in a good
faith attempt to provide materials for their Christian population. I checked
our regional database and found that several of these titles are in library
collections. I believe, as do most professional librarians, in providing a
balanced viewpoint but in this case I think we must be very, very careful not
to bend over backwards so far that we can no longer see straight. My question isjust how far DO we go? Given recent events such as the Kansas Board of Education
not requiring the state's 304 school districts to teach the concepts of
evolution, I think librarians must be more vigilant and outspoken in this
confrontation. It seems that too many of us are afraid to speak out on this
topic. Among the many things creationists believe is that when God created
the earth app. 9,000 years ago, he also created fossils - I suppose as a sort
of test? How can we possibly put materials on our shelves that propose such
a theory? Creationism is NOT a science, it is a religious theory, plain and
simple, and it isn't even a theory that is adopted by most religious groups.
Pope John Paul II and many other religious leaders do not teach this concept
of creationism as proposed by evangelical religions. Another patron in our
community recently wanted to donate a 10 volume series on the creationist
viewpoint and we said thanks, but no thanks. I'd be interested to hear from
other librarians on how they're handling this problem - and I do think it's
a very serious problem.
Mary Gontarek
Owatonna Public Library
Owatonna, MN