[Libs-Or] Fwd: [srrtac-l] FW: [Conntech] Enfield library will show Sicko after all.

Diedre Conkling diedre08 at gmail.com
Tue Jan 25 10:33:20 PST 2011

Today's update

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Hammond, Jaime <JHammond at nvcc.commnet.edu>
Date: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 8:57 AM
Subject: [srrtac-l] FW: [Conntech] Enfield library will show Sicko after
To: srrtac-l at ala.org


Jaime Hammond, Librarian

Naugatuck Valley Community College

*From:* conntech-bounces at mylist.net [mailto:conntech-bounces at mylist.net] *On
Behalf Of *Peter Chase
*Sent:* Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:51 AM
*To:* ConnTech
*Cc:* Andrew Schneider; Deborah Caldwell-Stone
*Subject:* [Conntech] Enfield library will show Sicko after all.

Wonderful news. Enfield town officials have reversed course and will allow
'sicko' to be shown at library after all.  (see JI article below).
Congratulations Henry Dutcher.

Peter Chase, CLA - Intellectual Freedom Committee

Towns > Enfield
Enfield library director won’t discuss censorship but says ‘Sicko’ will be
By Marcus Hatfield
Journal Inquirer
Published: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 11:07 AM EST
ENFIELD — Library Director Henry Dutcher on Monday said that Michael Moore’s
controversial documentary “Sicko” will eventually be screened at the Enfield
Public Library but postponing it for now — as some town officials wanted —
was in the best interest of the library.

Dutcher, in his first interview since Town Manager Matthew W. Coppler lifted
a gag order on him, would not, however, address questions about whether the
Town Council’s pressure to cancel the library’s Jan. 21 screening of
“Sicko,” Moore’s 2007 Academy Award-nominated documentary criticizing the
American health care system, was censorship.

Also Monday, Democratic Town Chairman Anthony DiPace said he plans to show
the film in the Town Hall Council Chambers at the Democratic Town Committee
meeting on Feb. 9. The screening will be open to the public, he said.

Enfield drew interest from around the world last week after the Journal
Inquirer reported Thursday that the council, at its Jan. 18 meeting,
pressured the library to cancel its Jan. 21 screening of “Sicko” — the
second installment of the library’s nonfiction film series. Mayor Scott R.
Kaupin also threatened to cut the library’s funding if the film was shown,
raising questions of whether the council had censored the library.

The mayor asked Coppler to talk to Dutcher about canceling the film after
four residents — all members of the Republican Town Committee — used the
public comment portion of the council meeting to object to the screening.

Dutcher, in an interview at the library on Monday, said he chose to “take a
step back” to retool the film series at Coppler’s request because it was in
the best long-term interests of the library.

“Wednesday morning, we had a situation,” Dutcher said, referring to the
morning after the council meeting when he and Coppler decided to cancel the
screening. “It’s how you resolve the situation, the end result.”

He said that although the episode wasn’t pretty, it provided an “amazing
lesson” in how democracy works.

“I personally think what we’ve been through has been very positive in the
outcome,” he said. “A lot of people say, if you see sausage made, you
wouldn’t want to eat it, but then you might be deprived of something you
really like. Going through this might not be something you really, really
like, but the end process is something that makes us stronger. That’s a real
positive thing.

Dutcher said that because he worked exclusively with Coppler throughout this
process, he did not want to answer any questions about whether he thought
the council had censored him or the library, saying that he didn’t know that
it was a “yes or no question.”

“I am focusing on the end result. I know someone would want me to say, ‘No,
answer that question,’” he said, adding that some of the feedback he has
received has been criticism that he didn’t take a stronger stand. “That’s
not my province. My province is to make sure this library moves forward in
the way we’ve always done. That’s my role.

“What would I have gained simply by showing a movie on one particular date?”
he asked.

Although he wouldn’t say specifically what he would have risked by refusing
to cancel the movie, he said “there was certainly a chance that the manner
in which we would progress would be much more confrontational.”

Dutcher said he recognizes now that there were flaws in the film series,
which was renamed “Friday Flicks.” It had previously been known as “Fun

Dutcher said the titles for the non-fiction film series that included
“Sicko” were chosen months ago and, therefore, he had no idea that
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives would push through a vote
on their initiative to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care plan last
week, the same week the film was to be shown.

Dutcher said that in the past the library showed two other Moore
documentaries, “Bowling for Columbine” and “Fahrenheit 9/11” without any

He said he and his staff focused on finding award-winning or nominated films
with high profiles that dealt with “hot topics” such as health care,
education, and the environment. In doing so, he said, he didn’t create a
balanced series.

“We didn’t get the balance,” he said. “That’s what we’re working on.”

He said he expects to have his plan ready in the next week or so, well in
advance of the next council meeting on Feb. 7, which is what council member

Finding balance is not always easy, he said. Sometimes, there are no obvious
counterpoints to offer. For example, he said the library once hosted a
presentation about deep-sea fishing, and he said he didn’t know what would
constitute balance in that case.

He said he has considered several films to provide balance to “Sicko.” One
of the titles is called “Sick and Sicker” and is a documentary critical of
the health care reform law promoted last year by Obama. Although both films
focus on health care, Dutcher said it isn’t clear whether they represent a
balanced look at the same issue.

He also gave the example of films about Islam, asking whether the library
would have to show films about multiple religions to achieve the balance
demanded by the council.

Kaupin said Monday that balance could be achieved by showing multiple movies
or by supplementing the films with speakers.

“Sometimes maybe you can’t find balance — maybe there’s not another film
that’s credible, but you can find a speaker. You can find a presentation,”
Kaupin said. “Invite someone in from Johnson Memorial Hospital or Hartford
Hospital or St. Francis and get their impression on health care.”

Resident Kevin Fealy, in his comments at the Jan. 18 council meeting when he
objected to the library’s screening of “Sicko,” said that although he felt
cancellation was the right approach, if the screening was to go forward,
there should be an opposing viewpoint offered.

“If we do want to see differing points of view, I would suggest films like
‘The Passion of the Christ’ and other controversial movies would also be
filmed or shown and advertised for viewing in a public venue like that on
the tax dollar,” Fealy said.

Dutcher said that because the film series uses materials owned by the
library or on loan from other libraries there is virtually no additional
cost involved.

DiPace said he’s looking for someone to provide him with a copy of “Sicko”
that he can screen for the public after the Democrats’ meeting on Feb. 9 at
Town Hall.

Republican Town Chairwoman Mary Ann Turner said Monday that she has no
objection to DiPace’s plan.

“Good for Tony. If he wants to invite me, I’ll bring the popcorn,” she said.
Peter Chase, Library Director
Plainville Public Library
56 E. Main St.
Plainville, CT 06062
Phone: (860) 793-1446
Fax: (860) 793-2241

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*Diedre Conkling
Lincoln County Library District
P.O. Box 2027
Newport, OR  97365
Phone & Fax:  541-265-3066
**Work email:  **diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org*<diedre at lincolncolibrarydist.org>
*  NEW**
Home email:  **diedre08 at gmail.com* <diedre08 at gmail.com>
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