As usual, Robert Friedman was right on target in his last article of July 27 (Village Voice). His statement about ADL and "its attempt to determine what should be taught in our nation schools, what should be read in our nation libraries, and what should be publicly discussed about Israel in public forums" brought to my mind a problem I had with two public libraries in Westchester county.
Striving to achieve some kind of balance in the Middle East collections of the libraries I visit frequently, I offered a gift subscription of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs to White Plains, Greenburgh and Tarrytown public libraries. Hiding behind the fact that the Washington Report is not indexed, White Plains and Greenburgh rejected it. When I pointed out to the two library directors that their libraries carry unindexed materials White Plains director replied that "We know our collection to be well-rounded as to format and point of view in the area in question." A totally false statement since the library has subscriptions to Commentary, Tikkun and Midstream representing one side and just one publication, Middle East Policy, representing the opposite side. When I took the matter to the Board of Trustees, far from addressing the inconsistencies of the director, the Board members chose to back her up. It is interesting to know, however, that no less than 2,500 public libraries across the United States receive the Washington Report. They cannot possibly all be wrong.
July 31, 1993]