Censorship by the Library of Congress

*** It’s 2017. Almost two years have gone by since this post was published. The LOC again is celebrating itself for “protecting 160 million plus items” – except for books that are not published by an increasingly small number of corporate book publishers. In other words, the LOC is a backward bureaucracy that ignores important self published books. Americans deserve better!

“I cannot live without books.”

This famous statement by Thomas Jefferson was the theme of a recent National Book Festival held by the Library of Congress (LOC) in Washington, DC.

But the dirty secret is that the LOC can live without certain books – books that are not published by a small number of national and international publishers (i.e. corporations) that apparently have the LOC’s stamp of approval.  In other words, the LOC can live without self-published books.

I know this because the LOC has refused to catalog my 2014 book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace, to make it available to policy-makers who are working on issues involving age discrimination. When I asked why earlier this year, I received the following email on May 18, 2015 from Kurt Carroll, Chief, Law Collection Services:

“The format, level of depth, and policy focus did not meet our criteria for addition to our research collection.  I consider this decision closed and do not wish to discuss further.”

Technically, censorship is the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.  In this case, it is not clear whether the LOC bothered to look at my book.   On its face, Carroll’s email is absurd.

Lacks depth? My book delves into law and case law and  is  heavily footnoted. Only a moron would say that it lacks a policy focus. The book is about the lack of equal justice afforded under current American law to older workers who are victims of age discrimination when compared to workers who are victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and national origin. It is also about the devastating impact of the Great Recession on older workers due to epidemic and unaddressed aged discrimination. [Read more…]