Sturgis Library Bans Dissident

August 18, 2012  Word reaches the Camel that the Saloon’s good friend, G. Tod Slone, has been banned—for life!—from his local library in Barnstable, Massachusetts, by Lucy Loomis, the director of the Sturgis Library.

The banishment comes after Slone publicly criticized Loomis and the library for declining to place a copy of The American Dissident in circulation.  The journal, edited by Slone, deliberately and vociferously challenges American literary and academic elites and their individual protectors to confront the hypocrisy of their hegemony over cultural values in today’s society.

The refusal of the library to find space on the shelves for the Dissident, and Slone’s response to the decision on free speech grounds, caught the attention of the local newspaper, which published an article sympathetic to Slone’s side of the dispute in the spring of 2011, linked here.

The quarrel apparently simmered in Loomis’ mind for more than a year, until June of 2012.  Then, seeing Slone in the library one Tuesday afternoon, Loomis without warning summoned the local gendarmes to give him the bum’s rush.  Slone’s eviction was performed together with a No Trespassing for Life order conjured out of thin air by Loomis.  The reasons stated by Loomis for the banishment: Slone made ‘inappropriate comments and made her feel uncomfortable.’

No witnesses, no evidence, no facts, no due process, no right of appeal, just the opinion of Loomis, and poof, no more library for you, Mister Slone.  That’s the cost of free speech at Loomis’ library, and how fast an individual’s civil rights gets revoked on her premises.

The Saloon is happy today to publish Slone’s description of the entire episode, linked here.

The Camel Saloon is dedicated to the right to self-expression, especially in the context of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states in full:

“Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

Please join me in protesting and condemning this affront to liberty by emailing the library at to demand Slone’s full right to the benefits of the library.

The Saloon will be happy to publish all messages in support of Slone.  Correspondents wishing to publicly state his or her opposition to Slone’s banishment may simply copy the Saloon on any missive sent to the library.

Thank you,

Russell Streur
The Camel Saloon


Donal F. Mahoney:  It's time to make G. Tod Slone a member of the board at Sturgis Library!

Dear Ms. Loomis,

It's hard for me to believe that you banned G. Tod Slone, the editor of The American Dissident from the Sturgis Library "for Life." It will be his bad luck to live to 100.

What better place than your library for a copy of his publication to be available for the reading pleasure or displeasure of those who either  agree or disagree with its contents.

Let me tell you why.

I am a Roman Catholic and my church is currently going through tumultuous times with nice conservatives pitted against nasty liberals. Which camp I am in doesn't really matter. But I can tell you this. I subscribe to publications put out by BOTH sides because I want to keep an eye on the nefarious individuals who disagree with my personal position. I want to know in advance what those nincompoops may do next. They may want to install a married transgendered Pope if they have their way (not that there is anything wrong with that, some might say).

Politically, I do the same thing. When a big story breaks I watch a little of the conservative Fox News channel as well as a little of socialist MSNBC. I want to know if Chris Matthews may be coming after me some day with an attack Pekingese or Chihuahua. I have to be careful.

Maybe you just don't like Mr. Slone. Or maybe it's his haircut. But why not act professionally and welcome this editor back to Sturgis, subscribe to The American Dissident "for life," and have him appointed to your board so he can have some say the next time your salary comes up for review.

Carry on, Ms. Loomis, but look under the bed every night before putting the candle out. You never know who might be there, grinning, with slobber running down the corners of his mouth. This is America, the home of the free, depending on the results of the next election. 

Richard Hartwell:  Censorship of book, man and idea.

Ms Loomis:

What I find most reprehensible in your exclusion of Mr Slone from the Sturgis Library and the exclusion of The American Dissident from circulation is your contravention of the ideals of the American Library Association as stated in its Library Bill of Rights.

The Library Bill of Rights, as adopted by the American Library Association in 1939, revised in 1948, and amended in 1961, 1967, and 1980, reads:

I. Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
II. Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
III. Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.
IV. Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
V. A person’s right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
VI. Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.

My concern Ms Loomis is that in your zeal to promote your own perspective you have lost sight of the very values you are in a position to uphold.  One of my fondest recollections as an adolescent was of the librarian in Gilroy, California, Ms Vera Svoboda, who provided me access to books and ideas far above my age but well within my intellect.  I hold the post of librarian in high esteem.

I ask you to reconsider your position with regard to Mr Slone and his publication in light of the ALA Library Bill of Rights, to which I am certain you subscribe.  I thank you for your thoughtful reconsideration of what can only be considered overt censorship of book, man and idea.

Raymand Keen:  I am a Veteran, and our citizens have died for freedom of expression and the right to due process.

To Whom It May Concern:

I have been informed of the action taken by Sturgis Library in Barnstable, MA against one of its own local citizens, writer and editor G. Tod Slone.

I have read the account of the events leading up to his permanent banning from your library by The Barnstable Patriot, and also G. Tod Slone's own account.

I find your action against him not only without merit, but against the most basic rights a library should be in support of in our democracy:  freedom of expression and right to due process. 

My writing the above does not make it so, but I mean it and have thought about it.  From where I stand, your actions are appalling.  I am a Veteran, and our citizens have died for the two enumerated rights above, along with other rights.  The actions by your library have cast aside these fundamental rights on selfish whim.  Shame on you!

I might add that The American Dissident is a fine publication, with integrity and a courageous inclusion of diverse opinion.  One would hope such a publication would be welcomed by any library.  Sadly, Sturgis Library apparently is not interested in diverse opinion combined with fine writing.

On the other hand, it is never too late to change, grow, mature -- and even apologize.  I am hopeful such will be the case with you.

I encourage you to apologize to G. Tod Slone, and reverse you unmerited ban on him from Sturgis Library.

Raphaelle O’Neil:  Will there be book burnings too?

I am writing this email in regards to the G. Tod Slone incident.  Upon hearing of the events that took place, and the subsequent BANNING FOR LIFE of Mr. Slone, I felt the overwhelming need to express my utter horror, shock, and moral outrage at your decision to place your personal prejudices ahead of your duties as the director of a PUBLIC Library.  This showed both a tremendous lack of maturity, on your part, as well as understanding, it would seem, of the PEOPLE'S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT to free speech-  as your banning of Mr. Slone clearly exhibits your disdain for those who would dare exercise their freedoms, in a place that used to be a refuge for it!  What next?  Will there be book burnings, too?  Did you really go into the library field to KEEP people FROM books, Mrs. Loomis? I would certainly hope not!  So please, reconsider your decision, and restore Mr. Slone's good standing and rights to public space, and reading material, as he's done nothing more evil than dare to question your authority while in the process of exercising his own first amendment rights.

"Here in America we are descended in blood and in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine. As their heirs, may we never confuse honest dissent with disloyal subversion."  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

"Dissent is the highest form of patriotism." ~Howard Zinn

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it." ~Edward R. Murrow

Joanna M. Weston:  Freedom to differ

I am completely baffled as to why your library would ban G. Tod Slone from your doors simply for expressing him opinion. You may not agree with him, but one of the freedoms we all enjoy is to differ in what we think and say. I request that you remove the ban, apologize, and lay out the red carpet for G. Tod Slone.

Marc Carver:  I support Mr. Slone.

Alan Britt
Katherine Gotthardt
G. E. Reutter
Doug Draime
Michael H. Brownstein

Lucy Loomis Replies

Thank you for your email. I appreciate hearing your point of view, and I will share it with our Board President.

Lucy Loomis, Library Director
Sturgis Library, Barnstable Village


All dissidents and wanderers are welcome here.