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Thread: PA author gets fired from job because of book

  1. #1
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    PA author gets fired from job because of book

    I have to run out the door, but I wanted to post this before I did. Here's an article about a librarian who lost her job at a small town library because her "fictional" account of life at small town library wasn't ficitonal enough.

    Her publisher?

    Why, PA.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=72228

    Be back later. If this already had a thread, Mods, I apologize!

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  2. #2
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    Libraries are bastions are free speech unless you slander someone and:
    "The publisher, Publish America, is a grassroots group that publishes "people who are unknown, without charging the person thousands of dollars some self publishers charge," she said.
    WTF?

  3. #3
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    "The publisher, Publish America, is a grassroots group that publishes "people who are unknown
    And after it prints their books, they're still unknown unless they get into legal trouble. Great publicity.

  4. #4
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    Here's the link to the author's hometown newspaper with the original story:

    http://www.ludingtondailynews.com/ne...story_id=41013

    And this is what one reader posted on that same site on Aug. 11:

    "Have any of you even read this book? I was able to pick out every character in this book. Her identity became known because she sent letters to everyone she knew saying she wrote the book..."

    Aside from any issues the individuals she may have used as models for her characters might have; this is now a public issue in that community and will continue to receive a great deal of attention because she is appealing her termination.

  5. #5
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    "The publisher, Publish America, is a grassroots group that publishes "people who are unknown, without charging the person thousands of dollars some self publishers charge," she said.
    In other words, she knows it's self-publishing.

    I love that in the article she can't figure out how people knew it was her because she used a pen name, when the pen name is her maiden name, her father (who of course bears that name) is something of a local celebrity, and she says she picked it so some people would know who she was and that PA sent out letters to her friends and acquaintances. And they used a picture of the library where she works on the cover. Clever!

    This isn't a free speech issue; the woman has committed a potentially libelous act. Good luck getting legal backup from your printer.
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  6. #6
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    This is not a free speech issue. This is an issue of YOU DO NOT BREACH YOUR PATRONS' CONFIDENTIALITY. The ALA is absolutely crystal clear on that. If the library director is correct that her descriptions are detailed enough and not very fictionalized, then she absolutely should have been fired.

    In a lot of places, it is pretty hard to get fired from a library job. But this would do it.

    ...I do find it hilarious that she defends herself by saying that hardly anybody would ever have known about the book, because while it's true, it's not what most people want for their novels!
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    windblown and wicked SuperModerator Stew21's Avatar
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    I like how she says that she couldn't come up with the characters on her own.

  8. #8
    If you leave... Pagey's_Girl's Avatar
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    Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility for what you say. If you're going to claim someone is a sex offender (as she apparently did in her book; claiming sex offenders were using the computers in the library) you'd better be able to back that up.
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    Holding out for a Superhero... Sheryl Nantus's Avatar
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    seriously, how did she NOT think that anyone would find out and be upset?

    sell the house and get out of town...

  10. #10
    storm central stormie's Avatar
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    Thank you, Susan, for the morning laugh. Geez. Where did that lady get her BS or MS in library science?
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    haz a shiny new book cover Christine N.'s Avatar
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    No, not freedom of speech. And wasn't iUniverse or Xlibris sued because of a similar book? The publisher was also held liable for the ...uh...libel in the book they produced.

    Hmm...
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  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
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    I found this whole story hugely amusing. Thanks for posting.

  13. #13
    Dreamer of dreams, teller of tales Absolute Sage Susan Gable's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormie View Post
    Thank you, Susan, for the morning laugh. Geez. Where did that lady get her BS or MS in library science?
    A cracker jacks box??

    Here's the other thing. She's obviously a librarian who doesn't know how to do RESEARCH. A little research would have both informed her that people who write "novels" based on real people that are recognizable will get themselves into big trouble, AND that PA is not <ahem> the best option for publishing out there. A little research would have taught her how to submit to the big publishers -- the ones who publish MOST of the books on the shelves in her libraray.

    <sigh>

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    "Assume Good Intentions" SuperModerator Williebee's Avatar
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    “If It hadn’t gone in the paper only a handful of people announcements were sent to in this area would have known about the book.”

    Stern-Hamilton had contacted the Daily News asking for a review of the book,
    Or, we could shorten that to: "If I hadn't contacted the Daily News and asked for a review of my book, the paper wouldn't have known about it."

    Lady, if your book is any good at all, own your words, use the PR.

    ETA: and just maybe you'll be able to afford the lawsuits.
    Last edited by Williebee; 08-13-2008 at 07:21 PM.

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  15. #15
    If you leave... Pagey's_Girl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine N. View Post
    No, not freedom of speech. And wasn't iUniverse or Xlibris sued because of a similar book? The publisher was also held liable for the ...uh...libel in the book they produced.

    Hmm...
    It was something to do with, I believe, a husband writing a nasty tell-all about his ex-wife, if I remember correctly. She was a romance writer.
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  16. #16
    Resident Curmudgeon ResearchGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DecemberQuinn View Post
    . . .
    This isn't a free speech issue; the woman has committed a potentially libelous act. . . .
    Those whose interest is piqued by this thread might want to read Insult to Injury: Libel, Slander, and Invasions of Privacy, by William K. Jones (University Press of Colorado, 2003). It is a scholarly book, but written for serious general readers. Good book for writers.

    --Ken

  17. #17
    Around and About SuperModerator Birol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormie View Post
    Thank you, Susan, for the morning laugh. Geez. Where did that lady get her BS or MS in library science?
    If you're talking about a true small town, the library may not have required one.

  18. #18
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pagey's_Girl View Post
    It was something to do with, I believe, a husband writing a nasty tell-all about his ex-wife, if I remember correctly. She was a romance writer.
    Rebecca Brandewyne. He claimed all sorts of nasties about her, including plagiarism. No real publisher would have touched it because he couldn't back anything up.
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    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pagey's_Girl View Post
    It was something to do with, I believe, a husband writing a nasty tell-all about his ex-wife, if I remember correctly. She was a romance writer.
    Rebecca Brandewyne (sp?).
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  20. #20
    Cat hair collector PVish's Avatar
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    Luddington Talks about the book here.

    The Library Diaries just might be PA's first big seller. If readers can get the book.

  21. #21
    Banned Bo Sullivan's Avatar
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    I feel sorry for the people in that small town who are able to identify themselves from what is written. If I was one of those people and what the author had written was not true, I would sue her. I wonder why she wrote negative things about people, when there must have been so many positive things she could have said about the community in which she lives. Then the author might have excited positive media interest which is much more worthwhile.

    Barbara

  22. #22
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    It's such a violation of trust, and ethics. It's a bit shocking.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duped View Post
    I feel sorry for the people in that small town who are able to identify themselves from what is written. If I was one of those people and what the author had written was not true, I would sue her. I wonder why she wrote negative things about people, when there must have been so many positive things she could have said about the community in which she lives. Then the author might have excited positive media interest which is much more worthwhile.

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  24. #24
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christine N. View Post
    No, not freedom of speech. And wasn't iUniverse or Xlibris sued because of a similar book? The publisher was also held liable for the ...uh...libel in the book they produced.

    Hmm...

    It was AuthorHouse. To the tune of $200,000. August of 2006.

  25. #25
    A woman said to write like a man. Plot Device's Avatar
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    I dug this image up just now. Read the quotes from the news article below.





    The Ludington Library is not the purported setting, however a small picture of the Ludington Library is on the cover.

    ...

    Stern-Hamilton was notified of her termination in a formal letter from District Library Director Robert Dickson July 25. In that letter Dickson refers to a prior letter of “Suspension Pending Investigation” that he wrote to Stern-Hamilton July 15 in which he stated:

    “The cover of your book includes a picture of the Ludington Library. Each chapter is devoted to a specific library patron or patrons. Your book portrays these people in a very unflattering manner. You describe individual patrons as mentally ill, mentally incompetent, unintelligent, and unattractive. You label several as ‘perverts.’ While you stop short of naming the individuals you targeted in your book, your detailed descriptions of their unique characteristics and mannerisms make them easily identifiable in our small community.”

    ...

    She said she chose to use a picture of the Ludington Library because, “It’s a great picture. It looks just like a library. It epitomizes the American idea of a library. It’s a Carnegie library,” said Stern-Hamilton referring to more than 2,500 libraries built worldwide with money donated by businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie between 1883 and 1929.
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