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Leadership and Activism, Satire

LA Teacher Librarian Witch-hunt

After reading about the witch-hunt occurring that happened (or is still happening?) in LA, I decided I should write something about it. A friend of mine mimicked the voice of McCarthy asking if someone was a communist, and I decided to run with the theme. Enjoy.

McCarthy: Welcome today to this round of hearings. We are here today to talk to Librarian in her involvement in the TLA. Good morning Librarian.

Librarian: Good morning.

McCarthy: Librarian, I have one important question to ask: Are you now or have you ever been a member of a public library?

Librarian: No, sir.

McCarthy: Number two, have you ever belonged to any public institution that has been involved in the subversive distribution of books, for free?

Librarian: No, sir.

McCarthy: Librarian, Could you give us the names of the organizations to which you have belonged?

Librarian: I don’t belong to any at this time, as far as I know. And the organizations that I have belonged to were—there was a psychology club at Berkley.

McCarthy: Librarian, I would like to now direct you to this photo. Could you tell me who is in this photo?

Librarian: It looks like me and my son.

McCarthy: Librarian, this photo was taken 2 weeks ago outside the LA Public Library by some of our investigators. Could you tell me what you are carrying in your hands?

Librarian: It looks like some books.

McCarthy: Yes, books! Librarian, does it stand to reason that if you are outside the LA Public Library, carrying some books, that you got those books from the library?

Librarian: Ye….ss. (stammered out)

McCarthy: Librarian, is it not true that you are a teacher librarian, a specialist in the subversive act of handing out books full of possibly unsanctioned material to students, and that you teach them the coersive act of reading and learning? Learning to think critically, even??? Maybe you even taught them that they can’t just Google everything? That they should read Wikipedia critically and check their sources? Would you say that it is possible that some false teaching may have occurred in your role as a librarian? Have you been lying to this committee? (raising volume of voice as the questions are continued).

Librarian: Yes. I’m so sorry! (sobbing) I’m a credentialed teacher librarian.

McCarthy: When was the last time you taught a course for which your librarian credential was not required?

Librarian: I’m not sure what you’re asking, I teach all subjects, all day. In the library. (starts to act more self-confident).

McCarthy: Do you take attendance? Do you issue grades?

Librarian: I wish to invoke my fifth amendment rights. (softly)

McCarthy: What?

Librarian: I wish to invoke my fifth amendment rights. (louder, and more boldly)

McCarthy: You don’t have any fifth amendment rights! This isn’t a real trial! This is just a tribunal so that we can expose you teacher librarians as false teachers, as corrupters of our youth! Your kind of filth is what’s wrong with our society! Helping our youth find their own voice, find their own identity, sharing resources that will destroy their minds, and make them believe they have power! Bailiff, take her away!

You can watch a clip from the original McCarthy trials here.

About David Wees

David Wees is a Canadian teacher with 7 years international experience. He started his career in inner city NYC in a failing school. He met his wife in the spring of 2005 and together they moved to London, England where David taught in a small private school which was David’s first exposure to the International Baccalaureate curriculum. London was too expensive, even compared to NYC, so after 2 more years they moved on to Bangkok, Thailand where David taught for 2 years. David has co-authored a textbook for IB Mathematics, and has his Masters degree in Educational Technology. He is now in Vancouver, Canada, working as a learning specialist in technology. He blogs regularly at


3 thoughts on “LA Teacher Librarian Witch-hunt

  1. An informed mind is a terrible thing to have in this malfunctioning universe.

    Posted by Lafemmeroar | June 28, 2011, 3:43 pm
  2. The narrow ideas of teaching, learning, and achievement that we hold, especially in the United States of America, as a school system, will cripple our economy and, more horrifically, our democracy.

    That anyone is self-righteously able to decry media specialists as dispensable because they don’t “teach” saddens me greatly.

    I’m sitting in an #ISTE11 about design and creativity. The speaker said we’re now in a world where leading manufacturers don’t plan anything without an artist in the room. We might not launch new education initiatives without librarians – or arts teachers or PE teachers or alternative educators or special education teachers – in the room and see what happens.

    Do any of us have mentors or colleagues such as those to whom we go to check our ideas?


    Posted by Chad Sansing | June 29, 2011, 10:56 am


  1. Pingback: The librarian | Musings from a Stonehead - November 13, 2011

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