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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daddy’s Roommate Is Moving Into Wasilla

posted by on September 24 at 13:00 PM

Gay-lesbian titles donated to Wasilla Library.

Responding to news reports about then-Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin asking a librarian how she would feel about banning books, a San Francisco man has donated two children’s books dealing with homosexuality to the Wasilla Library.

Mike Petrelis, a 49-year-old who files Freedom of Information requests for a living, said he was aghast to read reports of Palin’s 1996 inquiry about banning certain books at Wasilla’s library.

The news — old news in the Mat-Su Valley, but new in the Lower 48 — prompted Petrelis to send to Wasilla “Heather Has Two Mommies” and “Daddy’s Roommate,” both children’s books that explain gay lifestyle.

“I said, ‘I’m going to send copies of both books just to make sure they’re on the shelves,’” Petrelis said.

I think we all should fall in love with Mike Petrelis a little bit right now.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Davida.)

RSS icon Comments


i actually know him, good job and all, but no thanks.

Posted by um | September 24, 2008 1:12 PM

I am definitely going to look for them on my next visit to Wasilla. Thanks Mike!

Posted by gay dad | September 24, 2008 1:18 PM

That's cute, but donated books don't go on library shelves. They go straight into the library's annual used book sale.

And ask Eli to tell you a little more about Michael Petrelis before any love is fallen into.

Posted by David | September 24, 2008 1:23 PM

"Heather" remained on the shelves throughout the Palin years (despite one citizen challenge).

There is no reported instance in which Mayor Palin inquired about banning "certain" books.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | September 24, 2008 1:30 PM

@3: I'm curious; why do donated books just get sold instead of going on the shelves?

Posted by Gloria | September 24, 2008 1:32 PM

Well, I mean, outside of just being in poor condition or outdated or unneeded. Is it a blanket policy?

Posted by Gloria | September 24, 2008 1:33 PM

He files FOIA requests for a living? Sounds like a sweet gig.

Posted by Hernandez | September 24, 2008 1:37 PM
Posted by scary tyler moore | September 24, 2008 1:40 PM

Hi Paul,

Thanks so much for noticing my gay books' donation was written up in the Wasilla paper, and spreading some love my way. I hope your readers will also check out my blog today, and read about the new HIV/STD stats for SF from out DPH. Keeping my fingers crossed "Daddy" and "Heather" make it to the shelves in Wasilla's library. Link to my blog:

Posted by MPetrelis | September 24, 2008 2:20 PM

ooh! do you google yourself every five minutes, mr. petrelis?

Posted by scary tyler moore | September 24, 2008 2:31 PM

How can I make a living writing freedom of information requests?

Posted by bubbles | September 24, 2008 3:28 PM

Gloria, in response to your question about why donations go the library booksale and not on the shelves, the answer is simply economic -- it costs much more (in terms of staff time & hours) to process and catalog donated books than it does to receive and process books through an automated, standardized collection development procedure (which is how most public libraries build their collections these days). However, donated paperbacks in good condition do sometimes show up on the shelves as "uncataloged paperbacks" -- these books can be borrowed on the honor system.

If Petrelis really wants to get those books in the library, he should try to convince a number of Wasilla residents to file "suggestion for purchase" forms for those books at their local library. There's no guarrantee they'll be added, but popular demand definitely influences a lot of public library collection development decisions these days. . .

Posted by Librariana | September 24, 2008 4:12 PM

Great idea, lame taste in books. While Daddy's Roommate and Heather Has Two Mommies are classics, they're not the kind of classics that have aged well. Why not send some higher quality (and less didactic, message-y) books like King & King or And Tango Makes Three? The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Todd Parr's Family Book are also pretty good.

Posted by D$ | September 24, 2008 5:21 PM

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