Todi, library director refuses to compile list of gender books. Transferred to city planning

Todi, the director of the local library, Fabiola Bernardini, had refused to compile a list of 'gender' books. She was transferred to city planning.

The story that, in Todi, has as its protagonist Fabiola Bernardini, director of the local Municipal Library, is incredible. Bernardini is a professional with an exemplary resume: a graduate of the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Perugia, with a specialization in Library Science, she also took a course at the Vatican Library and is an expert on ancient manuscript codes. She has been working at the City of Todi since 2004 and is classified as a managerial instructor. Last December, the councillor for families and the councillor for culture (the Umbrian city is administered by a center-right majority, also supported by Casapound) had asked the director, with the aim of making the library “more usable by those who are perhaps most welcome, viz. children with their Families,” to remove from the children’s section some books, dedicated precisely to children, with topics such as “homogenitoriality, gestation for others, rather than same-sex unions and other sexual content,” and to place them, at most, “in spaces not reserved for them, with the appropriate and specific and explicit directions addressed to the public.” All through a formal act.

The fact was already serious in itself, and at the time the AIB (Italian Library Association), had spoken of a “case of censorship and marginalization,” wondering what advantage the children and residents of Todi could have from a library that had become “a place where books are hidden, a place that panders to the conformisms and prejudices of certain adults.” Bernardini, in response, sent the junta the library’s entire catalog of 4,500 titles, stating that it was impossible to cite even a single book. This is also due to the fact that there are no specific titles such as to suggest that certain books are animated by the phantom “gender ideology.”

Last May 24, the City Council, as part of a reorganization of city offices, resolved to transfer Fabiola Bernardini to the city planning department, despite the fact that she is a professional with highly specialized library skills. The municipality justified the transfer by pointing to it as an “efficiency boost” for the administration, although it is unclear how efficient a measure that moves a professional with specific sectoral expertise to an area for which she is not prepared can be.

Coming to Fabiola Bernardini’s defense was again the AIB, which, in a June 11 memo signed by national president Rosa Maiello, wrote that “in the silence of the papers, the fact has precisely all the air of the usual form of indirect censorship that has always affected libraries in all historical eras: they are being made to die quietly by taking away their autonomy and resources, starting with librarians provided with professional ethics. Bending people with seemingly neutral bureaucratic measures is in fact the most widespread and effective form of censorship: it passes most of the time quietly and operates as an example to all other employees so that they conform to the corporate ideology.” The AIB traces the transfer precisely to Bernardini’s refusal to fill out the list she was asked to do.

The AIB hopes that the City will retrace its steps and reinstate to the Library directorate a professional who has always been able to do her job with competence and passion. Finally, the AIB intends to “mobilize, in Italy, Europe and internationally, all civil society associations interested in the defense of freedom of expression and the institutions that embody it.”

Pictured: Fabiola Bernardini (from her public Twitter profile)

Todi, library director refuses to compile list of gender books. Transferred to city planning
Todi, library director refuses to compile list of gender books. Transferred to city planning

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