Desirée Fairooz in a 2013 screenshot from a video for Arlington (Va.) Public Library's Columbia Pike branch.

“Laughing Librarian” Gets the Last Laugh

November 15, 2017

Fairooz was arrested on January 10 while attending the hearing. The former children’s librarian laughed out loud when Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said he believed that Sessions had an extensive record of “treating all Americans equally under the law.” As a result, she was forcibly removed by Capitol police, and while being dragged from the … Continue reading “Laughing Librarian” Gets the Last Laugh


Desirée Fairooz in a 2013 screenshot from a video for Arlington (Va.) Public Library's Columbia Pike branch.

Retrial for Former Librarian in Sessions Laugh Case

July 19, 2017

Chief Judge Robert Morin of the District of Columbia Superior Court was set to sentence Fairooz, an antiwar activist with the group Code Pink, on Friday, July 14, but instead declared a mistrial. Fairooz, who has worked as a librarian in Arlington, Virginia, and Fort Worth, Texas, confirmed the judge’s ruling in an email response … Continue reading Retrial for Former Librarian in Sessions Laugh Case


Desirée Fairooz in a 2013 screenshot from a video for Arlington (Va.) Public Library's Columbia Pike branch.

Former Librarian Faces Jail Time for Laugh at Sessions’s Confirmation

May 9, 2017

The reason for her arrest: laughing during the Jan. 10 Senate confirmation hearing of now Attorney General Jeff Sessions. She was found guilty on May 3 of charges of disorderly and disruptive conduct, and obstructing and impeding passage on US Capitol grounds. “I was listening when Sen. (Richard) Shelby [R-Ala.] made the comment that he … Continue reading Former Librarian Faces Jail Time for Laugh at Sessions’s Confirmation


Kansas City Public Library Executive Director R. Crosby Kemper (left) and Director of Programming and Marketing Steven Woolfolk. Screenshot from Kansas City Star interview.

Kansas City Public Library embroiled in free-speech case

October 3, 2016

On May 9, after a question-and-answer session following a public lecture by US diplomat Dennis Ross at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Library (KCPL), city police arrested and detained an attendee and the library’s director of programming and marketing. The attendee, social activist Jeremy Rothe-Kushel of Lawrence, Kansas, was charged with … Continue reading Kansas City Public Library embroiled in free-speech case