Exhort your local library

Our local public library recently announced an event for next month:

LANSING COMMUNITY LIBRARY HOSTS HANDWRITING ANALYSIS PROGRAM
Graphology is the analysis of letter formation and can give an accurate and realistic picture of a person’s personality. Young, through the careful study of the trail of written movement, can interpret letter formation in order to reconstruct the personality of the writer.

Now, I have nothing but respect and affection for libraries, and it nearly makes me ill to find out that ours is wasting time and effort to give a platform to nonsense like this. I sent this letter to the head of the library:

I was disappointed to learn that the library plans to host a program about handwriting analysis (“graphology”) on March 5th.  Graphology is at best pseudoscientific, no better than fortune-telling or astrology, and as such I don’t feel it’s a fit topic for a public library event.

A program like this could be made more informative by including the skeptical viewpoint and explaining the academic consensus that graphology is scientifically invalid, and outlining the difference between it and the scientific field of document forensics.  However, there’s nothing in the event announcement to indicate the likelihood of that happening.

I hope the library will reconsider this event.  Giving a forum to something this questionable is a disservice to the community.

I don’t know for sure, but I think the person pushing this is the same guy who wrote a local newspaper column about his experiences as a water dowser. That doesn’t have any bearing on this issue, but it does tend to show that if you fall for one form of bullcrap, you’ll fall for another.

I’ll report whether I get a response from the library.

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