Nampa Idaho library restores 'Joy of Sex' books

Two books with graphic sexual illustrations were restored to Nampa Public Library shelves Monday in response to a threatened lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU sent the Nampa Library Board a letter last week saying it would sue unless the board reversed its June decision to permanently banish "The Joy of Gay Sex" and "The New Joy of Sex" to the library director's office, where only those who specifically requested the books could see them. In response, the five-member library board held a special meeting Friday and unanimously voted to put the books back on the shelves, library Community Relations Coordinator Dan Black said.


banished to the director's office. right. read daily by staff in the director's office, more likely.

why not do what we did and put them out on the shelves... (poof!) they were stolen within a month. problem solved.

Either remove them from the collection, or leave them in the collection. Have some guts and make a decision.

When I was a public librarian we had the Joy of Sex in our circulating collection. About once every other week the childrens' librarian would bring it back to me so I could reshelve it. Somebody was leaving in in the kids section, and they watch that like a hawk to keep the 'creepy' people from lingering so I don't think it was the adults.

Somebody finally stole it.

I didn't replace it. Not enough circs to justify it - less than 2 per year. If I was going to spend 10 bucks it would be on something that would get more use.

I wonder if the same people who steal the GED and ASVAB study guides are also stealing the New Joy of Sex? Maybe there's a progression.. first they steal the GED book so they can get their equivalency degree. Now that they have that they can join the military - there goes the ASVAB. NOW, they are in the military and getting a steady paycheck, they can get married/girlfriend/boyfriend - - -

Doesn't that make you sad? We get that too. Officer (ok, enlisted man) and a gentleman my ass.

And any DVD of a movie involving pot.

It's not just the ones taking the test, but also the recruiters who check it out and never return it. We've had that too.

What my library did was make the test-taking books, and other on the frequent stealing list, 'in-library use only' and have them in a staff-maintained area by the reference desk. That, and having a a test-preparation database accessible on-line by library card number of test.

I wonder what the most stolen books are for libraries. It would be nice if we all had unlimited budgets and unlimited time to find that out in all of our libraries. For a while, in my library, it was any book on Malcolm X.

I remember my first job in a library. The manager told me that there were certain books (among them "the Joy of Sex" aka, TJOS) that would routinely disappear after one or two checkouts. And usually after a complaint had been raised about the books.

The Library charged the person for the book, the patron paid for it, and we re-purchased it -- at first. After about the fourth time TJOS disappeared, the manager decided that there were other books that we needed more than that one, and it was just silly to have to keep replacing that one title over and over and over.

As to the patron? After all, she checked out the book, reported it lost, and paid the fee. So nothing more we could do, she followed proper procedures.

I suspect that at my last position, we had the same situation with "Zane" books. :roll:

"The Director"

I'd have to say, at my library: GED, ASVAB, books about Wicca/Astrology/Sandra Browne, etc.... Those are at least the ones that come to mind.

Oh.. and my favorite, every year someone steals the Criminal Code for the Oregon Revised Statutes. My only hope is that they actually read it cover to cover. It's the least they deserve.

Seems like an easy way out of controversy is to not replace a book that appears to have been "lost" even if the patron pays for its replacement. I say go ahead and let them keep spending their money, support the author and keep getting the book! Not buying it isn't good enough.

And low circs don't mean a book isn't used. Typically you'll find sex and gay themed books not in their designated spaces because I believe they are being read by people who don't want to be seen reading them and they just shove it anywhere when someone comes by. AND if they don't want to be seen reading them they probably don't want anyone to see them checking it out or having it found when they get home. Give these patrons access to the information! Keep buying them.

When you do collection development on a very limited budget you can make those decisions. Replacing the book is not the only cost. There is time and materials spent on processing and cataloging the book. It is not as simple as slapping a new sticker on it and jamming it on the shelf.

If things disappear over and over sooner or later you have to cut your losses. The public library cannot keep every book every patron could possibly want. The greatest good for the most is what collection development librarians have to strive to achieve.

Our most stolen book was by far the Bible and mostly the King James version. We kept them locked up and you needed an id to check them out, but they still walked...

Your community really needs a Gideons chapter. :)

On KBOI News/Talk 670 dated 9/9/2008, with Nate Shelman, a library board member said, "Both sides in this controversy are very sincere...."


The ACLU knowingly, intentionally, and purposefully flat out lied to the community. The ACLU knew it was wrong, yet it intentionally lied to the community, with the purpose of imposing its own agenda over the citizens of Nampa.

Wow--harsh words, right? Watch as I back them up.

The ACLU attorney was on KBOI saying embarrassment for asking for the books was an unconstitutional bar to free access, freedom of speech, the First Amendment, etc. On a radio station in Boise, in 2008, the ACLU said embarrassment makes what Nampa did illegal, right?

Well in the 2003 case of US v. American Library Association, et al., in the context of children's access to inappropriate materials on public library computers, the argument was made that people might be too embarrassed to ask a librarian to temporarily disable a computer filter. However, the Court said, "The District Court viewed unblocking and disabling as inadequate because some patrons may be too embarrassed to request them. 201 F. Supp. 2d, at 411. But the Constitution does not guarantee the right to acquire information at a public library without any risk of embarrassment."

The Constitution does not guarantee the right to acquire information at a public library without any risk of embarrassment!

So this is an issue already asked and answered in the US Supreme Court. It is the *exact opposite* of what the ACLU attorney said.

But you know what makes this even worse? Do you know why the ACLU knows it is misleading Idaho citizens listening in on KBOI and possibly in the letter to the library that frightened the library so?


The ACLU was part of the "et al." in US v. American Library Association, et al.!!! And see details of the ACLU's involvement in this matter.

Back to where I started, there is no way at all that "Both sides in this controversy are very sincere...." Instead, the ACLU knowing, intentionally, and purposefully flat out lied to the community.

The community need not fear an expensive legal tussle with the ACLU. The court should immediately throw out the matter as frivolous and possibly potential malicious prosecution in light of the ACLU's actions in Nampa, on Idaho's airwaves, and in US v. ALA.


Lawyers lie, that is what they are paid to do. Remember the one who had trouble remembering what the meaning of is, is.

N.B. I am one at least on paper, I don't do it for a living. I would be very bad at it.

Did you know they have a name for lawyers who never went to law school?

Abraham Lincoln became a lawyer through clerkship if I recall. Daniel Webster and and Salmon P. Chase who was Chief Justice also went that path.

In most states you may - well perpahs not most as I have not looked recently but in some such as New York and Washington have law clerkship routes to bar admission, these days that is probably more work than just going for the three years of law school. Some states, notably NY allow foreign law graduates if they meet certain specifications as to what type of school they went to and what type of legal system it is based upon to sit for the exam.

I think the clerkship would probably provide a better foundation. However both are fairly unusual these days- at least from what I know personally.

Have any examples post-electricity?

I'll tie a flag around it and you circle you car back around to my Point, which you might have missed.

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