Librarians & Booksellers Reject New Novel For Political Correctness

Anonymous Patron writes "John Dale's young adult novel, "Army of the Pure" has already won critical acclaim, but librarians decided that they wouldn't carry it based on some ideas it contains, so the publisher (Scholastic Australia) was forced to axe the book. I've never heard of literary works being refused by librarians because of their contents, an idea I consider shocking and appalling. Bookstores were in on it too, but librarians played a strong part. In this so-called age of information freedom, I wonder how many other literary works are being quietly censored because librarians don't want to offend certain groups? (They seem to have no trouble offending certain other groups on a regular basis...)"

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Hold on a minute

Even if we grant WorldNetDaily as a legit news source, the story never says librarians:

It says, and I quote, "a broad range of booksellers and library suppliers"

"Library suppliers" are bookjobbers. They are not libraries or librarians.

Semi-oops

OK, the WND writer says "librarians"--but only by misquoting or misunderstanding what the company said. The company did not say that it surveyed librarians or that librarians had rejected the book. The WND writer is either sloppy or just too anxious to slander librarians to let facts stand in the way.

Re:Semi-oops

I think the word "and" would be better than "or" in the last sentence. ;)

Re:Semi-oops

And I chose not to comment on this:

"I've never heard of literary works being refused by librarians because of their contents"

Hmm. I sure have. Very few librarians buy obscenity [no public librarians do so knowingly, since it's illegal], and most of them don't even traffic much in pornography, particularly if children are involved. If "Lolita" was published in 2006, I'd guess a whole bunch of librarians would refuse to buy it because of its contents.

Re:Hold on a minute

Even if we grant WorldNetDaily as a legit news source...

I couldn't resist Walt. I recall a gentle skewering when I called into question the legitimacy of a couple other information sources a few years back. AlterNet and TruthOut. Something about "accurate reflections of reality" mixing with "belief systems, facts, disinformation, information and opinion"....

No need to explain. I'm just thrilled with the company here in Fang's dungeon.

Re:Semi-oops

We're even skittish when it comes to buying softcore vanilla porn like Playboy. Although I think most of us do carry one of the various "how to" manuals like the Joy of Sex.

Never mind that it's OK to have stockpiles of books about guns and war. Just don't be packin' no books about sex.

Re:Hold on a minute

Tomeboy,

That's why I said "even if." I would naively put AlterNet and WND in roughly the same category--the very loud sound of [very different] axes being ground, but that doesn't mean they're automatically worthless. (Naively: I surely haven't done in-depth investigations of either.)

In the case of this story, even if the WND reporter's sources and quotations are 100% accurate, there is simply no [evidence-backed] implication of librarian censorship or even ad hoc refusal to purchase (which, as you know, are two different things).

Re:Hold on a minute

I recall a gentle skewering when I called into question the legitimacy of a couple other information sources a few years back. AlterNet and TruthOut.

For one thing, the indy media sites I frequent are clearing houses; they do not publish only material that they produce. Secondly, you have not stopped at calling the credibilty of the indy media into question, but went way over the line into flat out denying that anything printed at such sites could be believed even when the material in question was factual. Walt only said he doesn't think WND is a legit source. There is no way that can be construed to mean that he has confused his opinion for a fact. Keep in mind Tomeboy, that you assess information not based on how factual it might be, but by whether or not who carries the stories conform to your prejudices.

Re:Hold on a minute

Secondly, you have not stopped at calling the credibilty of the indy media into question, but went way over the line into flat out denying that anything printed at such sites could be believed even when the material in question was factual.

Not true. I stated that my resource of choice, LN, was/is a superior resource in that is does not cherry pick articles to support a political mission. You choose ignorance, whereas someone like myself using a resource like LN sees all perspectives. I need not state the obvious of this self-imposed head planting.

There is no way that can be construed to mean that he has confused his opinion for a fact.

Well of course not Fang. Walt's supposed, misgivings just happen to support your prejudice of wrong-wing journalism. Typical and right on cue. Logician's sandals for salesman's wing tips.

I'm not buying.

Re:Hold on a minute

Fair enough Walt. You can understand how your "what if" qualification may give pause here to the average reader?

Nontheless you're square with me. However I reckon Fang may need some consoling with your equating of WND with AlterNet.

correction

"even if"

Re:correction

Yep. Pause is what I intended--I take WND with several more grains of salt than, say, CNet News, just as I take Washington Times with a lot more caution than Washington Post. I don't trust any of them implicitly...

Although all of that's irrelevant to the simple misreporting here, confusing bookjobbers with librarians.

Re:correction

Good for you Walt. I'm sure you can imagine my "saltlist".

Here's to wishful thinking that these aren't blacklists for collection development colleagues.

Re:Hold on a minute

I stated that my resource of choice, LN, was/is a superior resource in that is does not cherry pick articles . . .

Which contention you used as a rationalization to deny that information at the indy sites could be credible, while ignoring that the sites repost numerous articles from corporate outlets such as the New York and L.A. times, and Washington Post, and many others. Which I pointed out to you during that discussion. Lexis-Nexis is not an index on reality or on credibility. It is simply a index; nothing more. It is no more a measure of credibility than any library catalogue is.

Sorry, not buying your waffling.

Re:Hold on a minute

You're wrong. Rather than think for yourself, AlterNet and TruthOut create your reality, albeit unilateral. But who are we kidding here? Reality can never be discerned with half of any story. More so when the reality makers have mission statements included with their web sites.

But you are correct in that LN is not reality in-and-of-itself. However one is better equipped to make these type of judgements when information flows freely and not precluded because it may somehow be construed as anything right of Hugo Chavez. Unless you're sneaking National Review or The Wall Street Journal under the covers, that's la-la land your living in, not reality.

Dale's banned book

glad to here "librarians" was misquoted. In my past career as a public librarian I have been asked a few times to remove non-fiction books for misinformation but never did I hear or hear of, a librarian asking to remove a piece of fiction. Imagine taking Gone with the Wind off the shelves or not buying new copies because the heros of the book own slaves! I'd be interested to know of these booksellers and library jobbers support the current war efforts. But I think I understand their feelings. Aside from financial fears, perhaps the book brings up images and harps on the nasty side of our homogenized efforts
abroad. Arabs are wonderful people and so are most Muslims.But does this mean there are no terrorists or fanatical right wing religious groups? Why would anyone think that portraying a group of terrorists as Muslims would reflect the entire Muslim or Arab population? Unless, in our own minds, we have melded the two. For many segmants of our population, I am afraid this has become the case. I just finished researching the execution of two teenage boys in Iran last year for a highschool student. The boys were allegedly gay or alledly involded in rape charges. I found they belonged to an Arab group in Iran (a minority in a Persian culture) that is systematically rounded up and persecuted. many young teens and young men, not just these two boys, are tortured, detained and executed slowly everyday. In Iraq and Iran Muslims are at the mercy of terrorists and terrorist tactic government officals, most of whom consdier themselves Muslims as well. Lets learn what we are sending young men from Idaho to fight against. Yes Virginia there is a terrorist and he can come in many different religious flavors. I think we tend to forget that the church itself, just a few centuries ago, was killing women and children in the name of God. Being politically correct is sometimes as dangerous as being politically ignorant. Many times the former is a panacea for the latter.

Re:Dale's banned book

I am replying to my own entry. I didn't edit and hit the send button too late. Sorry Library Land for all those grammatical errors.

Re:Hold on a minute

. . . AlterNet and TruthOut create your reality . . .

LOL

A reality in which Iraq really does have NBC weapons? A reality in which only 30,000 innocents have been killed in self-defence instead of some 655,000 sacrificed on the altar of stupid and arrogant imperialism? A reality in which evolution, climate change through global warming, stem cell research, personal reproductive choice and one's own sexuality are immoral and illegal?

Yeah, right.

You go on drinking that Kool Aid and pretending that it isn't really horse's piss all you want, Tomeboy.

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