US Libraries Hit Back Over Challenges to Kids Books

From Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON (AFP) – For some it is the heartwarming tale of two male penguins raising a chick together, but children's book "And Tango Makes Three" is also one of the most controversial texts in America, librarians say.

The illustrated book, which is intended to teach young children about gay parents, tops the 2009 list of "most challenged titles" that the American Library Association (ALA) compiles as part of its annual "Banned Books Week."

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The event was first organized in 1982 to highlight the fact "that challenges and banning are still taking place in this country on a regular basis, that books are removed from libraries because a person disagrees with the content," Caldwell Stone said.

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Kleinman, whose website is a clearing house for information about challenging books, insists that he does not want to see books banned, but says there is a legitimate legal basis for restricting children's access to sexually explicit material in libraries.

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Kleinman accuses the ALA of hyperbole in celebrating Banned Books Week. "The whole purpose of Banned Books Week is to provide this kind of misinformation," he said. "The ALA misleads people into thinking that if you keep an inappropriate book from a child that is considered censorship. It is not."

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Another person forcing their views on everyone else

"The ALA misleads people into thinking that if you keep an inappropriate book from a child that is considered censorship. It is not."

Who decides it's innappropriate? Mr Kleinman I guess.

and what pushes your buttons?

If someone writes a children's book extolling the virtues of pedophilia, then would you say the ALA must consider anyone trying to keep such books out of their libraries to be a book-burner and probably a closet brownshirt? After all, some current societies, as well as parts of the United States within living memory, consider marrying 12-year-old girls to be quite acceptable.

Or take a more plausible example: would you want a children's book in your local library that praises couples who marry young, have a dozen or more children, and homeschool them for proper indoctrination?

thank God

Or take a more plausible example: would you want a children's book in your local library that praises couples who marry young, have a dozen or more children, and homeschool them for proper indoctrination?

We do. It's called the Bible, the Torah, the Bagavad Gita and the Qu'ran. I have multiple editions, translations and formats. All of which are accessible to children in one form or another.

re: a more plausible example

Or take a more plausible example: would you want a children's book in your local library that praises couples who marry young, have a dozen or more children, and homeschool them for proper indoctrination?

No. There are quite a few books I wouldn't want in my library. But because I don't want them there doesn't mean I would try to remove them. Just because I don't like something doesn't mean it's no good. I don't know what's best for all children, only for my own.

Actually

"Or take a more plausible example: would you want a children's book in your local library that praises couples who marry young, have a dozen or more children, and homeschool them for proper indoctrination?"

Many of our patrons are living breathing examples of such. So I would imagine those particular parental groups would indeed support having books about such indoctrination.

It takes all types to make up a community (normal or otherwise) and the idea of a public library is to have something for everyone.

>^..^<

@anonymous 9:36 a.m.

As far as I know, pedophilia is illegal in the US. What on earth would a library even consider purchasing a children's book (if there was one) "extolling the virtues" on this topic. Your comparison is seriously off the mark.

It's so simple, parents who have issues with these books just need to explain to their kids what books are allowed and why some books are not allowed. Or allow the books and then read them together and talk about them. It really does not matter what the other families are doing. Your family should be your only concern. Just do that. But . . . I'm preaching to the choir for the most part.

For me, it's schmucks like you.

If it's well-written, yes. As librarians, our role is to provide access to materials regardless of our personal view points, restricting the influence of our own biases (to the extent that any human being can) on the selection and presentation of materials.

Having read "Tango Makes Three," I have to say that even with porn colored glasses on, there's nothing sexual explicit in the book. It's the recounting of a true story of two male penguins who choose to spend time together and raise an abandoned chick. The artwork is simple and beautiful, the diction is age appropriate. And if the book in your hypothetical-- marry young, reproduce, repeat-- is well-written and has age appropriate illustrations and features, then I see no problem in having it in a collection. It represents a real part of our society, just as "Tango Makes Three" does, and therefore has a place in a library.

Your initial comparison of a book about a homosexual relationship, something that in this country is legal and consensual, to a book extolling the virtues of pedophilia and molestation is a flawed argument. One that, instead of painting the librarians who provide controversial books and the ALA who argues for access to them as over-zealous and out of touch, shows you to be a fool.

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