Controversial sex tomes back on library shelves

When they finally saw the books, they failed to see what all the fuss was about.
The township library board voted unanimously Thursday night to return seven books in the sexual instruction section to the shelves of the Marple Public Library. The titles, including "Sex Toys 101: A Playfully Uninhibited Guide" and "The Joy of Gay Sex," were originally displayed in the "new book" area. They are now in the non-fiction stacks.

"We feel the books met the criteria we have set for book selection," said board President Marcy Abrams. "They are back where they belong in the Dewey system."
Full Story. Thanks again Bob.


The newly formed ad-hoc group, Citizens for the Protection of Children at Libraries, is proposing to expand its mission in an effort to make residents aware of the Marple collection, insure Internet access on computers in all libraries is correctly filtered and influence future Marple Public Library policies. "We are not pointing to one book, or a series of books, but the system that let this happen," said Coll.

Um, so what does this have to do with children? The books aren't in the children/YA collection, are they? They're in adult non-fiction. This isn't about children. It's just convenient to use them as an excuse to get something an adult finds objectionable out of the library... And whereas they might not be pointing at one book, or a series of books, they're looking to "influence future Marple Public Library policies." So this one book or series of books, however popular or needed, can't be purchased again?

Protection of children at libraries? Please. Want to protect your kids at the library? Go with them. Read to them. Hold them in your lap at story time. Surf the web in the children's room with them. Interesting juxtaposition with the "Librarians as babysitters" article yesterday.

More and more, day by day, I look around at my country and realize that something's wrong. I remember that we were founded by Puritans, you know, people so tight-assed the English kicked them out.

I applaud the library's decision. We've had some similar problems here and there. We don't have the Joy of Gay Sex, but we do have the original Joy of Sex and the new revised version. And we have it in a couple languages. It's never been severely challanged, but every now and then, some nut brings it to my attention that we have such a book. One even walked up, placed in on the desk, and asked "Did you know that you carry such a shameful book in your library?"

I blinked a couple times and replied "Yeah, we keep it upstairs in the 613.96 area with all the other books about sex." They just kind of stood there and looked at me for a bit. I suppose they were waiting for me to do something. After a couple seconds I said "Do you want to check that out, or would you like me to put it back?" They just shook their head and walked away.

Heck, I once had a customer up in arms because I was wearing a Kokaku Kidotai (aka Ghost in the Shell) t-shirt which had (Oh the horrors!) an anime woman showing just a bit of cleavage. Note, it wasn't even a picture of a real woman. She started off by saying "I just want you to know I don't approve of your t-shirt. You shouldn't be wearing such a thing in a public place."

Needless to say, I was a bit taken aback by that since it came from freaking nowhere. I told her that should could find far more skin on the cover of the latest Cosmo magazine. She still insisted upon its inappropriate content. Finally I just laid it out for her, "You know what? This morning, when I got dressed, it didn't occur to me that I had to call you to get permission as to what I was allowed to wear." She stormed off in a huff.

Is it just me, or is it getting harder out there in the stacks?

Is it just me, or is it getting harder out there in the stacks?

Yes and no. Part of the problem is that man is a time-binding animal. We can not only recall previous events but also use those events to plot trends and predict future events. This is handy, but subject to misapprehension.

From a sociological point of view, each of your incidents is pertinent to each other due to the fact of those people being out there and there isn't anything we can do about them . . .

Pardon me. I digress.

. . . Each of those incidents is part of a trend erosive of rights and freedoms. From a personal and individual point of view, each is a separate and unique event without any relationship to each other except that you are their focus. Because you time-bind, as well engage in categorization (another we thing we all do), the natural inclination is to lump them all together.

To answer the plaint by shoe: censorship is never about pornography, it always only about control. "Porn", "Harmful to Minors", "obscenity", and "offensive" are just specious claptrap used by petty dictators and seized upon by raving fools with an axe to grind. To quote a moral from one of Aesop's fables: Any excuse will do for a tyrant.

Baby gates in the stacks at your library?

You need to re-read your American and British history and find out what the Puritans were about. They wanted to "purify" the English church of all vestiges of Roman Catholicism. They were radicals who believed in the sovereignty of God and the power of the people without the priesthood between them. Their tradition of congregational control is the bedrock of American grass roots democracy. Today's descendants of the Puritans in the USA is the United Church of Christ, a very liberal Protestant denomination.