New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history

New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history
The New Jersey ACLU filed an open records request and uncovered some email documents at libraries that have removed Revolutionary Voices from their shelves.

An active censorship campaign is underway in New Jersey, to remove a book entitled Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie, an anthology of literature and art recommended by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Alliance. A conservative group told the Philadelphia Inquirer l that the book, which contains some sexually explicit material, is "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate.”


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A Contributor lives in New Jersey

My spouse, Ryan Reyes, and I live in New Jersey. He would be willing to talk to anyone about the censorship of the public libraries. I wonder if other books touching upon sex such as the Bible will be removed. Oh that is right, spilling seed upon the ground and all the sexual references are in coded language.

-- George

Ryan Reyes

It's not the same

Books with what can only be called pornographic images are not the same as the information in the Bible. Freedom of speech does not mean people should be forced to subject themselves to smut. At the very least, books like this should be kept behind the counter. We know enough to choose not to read them, but our kids often don't. We aren't the ones who should be demonized!


So, if a book has images it is pornographic, but mere words are not? If a medical book has images in it, is that pornographic? What books get put behind the counter and who chooses that? Because there is always SOMETHING that will offend SOMEBODY.

And, libraries do not act in loco parentis, meaning they do not make those kind of choices for your kids. That is your job as a parent. If you are with them at the library, you have the power to tell them they can't check it out. If you are not with them and you don't like what they check out, return it. THEN, do you job as a parent to explain it to your child, (ie., whether it's against your beliefs, inappropriateness of images for their age, whatever).

And I am a librarian...and a parent.


"Freedom of speech does not mean people should be forced to subject themselves to smut."

I'll speak slowly so you can understand:

Did you mean

Did you mean goddamn?

re:Did You Mean

I think he meant God Damned.


"...should be forced to subject themselves to smut."

Where are people being forced to read smutty books?

Didn't you know?

The ALA (you have to include The) sends its armed guards around to libraries to force people to read pornography; it's part of the Total ALA Policy Enforcement System.

(Think that's absurd? No more so than the idea that ALA has any enforcement powers for any policies--well, other than accreditation requirements for library schools. Or than the idea that the presence of a book within a library somehow "subjects" all the patrons to the contents of that book. Oh, and I'm signing this comment.)

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