'Eat Me' May Lead to Stripping Library Board's Power

Anonymous Patron writes "Four commissioners were originally split on the idea of retooling the Marion County Library Advisory Board after the group kept a racy Australian sex novel on the shelves two months ago. Tuesday, the swing vote -- Chairman Andy Kesselring -- sided against changing the system. But that vote now has commissioners considering taking the advisory board's policy-making power altogether.

The majority of Tuesday's crowd wanted commissioners to shrink the library board and start appointing board members individually -- and their boos and signs reading 'no porn for kids' showed their disappointment at the vote.

Full Story."


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Re:Due process? What due process?

Yes, it is probably wise to allow your "young adult daughter" access to what ever she is interested in because disallowing it is probably impossible and also would alienate you from her.

These are only side issues. My parenting style is based on the beliefs:

  1. that children are whole human beings and should be treated with respect as such from the moment of birth;
  2. children can think for themselves and it is a parent's job to teach them how to through guidance, not to suppress their intellectual capacities through control;
  3. children eventually stop being children and what they look at reflects their growth however much control freaks might want to deny it;
  4. children stop being children in accordance with biological, psychological, and sociological imperatives, not in accordance with arbitrary and artificial, man-made constraints such an age of majority.

Due process? What due process?

This strikes me as an attempt to circumvent due process. Since they can't rid of something they don't like within the established rules, they'll just rewrite the rules. Most telling is the comment about the Forces of Rigtheousness trying to eliminate sexual behaviour in society, and the libraries are providing a road map to children, and what can we do? As I have mentioned a number of times, "they" are not responsible for raising my children. I am. And if I allow my young adult access to whatever she has an interest in, regardless of what it is, that is nobody's business but mine. If "they" don't want their children exposed such material, they should put blindfolds on their children; not mine.

Re:Due process? What due process?

What's wrong with options? A library card shouldn't be considered a toggle switch, either all access or no access, for that matter neither should a library.

Re:Due process? What due process?

Fang Face writes:“And if I allow my young adult access to whatever she has an interest in, regardless of what it is, that is nobody's business but mine. If "they" don't want their children exposed such material, they should put blindfolds on their children; not mine. “Yes, it is probably wise to allow your “young adult daughter� access to what ever she is interested in because disallowing it is probably impossible and also would alienate you from her.However, this does not equate to “blindfolding children� yours or others. Society hasspecial responsibilities towards children. They require and have protection “in law� and hopefully in “caring�. Normally this is a function of community standards. What goes on in Boisie Idaho is not necessarily what goes on in San Fransisco. Yes, it is political, and the players are agendized, and there is argument, and the way that is thrashed out is also a function of “community standards.The socialization of children is seldom the “exclusive “ domain of parents. Schools, community, family, and perhaps even media are serious contributing factors.“Nobody's business but my own is actually a myth-representation.http://www.sparkpod.com/Turner

Collection Development

This fight looks like a first amendment tug of war. It shouldn't be. It seems that there is no clear cut policy regarding collection development. The inclusion of such materials seems to be more of proving a point than building the collection. It is quite true that the board which should represent community interests does not. Changing the way the board is chosen is not changing the rules. It is a method to create a more responsible environment. I still don't understand why libraries are the proving grounds for the acceptability of porn. Would the library buy a book about people of color that used every racist idiom and still call it expression. Civil rights groups would come crashing down on them. Why is porn different? It distrubs people as well. If Madonna and Britney Spears appear as they do does that mean libraries have to buy racy materials? Sensitivity should be applied all around not only one way. There are people that find explicit materials offensive, the library does not have to teach patrons that they will have to learn to accept it.


This is why we need to keep the right-wing censors out of positions of power. If the Eli, Greg's and Tomeboy's have their way, we'll all be reduced to reading what is "fit for the children" to read. They aren't willing to stop at sanitizing the children's section. They even want to reduce adults to only reading what is acceptable to their right-wing agendas.

a pox on all politics in libraries

I'm not an ideological purist, and would probably be condemned as a right-winger by the liberals, and as a left-winger by the conservatives. The recent flamewars on LISNews has seriously lowered my opinion of the professionalism in the library field. Closedmindedness is unattractive in anyone, but is particularly repellent in people who profess to be able to evaluate information.

The use of children for censorship

I did a quick check on the Marion County online library catalog. "Eat Me" is cataloged as adult fiction, so why bring children into it? It seems to me, at least, that it is a blatant attempt at censorship using the "what if children read it" gambit. Attacking the book because adults might read it isn't going to work, so, of course, we have to bring in the children. The question is, what will happen to our public libraries if we reduce our collections to the lowest common denominator: anything that everyone would feel safe in allowing a 5 year old to read.

Re:Collection Development

Eli... I guess I have two questions for you. How do you know the board doesn't represent the community? Do you live in this particular community in Florida? And, secondly, have you read "Eat Me"? Do you feel there is no place for erotic literature in the library? Finally, as for racist language, that has been tried too. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been challenged precisely because of it's use of the word "nigger".

Re:a pox on all politics in libraries

You have to keep in mind, there are plenty of people not engaging in flamewars. Often only people who feel extremely strongly about an issue are going to post. There are a limited number of people engaging in flamewars on LISNews, and they don't represent anyone other than themselves. So it doesn't have to lower your opinion of of professionalism in the library field :)

Do the flamewars on Slashdot lower your opinion of the computer science field?


I'll admit some of these get out of hand, but are these serious subjects or not? If they are then there isn't much chance of dealing with them without ruffling a few feathers. Considering how often articles get written about them I'd say they are very serious.

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