Saturday, April 21, 2007

Ya Better Hide that Lesbian Lit!

From 365gay

Apparently, two teenage boys who were looking for information on military academies got an education of a completely different kind when they stumbled across The Whole Lesbian Sex Book in their local Bentonville, Arkansas public library. Dad's not happy about this, and wants to sue the town for $20,000 for the boys' "pain and suffering" and have the library director fired.

  • My favorite quote:
    "[They were] greatly disturbed" said Earl Adams his letter to the city. "[We had] many sleepless nights in our house."

    Yeah, I'll bet. Two teenage boys (ages 14 and 16) find a graphic book on lesbian sex and then have trouble sleeping - imagine that.
  • And, wow, how about that, finding that book (613.96) while looking for books on military schools (355.5). Sure, I don't know the size or layout of the library, but I would bet my last buck that the terms "sex" or "lesbian" were utilized on the OPAC by the 14 year-old at some point during the visit - betcha.
  • After the father's first complaint the book was moved to an "inaccessible" area of the library, and after his second complaint it was removed altogether. Gee, that was easy. Makes me wonder why they purchased the book in the first place if they are that gun-shy about such topics.

  • And, according to the article, the Director resigned, though she said it had nothing to do with the controversy - just that it's a part-time job, and she wants to devote more time to her "business." Hey, how about that it's a part-time job and they don't pay her enough to put up with all the drama?
I'm curious - does your library own that book? If so, do you keep it behind the desk? Have you ever had any complaints about the book? Our library does not own it, and, in fact, even though Library Journal highly recommended it for "all public libraries," only four of the 48 libraries in my state own it.

7 comments:

Joshua M. Neff said...

Yeah, I'll bet. Two teenage boys (ages 14 and 16) find a graphic book on lesbian sex and then have trouble sleeping - imagine that.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

waltc said...

Worldcat.org says 249 libraries report holding that book--including eight within a 20-mile radius of me (closest 3 miles; my own library apparently doesn't hold it). I'd be astonished if any of them kept it hidden. An interesting page at Worldcat.org, since the striking cover art shows up right away...

Anonymous said...

Snort! Walt beat me to it; see http://worldcat.org/oclc/56660387&referer=brief_results Funny post, CL. -- freerangelibrarian

Ryan Deschamps said...

Proud to say that we have two copies, located in two branches. There is an urban branch that I thought would be more likely to have it (the downtown branch is more likely to have the same-sex community suggest programs etc.).

Oh yeah -- same-sex marriages are legal too. And Rosie O'Donnell hosts cruises out here to take advantage of a more tolerant view of same-sex relationships. And the drag queens here turn the heads of even the women.

Too bad folks can be so rinky-dink and then greedy to make up for it.

Carleen said...

We have a copy. I'm suprised we haven't had complaints yet, we're a pretty conservative town. We don't keep it hidden, thank heaven's I would be so upset if we did (our director is prone to such tendencies).

The ZenFo Pro said...

I'm actually surprised my library doesn't own it.

Lol, you mean the home city of Wal-Mart's international HQ doesn't have a full-time library director?

Gary Lee Phillips said...

We don't own it, but several libraries within borrowing distance do. Some may keep it hidden or in a locked cabinet, but that's likely to be to keep it from theft or vandalism rather than out of the hands of readers of any particular age.

Books that have been challenged here (Harvard, IL) in the last five years have been the "Barry Trotter" parodies of Rowling's Harry Potter books, various non-fiction titles on witchcraft and related topics, and, perpetually, anything by Darwin. We don't remove them from the shelves, but they are often stolen, probably to keep them from being read.