Don't read (or look at) these!
There was a post on a librarian's blog about a recent New York Times article dealing with the Brooklyn Public Library's decision to remove a Tintin book from open shelves because it was racially offensive. The librarian blogger was equally concerned about an online companion piece in the Times that showed ten different challenges to books over the years that had gotten published online with the names of those who had challenged the books clearly presented, although their addresses were redacted (blacked out) from the online posting. The public library is supposed to protect patron confidentiality so that last bit does tend to make one uneasy.
Anyway, the article does list ten different items that were challenged over the years, and the library's response to the challenges. Call me curious, but I wondered how many of those books were held by us or one of the other libraries in our system. Lo and behold, we are eight for ten! Here's a list of the ten Brooklyn Public Library challenges, and the (condensed) reason they were challenged.
- Beloved / by Toni Morrison. Inappropriate for children (something about cows on page 13)
- Mighty Aphrodite [DVD] / by Woody Allen. "porn" inappropriate for library and children's distribution.
- Anti-Einstein / by Vladimir Boiarintsev (written in Russian). Anti-Semitic. [We don't own it.]
- Killing Johnny Fry : A Sexistential Novel / by Walter Mosley. Totally pornographic!
- Hard Candy [DVD] / by David Slade. Shows how to castrate a man.
- Tintin au Congo / by Herge. [Original edition] racially offensive to black people.
- Dr. Feelgood / by Marissa Monteilh. "porno" very explicit sex. [We don't own it.]
- Borat / by Ant Hines. Book is extremely vulgar, offensive and perverted.
- Looking for Alaska / by John Green. Obscene and obnoxiou