Resident Upset with Library After Niece Checks Out Explicit Anime Book


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by Scott Schaefer

Travis De Nevers, a longtime local resident, is upset with the King County Library System after discovering that his 10-year old niece was allowed to check-out a sexually-explicit anime book from the White Center Library.

De Nevers told The B-Town Blog that his niece, a “huge anime fan,” checked out several of those Japanese books earlier this week, like she usually does.

“We were having dinner when I just started looking through her books,” he said. “The first thing I noticed on one was a ‘Parental Advisory’ sticker. I then opened the book and couldn’t believe what I saw inside.”

What he saw was explicit anime drawings of two men having what he describes as “rather violent” sex in a book called “Hero-Heel 2” by Makoto Tateno, a Japanese author, images from which are below (EDITOR’S NOTE: we have censored some of the images and language from scanned pages below; click images to see larger versions):

“What is a book like that doing in a public library anyways?” De Nevers said. “If you want that kind of content go to Google or the Internet. Kids shouldn’t be able to check out explicit, adult content like this at public facility.”

De Nevers adds that he’s not just upset that his niece was able to check the book out, but that the King County Library System is actually carrying explicit books like this that may appeal to kids – with no apparent filter to keep children from finding and checking them out.

“What also sickens me is that people are going to the library to read this kind of content?” he said. “An anime comic book section is where people go to read porn? Around kids? There is no good coming from this being in our library.”

De Nevers wants to point out that he isn’t advocating censorship – he merely wants the library to not allow children access to “adult content.”

“I am asking that you review your check-out practices and make the changes necessary to prevent it,” he wrote in a letter (see below).

FIRST AMENDMENT POLICY
It appears that the King County Library System follows the guidelines of the American Library Association, which has stated (PDF file):

Sex, profanity, and racism remain the primary categories of objections, and most occur in schools and school libraries.

Frequently, challenges are motivated by the desire to protect children. While the intent is commendable, this method of protection contains hazards far greater than exposure to the “evil” against which it is leveled.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, in Texas v. Johnson, said, “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Individuals may restrict what they themselves or their children read, but they must not call on governmental or public agencies to prevent others from reading or seeing that material.

KCLS’ POLICIES
We tried to contact KCLS Director Bill Ptacek, as well as KCLS Board Member and Burien councilmember Lucy Krakowiak, but neither has yet responded (if and when they do, we’ll update this post).

We reviewed KCLS’ policies on this page, and found the following info in their “Parental Responsibility” policy (PDF file):

“Parents and guardians are responsible for their children’s behavior, safety and welfare while their children are in the library or on library grounds, which includes their children’s access to library materials and electronic resources.” (emphasis ours)

De Nevers wrote the following letter to KCLS Director Bill Ptacek, which he also cc’d to Dow Constantine and KCLS Board President Jim Wigfall:

Dear Mr. Bill Ptacek:

I want you to know about a very disturbing experience. On October 9th, my mother drove my niece to the White Center library. She is 10 years old and an avid reader of anime books. She went into the library as my mother waited outside in the car. My niece returned with an armload of anime books.

Several evenings later, I was reading with my niece and picked up one of the books, The cover looked similar to the other books she had except this one had a restriction for content. The message on the outside cover says, “For Mature Audiences 18+” and “Parental Advisory Explicit Content”. Believe me those labels are accurate. There is violent and explicit sexual material; see the attached copies of pages.

How can it be that a young girl can check-out this book? Why would it even be located in a place where children would have easy access to it? It was by chance that I happened to pick up the book from a pile of her library books and noticed the label.

I do not want this to happen again to my niece or other children. I am asking that you review your check-out practices and make the changes necessary to prevent it. Please send me a response detailing your steps to correct this serious situation.

Sincerely,
Travis R. De Nevers

EDITOR’S NOTES:

  • We searched to find any specific policy that addresses children’s ability to access “adult content” on the KCLS website, but could find none. All we discovered was language in their “Internet Filtering Policy” (download it here, PDF file) that appears to block adult/mature content from those under 17-years old – but for Internet use only:
    “UNDER 17 PLUS” FILTER
    Library cards for all patrons under the age of 17 are set to the default filtering level of “UNDER 17 PLUS.” The following filter categories of information are blocked for patrons with the “UNDER 17 PLUS” filter: adult/mature content, child pornography, malicious outbound data/botnets, malicious sources, nudity, pornography, phishing, potentially unwanted software, proxy avoidance and violence/hate/racism.
  • De Nevers told us that the “Parental Advisory” sticker on this book’s cover appeared to be placed there by the publisher – not the King County Library System.

We’re wondering what our Readers think – please leave a Comment below…

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Comments

49 Responses to “Resident Upset with Library After Niece Checks Out Explicit Anime Book”
  1. nathan says:

    Violent? Hardly. Most people would consider that rather tame.

    It’d be no simple matter to comb through the thousands of books and other materials for mature content, and an even greater task to set up the networking involved with documenting that in their servers.

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    • Lux says:

      This is pretty tame and typical in YAOI genre. I’ve flipped through the manga and it had some scenes of gay guys kissing and the picture above but this is not the “violent” hentai sex as describe by the parent. More like two gay guys having a romantic fling-off and romance tension while switching between super-hero powers and their love interests.

      Since she’s an anime fan, I suspect what the parent may not come to terms with is that she might as well be a YAOI fan as well. YAIO means gay. There’s plenty of chicks out there that are into the YAOI genre, though it hasn’t been really my cup of tea.

      I’m an anime fan too, and just to say this manga offers a variety and diversity that is often left-out in the super-man hero men-in-tights pumped comic-books. I read manga and watch anime too when I was younger and it was more of a curiosity and appreciation than anything else.

      Did it scar me for life because I read some manga? No. The only ones it bothered were my overzealous religious parents who wouldn’t allow me to even watch MTV like other people’s kids were able to. I actually had to overcome the overbearing “shelter shock” factor brought on by my folks when I went to college, and actually seen nudity, condoms, and gay guys kissing in-front of my face and people talking about sex.

      Not to justify younger people getting ahold of things that are for older ones or may be objectionable to some parents because of the gay themes, but the manga has a mark on it that says “Parental Advisory”.

      Maybe it’s time for “that talk”.

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  2. VERY TIRED says:

    Just another example of free speech trumping common sense.

    Yes…you are free to read this kind of filth (and I say that as an early adopter of Asian culture, and anime and manga especially), but that doesn’t mean the librarian should be so absent-minded as not to LOOK at what is in front of them. In this era of “tolerance” and “diversity”, some things should not be tolerated, like giving this book to a 10 year old. Are you serious, KCLS? Are you going to allow this to happen again?

    By the way, bishonen and bishoujou manga isn’t allowed in Japanese libraries, and they have just as vigourous of free speech rights as we have (they modeled their own bill of rights on ours). Is the library going to be handing out porn to 5 year olds now? Come on.

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    • elizabeth2 says:

      Please realize that the librarian may have had NO hand in this as the child may have checked out the books herself.

      She may also have requested this book herself on the computer. White Center does not have any of the “boy-love” books in their inventory on the shelves.

      Further, this book is NOT found in the youth/juvenile book section anyway although there are many anime manga books by this author and others which ARE in the juvenile section but are not of this nature.

      So let us not be quick to place blame on KCLS for this. The child may have been the one in charge of this whole process of requesting the book – on the search catalog for this author, under the description of the book, it clearly is listed as graphic and gay love

      While this whole incident may indeed strike us as horrible and innappropriate,maybe this sort of issue is one for parental contol and discussion, not library censorship.

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      • VERY TIRED says:

        That is why the automated checkout system needs to be removed. The librarian MUST be able to see what is being checked out to minors. Nuff said.

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        • Eaton B. Verz says:

          Shouldn’t the parents supervise what their children are checking out? Another case of blaming the wrong person. I too am very tired of parents not involved enough in their childrens live and then have people blame everyone else for the parents failure.There are a bunch of examples of this failure that hang out at the library intimidating citizens every day. Ya, makes sense to blame the librarian.

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        • Ted Hahn says:

          The librarian has a duty to allow the minor to check out the material – Provide a word of warning, perhaps, but it is explicitly against library policy and principal to interfere. Proper parental supervision is required, and it’s pretty clear from the complaint that that’s not available – A good parent, were one around, would resolve this between themselves and the child, not attempting to rabble-rouse the blogosphere.

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          • Heidi says:

            I believe the parent’s are involved and that is why this story exist’s, so that it does not happen again to another child. It works as an informative to both parent’s to make sure to pay attention to what your child brings home and to the KCLS to pay more attention to what they are giving to children.

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        • TcB says:

          But I like the automated system. Why punish me?

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  3. Marianne says:

    As stated in the article, it is the parent’s responsibility to monitor their children’s reading materials.

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  4. Burienite says:

    I am the parent of a 10 year old girl also, as well as a 7 year old, and we use the library regularly. I fully recognize my own responsibility for helping my children navigate the world, and for what they check out from the library. I’m pretty sure that my children would self-censor themselves from the manga shown here, but if not it would certainly give us some valuable conversation.

    I do not consider it the library’s responsibility to monitor what my children check out, and would consider it a bad thing if it did. In order to implement this, the library would have to have a system notation for “not allowed to children” (or “allowed for chidren”)- who makes those decisions? Very few books have parental advisory stickers (*parental* advisory, by the way), but surely there are other books and materials Mr. De Nevers would find objectionable; does the library default to allowing kids to check things out, or default to not allowing, only marking materials sure to be inoffensive as “ok for children”? What’s your age cutoff? Or do you leave it to the library staff, on a per-patron basis, which would require child-patrons to use staffed checkout- no self-checkout for you, kid! You have to be looked in the eye and each of your selections carefully evaluated for appropriateness for you.

    No, I think I’ll stick with the current KCLS policies, which allow me to exercise my own responsibility, as a parent, and allows my children to exercise *their* own responsibility, as human beings.

    Also, if those are scans from Mr. De Nevers, the book came from the Redmond branch, which suggests his niece had actually put that book on hold, not that she walked up to it in White Center, which should also be giving her parents/guardians quite a bit of opportunity to oversee and exercise their responsibility toward their child.

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  5. Burienite says:

    P.S. I think this may be the page which spells out KCLS’s policy on the matter most clearly:

    http://www.kcls.org/usingthelibrary/policies/selections.cfm
    “Library materials will not be sequestered except for the express purpose of protecting them from damage or theft. ”

    “From the library’s perspective, only parents or legal guardians have the authority and responsibility to decide the reading, viewing or listening use of library materials for their own minor children. While the library does not presume to take the place of the parent or legal guardian, the library is committed to taking steps to create positive and clearly identified opportunities for minor children to make appropriate use of library resources, to support parents and legal guardians in their efforts to guide their own children’s choices for reading, viewing and listening, and to assist parents and guardians to understand the library materials selection and electronic access process and policy with respect to children.”
    [It then lists some of the ways in which the library helps guide and assist, like having a "children's section" and suggested reading lists and stuff]

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  6. This is no surprise to me, given this library’s past. Here’s one example:

    “Library Leaves Pedophile Free to Molest Other Children; King County Library System Defrauds Taxpayers of $1,158,253 from CIPA Program; Media Investigation Needed”

    http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2010/10/library-leaves-pedophile-free-to-molest.html

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  7. elizabeth2 says:

    Recall also that many or most of the books that are checked out today are checked out by the patron scanning the books themselves on the terminals in the library. A librarian may not have even had any role in this transaction of checking out this book.

    As a parent of three children, it is my belief that it is up to me to monitor what my children bring home. My idea of appropriate and someone else’s idea may vary widely. I would not want another person making judgments as to what my children can or cannot read.

    This would be a wonderful time for the parent of this child to have a conversation about what has happened and different people’s views.

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  8. 3 down for B-Town says:

    Its simply not the Libraries responsibility. Another situation where someone else is blamed for the parents/adults fault.

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  9. Lindsay says:

    Posts like this always scare me. I’m afraid people are going to start panicking and demand we censor library content. Libraries are about information and giving everyone access to the information they need, regardless of content. If you don’t want your child to have access to certain types of material, it is up to you as a parent to monitor what they’re viewing. While I respect your right to find the content of the above manga objectionable and I support your right to keep your child from viewing it, you do not have the right to tell me that I cannot view something which has been legally published. Further, it is the responsibility of the public library to provide access to all types of material as long as that material falls within legal guidelines.

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    • Flashdog says:

      Too late, Lindsay. The King County Library system practices censorship quite freely according to whatever is the fashionable intellectual view. I am a teacher and I once accompanied a student into a King County library in Federal Way to get material for a report she was doing on William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army. When we had trouble finding what we needed, we politely asked the librarian at the desk for help. Her reply: “Oh, we are trying to weed out information about old white men.” Yes, she was serious and, no, she didn’t help us. So books are censored according to race and gender bias?

      On another occasion, a few years ago, I was in the Burien library looking at books in the children’s section. I found a book that was so completely reprehensible that I couldn’t keep quiet. It was an extremely sly, very carefully crafted piece of anti-Christian hate literature — in the children’s section. I tried an experiment. I went up to the information desk and said, “What if I told you that you have a book in here that depicts African Americans as mentally deficient savages that deserve to be hated and persecuted?” That got her attention. “Where?” she demanded. I led her back to the shelves where there were 3 copies of this vicious piece of trash. “Actually,” I told her, “it is not about African Americans. It is about Christians and they are portrayed as being dishonest, stupid, and evil and the climax of the book is when something terrible happens to a couple of Christian children. It is written in such a way that the reader is encouraged to rejoice and think the tragedy at the end is wonderful. I would call that hate literature, wouldn’t you? If this book was about African Americans, you were ready to pull it off the shelf right now, weren’t you?”
      The library lady who had followed me into the children’s section ready to right wrongs and remove offensive material did a complete about face. “Oh,” she said non-commitally, “you can fill out a complaint form at the desk and the head librarian will call you.” I obediently filled out the form and, of course, no one called me because the form was in the waste basket before I went out the door.
      By the way, if the book I found HAD targeted African Americans, I would have been equally upset. I told the librarian it was about African Americans because I was certain I would get an outraged reaction from her. I wanted to see if I would get the same outrage when she found out it was a different group being persecuted. I think her response was revelatory — books will be censored if they are hate speech toward some groups, but not if the book attacks groups that are presently fashionable to attack. Now I ask you, shouldn’t the policy be all or nothing? Shouldn’t it be either NO hate speech toward any person or group or an absolute “anything goes”, rather than the library deciding who and what can be vilified in children’s reading material?
      I could actually share several more stories that illustrate the fact that KCLS practices censorship quite freely, but you get the idea. If you want a real eye opener, go into a Christian bookstore and look at the wide variety of interesting, well done childrens’ books that are available. Then go into a King County library childrens’ area and see if you can find THREE of the books you saw at the bookstore.

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      • Flashdog, care to write a guest post on old white men censorship, on materials reconsideration form abuse, and on Christian book censorship, etc., for publication on my SafeLibraries blog? If so, please contact me via email.

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      • Mike says:

        So you lied and were shocked that your complaint wasn’t taken seriously?

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        • Flashdog says:

          Read it again, Mike. I asked her, “WHAT IF I told you…..” She gave me her reaction to that and then I told her the accurate details. I did not lie to her at all. I asked her a straight forward questions, gauged her reaction, told her the true situation (the same in all but one detail), and compared her completely opposite reaction.

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          • Human Rights says:

            I’m a Christian and KCLS’ collection of christian books and media is ample. In fact, if you examine the catalog, there’s plenty of dvds published by Common Sense Media and books by Focus on the Family. None of my Catholic friends have every complained either. We must be from different Christian denominations. I’m following this thread with increasing curiosity. I’ve always thought there wasn’t enough African-American picture books and they were the ones being weeded. I agree to disagree. Thanks for the discussion.

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          • elizabeth2 says:

            To Flashdog and her rude reply…..If one reads your whole, long, sad story, you will indeed find this quote from your own mouth:

            “I told the librarian it was about African Americans because I was certain I would get an outraged reaction from her.”

            Also, I am AMAZED that there were THREE, really THREE copies of this horrible book that persecutes Christians? I am in the library ALL the time going through the stacks and I think that are rarely THREE copies of the same book in one library branch. It is interesting that there were THREE copies of this vicious trash of which you speak….just saying….

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          • Astonished says:

            Just…..wow. ‘What if’ I told you the building was on fire? Just joking, to prove a point! Hahahahaha! Lulz. That’s cool right? People like this make my stomach turn. It’s a shame you were born so late in time…..you would have done so well during the Crusades.

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      • to be fair, most christians are dishonest and evil. just saying…

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  10. Grateful Mom says:

    I too agree with @elizabeth2. I am a mother of 3 and when I go to the library, I make sure I look over the pile of books my daughters want to take home. As a Christian woman, I don’t assign blame and I take responsibility for the behavior of my children.. Whenever I see other parents dump their kids at the library and pick them up later, I am annoyed. Wish it were my business because I want to reprimand these parents. But I am humble. I am ever so grateful for our wonderful library system. Hooray for KCLS for serving everyone.

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    • Anon says:

      No offense, but what does being Christian have to do with anything? You can do your job as a parent and be atheist or anything else.

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      • feral dog says:

        Anon, No offense, but outside of being a troll, what does your comment have to with the subject ?

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  11. Jennifer says:

    The child is 10 and the parent should have been with her when she selected books. My son is 10 and I know exactly what he is checking out at the library by going through them before he checks them out. Parents need to be responsible for what there children do.

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  12. BLreader says:

    Although this book (part 2 of a 3-part series, a set of which I own) is clearly labeled as containing adult content, I want to defend it against charges of it being “porn” and “filth.” It is an example of Japanese BL or yaoi, drawn/written mostly by women, mostly for women to read.

    The story revolves around a young actor who finds himself falling for an older, emotionally damaged actor when they work together making a TV show. Yes there are sex scenes, but in the context of a compelling story. The mangaka — the author/illustrator — is well-known and prolific. Many of her works have been published in english, but Hero/Heel is probably my favorite.

    Kudos to the Seattle library system for carrying a variety of works.

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  13. god these people frustrate me. why is there no filtering system to prevent children from accessing these materials? YOU ARE THE FILTERING SYSTEM. do not blame public library staff for your irresponsibility because the child’s adult was too lazy to leave the car and waited in the parking lot.

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  14. Heidi says:

    Parental Advisory is key. However, What is the answer to families that do not speak English yet have bi-lingual children? It presents fact that anyone any age can indeed check out these extremely sexually content and graphic books that are classified Mature Adult , yet are located in the mainstream shelving system along side the GA where CHILDREN have access to them. You can state that it all lies in the responsibility of the parent’s to monitor the content and this is accurate for those who are able to however, the scenario above presents a different case and I would like to see a letter in response to that. The KCLS needs to be responsible as well and admit that you have a role in this to the public to protect innocent children period.

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    • Jennifer says:

      I am sorry but even if you don’t speak english I believe a parent is still able to look through the book and see if it is appropraite or not. Also, I am sure they are able to tell which section is for young people and what is for adults.

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    • othersideofthetracks says:

      Heidi, you said
      Parental Advisory is key.
      Then asked
      However, What is the answer to families that do not speak English.
      Solution: simple, When in Rome…..
      How about this concept? Learn to speak English.
      The library isn`t a day care nor do they hire babysitters. It`s the parents job or duty if you so wish to call it that to police their kids and the literature they bring home.
      They even bring it home,, Thats right, home into your house,,GASP!!!!
      Don`t blame the library for the content your kids brings home, blame yourself.
      Kids learn, hear and see more on the school yard playground

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  15. Sholeh says:

    @Heidi, I’m French and I’ve seen welcome packets in different languages with all the rules translated in KCLS libraries. Ask for it next time you’re in. I hope that helps. There are rules about parental responsibility too. Best, Sholeh.

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    • Heidi says:

      Thanks Sholeh but I was referring to the book it’s self is written in English. Bottom line is KCLS is still partially responsible for having the book and apparently many more accessible to a child to begin with. Luckily , in this case the said Parent’s did pick up the book and looked through it so it has been brought to the public’s attention that such explicit material is accessible to children. Public entities that are supported by the resident’s tax dollars should act in a more responsible manner keeping such material out of a child’s reach because they are vulnerable. Anyone can nit pick it all they want. I don’t see the Parent’s crying victim., I see them informing people that the material is accessible in or through our public libraries whatever the case may be, the material has no business being accessible to a child period.

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  16. crabby aunt Margie says:

    My Mom had a fit when I, at 8 years of age, checked out a stack of Alfred Hitchcock books. This would have caused a meltdown. A 10 year old has no business reading that material and the Librarian could have stopped her. Also if she had a parent with her at the time she would have been stopped.

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  17. Sholeh says:

    @Heidi. Ah. Sorry. I was addressing question about bilingual material. You are saying there needs to be more librarians. It sounds like we are both mothers. I feel bad the Uncle is so mad at the library because his niece picked up the book and he found out only “after” he got home. Everyone is so tired; its hard being a parent. It’s hard being a guardian. Probably hard for the librarians too. What to do? My public dollars go into the library as well. I am not angry at all but maybe it’s because my son is gay. I think there are other mothers like me in county, n’est ce pas? How to make us both happy? Thank goodness for the press, thank goodness for America! Thank you.

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    • Heidi says:

      Perhaps he’s not angry at KCLS, but more shocked in a sense that the material was so easily accessible. I am wandering if within the KCLS policies if even state’s somewhere that the KCLS carries sexually explicit material’s.

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  18. Mish says:

    There is an ugly sticker on the covers of these books stating “Parental Advisory” and what’s more, these stickers do not come off (much to the chagrin of of-age people who want to buy them). But plenty of books containing sexual content (such as Twilight), and don’t carry any such warning with them – the reason parents don’t see the sex is because it’s in word form, not with pretty pictures.

    The fact remains, it’s not the job of the world (and that includes the library) to raise children on behalf of the parents. If parents want to censor their children from this sort of content, they also have to look at what their children are looking at, and educate them on what they should and shouldn’t be reading. Plenty of people go to the library, probably more adults than children, judging from the ratio of kids books to adult books at my library, and the library should not limit it’s selection to cater to one demographic.

    Speaking from the perspective of a teenager who did in fact read one of this author’s books at the tender age of 11 (so perhaps I can provide a unique insight into this) it wasn’t something scarring that gave me nightmares. It wasn’t a huge deal. It made me curious – “How do two guys have sex?” – but the same could be said for the Mills & Boons volumes my mother borrowed from the library, and I stole to read when I finished my own stash at age 10, only the question that time was “what are these people doing?”

    So sure, children looking at porn raises awkward questions, that parents have the answer – but ultimately, it’s better to be educated, on everything. It will probably (and has not in my case) not “damaged their psyche”, and it’s probably the parents who take more damage. Even though kids might ask these questions earlier than expected – and probably earlier than parents ever wanted to explain it to them – to be forewarned is to be forearmed. In this day and age where everything is sexualised, it’s better for children to receive a proper, and comprehensive explanation on the topic than for them to fumble around in the dark (and the internet) trying to work it out for themselves.

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  19. joe higashi says:

    Come on guys, this isn’t all that tricky. There’s an easy, known, accepted, solution to this problem. Just put the adult books in the adult book section, the teen books in the teen book section, and the kid’s books in the kid’s book section. The real problem here is just that librarians haven’t adjusted to the addition of more adult comics yet.
    Sure, the kid could still go to the adult section to get the book, but it gives the parents a reasonable heuristic to work with.

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    • Radical Militant Librarian says:

      Joe: Actually, it IS shelved in the Adult section. Like the big parental advisory sticker on the cover, this doesn’t stop anyone.

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  20. John Librarian says:

    So this parent is leaving his 10 year old child unsupervised in a public place, and then has the nerve to complain about something that happens while he has left his child unsupervised? While librarians try to make libraries warm, welcome, safe places, it’s not our responsibility to babysit or otherwise take over parenting roles. Does this guy dump his child at the grocery store unsupervised? Or a department store? I think this guy needs to take on his OWN parenting duties and not expect someone else to raise his child for him.

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    • Jessica says:

      It’s become a bad habit of folks dumping younger folk at the library like this or unsupervised… Regardless of any public place a parent should accompany their child especially if the person is a little too young to be by themselves to start with.

      I’ve seen multiple parents do this almost everyday, they either drop their kids off for hours on end by themselves while they go off somewhere, or they go in the library, sit on a PC and completely ignore/ tune-out their child and expect library to be the fill-in for supervising their child.

      There’s only so much libraries can do and of course safety is a number 1 priority at all times, but whoever the material which the card is checked out under is responsible for what’s on it… If it’s a child’s card, then the parent is responsible to know what their child is checking out or putting holds on as well as the child knowing what materials their folk approve of whom the card is registered under. It’s a team effort of communication between child and parent.

      From the information above it seems that the child may have posted a hold for the book herself online, then went to the library to pick it up. I’ve know when I was younger I wanted to read stuff my folks disapproved of (and back then Gay was a big no no) so I went, and I read it anyway of course lol. Yes it was sneaky what I did going against mommy and daddy’s approval, but I was able to read those hitch-cocks I wanted to and learned something new and different in the process. Now i’m a fan of his work.

      The libraries are a free and wonderful place to gain knowledge and do research, but it’s also mindful to know that there also a place where there is material for different age-ranges(Adult, Teen, Child), interests and hobbies(Manga, Baseball, Yoga) sub-cultures(Fans, ect) and groups in both literature and graphic-novel formats is available for public use.

      And i’ve known some parents would let their kids or teens read books or novels my folks wouldn’t have even dreamed of letting me read at all that wasn’t in the children’s/teen section.

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  21. Radical Militant Librarian says:

    As has been pointed out, the cover clearly bears a sticker indicating it’s from another branch, so the kid presumably placed a request for it. It’s from the Adult section and has a Parental Advisory sticker on the cover. Also, it’s volume 2 of a 3-volume work.

    She probably had already read volume 1, she probably knew exactly what she was getting, and she certainly got it deliberately.

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  22. elizabeth2 says:

    I am not sure why the uncle is so upset except that this probably was a surprising discovery for him.

    He has now been advised of what the library policies are and the limits of censorship.. I do not believe that he should be upset with KCLS but instead be glad this opens up some discussion.

    What SHOULD be happening now is one of the adults involved should be having a gentle conversation with the girl.

    IF she did indeed request the book through the computer and the family is upset, guideline can be mutually decided upon as to how and when the girl can access the computer request system for books. If this material is unacceptable to the family, then perhaps they can assist the child when she requests books so they can discuss her choices.

    IF she knew what she was requesting, then that opens up a conversation as to WHY she wanted it, does she understand the theme of the book, does she understand what the pictures are showing.

    IF she does, then that gives the family the chance to open up a conversation (if they wish) about different sexual lifestyles.

    It all comes back to the family responsibility to address how this child uses the library. They are responsible for both her physical safety in the library alone and her ability to check out materials of her own choice.

    NOWHERE should the community be involved in this except to advise the family of KCLS policy and have KCLS offer guidance in working with the child to understand.

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  23. Children's Librarian says:

    As a Children’s and Young Adult Librarian I understand the concern, however, as librarians it is not our job to censor what anyone reads or to decide the appropriateness of what people are checking out. It would be completely subjective and would cause a huge number of problems and cost a huge amount of time. We cannot police the subject matter of what any patron checks out and we must have books that cater to everyone’s needs, wants,and interest (as long as they are legal). If parents are concerned about what their children are checking out it is their duty to accompany their children and help them choose suitable material.

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    • elizabeth2 says:

      AMEN to Children’s Librarian – PARENTS’ RESPONSIBILITY, no one else’s!

      Can you just see what MIGHT happen when little Susie goes to check a book out and the librarian would have to say “Did your Mom see this book? Did she give you permission to check it out” and THEN said mother shows up who DID indeed see and approve the book?

      Man, then the fat would really hit the fire!

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