Should libraries determine whether the book "Shades of Grey" will or will not be on their shelves?
It has been reported that some libraries are removing "Shades of Grey" from their shelves. Is it appropriate for libraries to determine whether a given book will or will not be available? Should it be dependent upon book content, type of library or age range of patrons?
You know? I wonder if the whole issue is a ploy to send us to the book store to buy a copy. Do you think that is possible?
I don't know if it's true or not but I disagree. I worked in the library field and I don't agree with censorship of any kind. If they feel it's not suitable for kids or that it might get stolen because of it's current popularity they can keep it behind the counter.
Well if a library does not believe in censorship this book will be on the shelves. How is it even possible in 2012 that some uptight communities might rally against this? There are a lot of erotic books out there, and any library into book banning has some big issues with hypocrisy. My belief is any book people want to add to a library should be, and then let the people decide if they want to check it out or not. This is a non-issue in places like Southern California, by the way.
Absolutely not. Freedom of speech is pretty well protected in our Constitution and banning anything from libraries is downright dangerous.
I guess it's being banned for it's "pornographic" content. I wonder if those banning it have read it. It's really nothing to get in a tizzy over!
Either way, books should not be banned. It's a desperate measure of people trying to control other thoughts, feelings, and actions. It never leads to any good. People can choose to read it or not - that's what this great country is about, not the suppression of ideas and words.
I am definitely against this idea. It is the reader who should decide which book to read. Libraries' job is only to provide people with a collection of books. Every book that is interesting for a group of readers should be available.
The last time I was in a public library, the only things being heavily used were the public access computers. The library administration controlled what you could access on the internet and the amount of time spent on their computers. Of course, if you had a laptop, there was free Wi-Fi. This particular library was connected to a public school and had a significant amount of kids in classroom activities such as story time or reading, depending on the age of the kids. I can see how "Shades of Gray" would be a huge concern to the library staff.
Public libraries have to balance freedom of speech, community standards, and shelf space when they decide what to put on their shelves/computer monitors. In a large library system, community standards could vary from neighborhood to neighborhood, so the main library could carry a specific book while branch libraries could choose not to have it on their shelves. (The book could still be available as an inter library loan. Ideally, all books should be made available, but the reality of that ideal is complicated.) My big problem is that sometimes the decision to carry, or not to carry, a book is made without any input from the community the library is serving. Private libraries are not as sensitive to community standards.
If you are referring to E L James Fifty Shades of Grey, then given the controversial and racy nature of this book I think it appropriate for Libraries to decide whether to keep it on their shelves, or not, given that libraries are frequented by many children and young people. But I don't agree with banning any book from public choice. Quiet a hot topic this one!
Good Morning Howard!
I am not familiar with the book but to give a general answer, most well written books what are considered "library appropriate" should be available for readers. However, if a person really enjoy a particular book, why not purchase it.
No I disagree. Every reader should have all the freedom to decide which book to read. Every book should always be available to everyone.
The Purpose of a Library is to provide a place that we may have free access to information that is not easily available or affordable to use otherwise.
A library is not a place that should promote specific Dogmas or thier anti-thesis but rather, it is the purpose of a Library simply to contain the information.
That way it will allow any person who wishes to study about a subject free access to the information they need to study.
There are allot of Books that I do not like... Things that I Personally think should be locked up or burned... For example: things lIke books on Satanism, Child Sacrifices and other Witchcraft related things.. or Pornography...
These are things which some people say do not belong in a public library... and I tend to agree to a point...
These things should certainly be kept away from Children... But part of the purpose of a Library is to maintain a hard copy of literature as Evidence that it existed...
For example: Many today will try to deny that Satanism or Witchcraft has anything to do with Human sacrifices or Pedaphilia... But the Library may be the only place left that you can access books on the Life of Aleister Crowley (the forerunner of most of today's dark practitioners) And see that those things were very much a part of his ideology and practice...
Some of the things however that I Do Like... The Bible and books on faith...might be the very books that you or some other person find offensive and want burned...
The Library system should be seen much like a Swiss Bank... a Secure,
Non-Partisan vault of information...
and in some cases But only where it is necessary... provide its contents with limited access to keep children safe from things like Pornography or graphic violence etc.
I can understand the concern given the explicit details in the book, however, isn't there an adult section in the library? Did you know there is an American Library Association Banned Book Week (for 27 years so far). What about Lolita? Is it still banned?
Freedom of speech is a precious thing; if this book can be banned, what is next the Bible for its sexual references? Let the adult reader decide what they want to read.
I do not believe in censorship for any reason. I believe libraries should leave the book on the shelf. But, I will say, libraries know the make-up of their local communities and what is appropriate and inappropriate for that community. So, I would leave it up to the local libraries to determine whether the book should stay on the shelf or not. As a head librarian, I would leave it - I feel censorship is worse for a community than a sexually charged book is.
It's interesting that since many libraries are actually banning the book, it has actually done the opposite of their intention: Drive Up Book Sales! I personally don't think that any library should sensor what books they provide. If the community demands books be removed that is a different story, but the actual library is there to serve the public.
Worst case scenario, the libraries should only allow adults to check them out. If a 14 year old wants to read it, that could be a problem.
Personally I think it should depend on where the money came from and who the library is supposed to service. If taxpayers paid for the library and the people that live in the area think it is okay for that library to have the book on their shelves then they should keep the book. It is appropriate for libraries to determine whether a book will or will not be available but it should be based on popular opinion if it is a public library.
They could just take it off the shelves and put it behind the desk. That way they could keep it away from young children. If someone wanted to read it they could ask for it. I don't agree with censoring. If you start it is hard to know where to stop. Lots of libraries have books on witchcraft that some people would want off the selves.
Freedom of Speach--a 1st ammendment right. The more chances we take by giving it away to someone else, the easier it is to lose again. Keep the book on the shelves. Don't give up your rights so easily. Behind the desk=censorship. Popular opinion=law.
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