A bow in appreciation to boricuababy1119 for pointing out my shameful neglect of Women’s History Month. (Check out the poem she posted on my LJ yesterday.) It is the kind of thing we should all be celebrating!!
And appreciation to all of you for sharing your Cat 4 books with yesterday. I suspect a lot of us will be going to the library to check out some new titles.
Speaking of libraries… there is a problem in Oklahoma. The state legislature is very close to passing House Bill 2158. The bill would take away money from Oklahoma libraries unless they move all materials that have “homosexual or sexually explicit subject matter” that were written for kids or young adults into a special “adults-only” section of the library. That’s right – they want to take YA books that contain references to sexual behavior, and the books written for children that explain reproduction, and lock them away in a section of the library that kids cannot access.
You can read more about this, including newspaper editorials and librarians responses at AS IF.
This is ridiculous. If parents don’t want their children to borrow a book like SPEAK or PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER then it is the right and the responsibility of that parent to say “no” to their kid. Is the Oklahoma Legislature implying that parents are incapable of supervising their children? A public library is PUBLIC – it is the sacred space of democracy wherein people are free to learn. Are the people of Oklahoma going to let the government take over the parenting of their children?
I suspect that there has been some clever manipulation going on there. I suspect that someone said “let’s protect the children.” Who wouldn’t support a statement like that? I certainly want to protect children. In fact, my career is based on it. I try to provide stories for kids and teens that will help them look at the confusing world they live in and (I pray) make healthy, moral decisions when they are confronted with difficult choices.
Do any of you know more about this situation that I do? What do you think of this? What would you do if you went to the library and asked for a YA book and was told it was off-limits for anyone under 18 years old? Is it American to censor libraries?