This is the case where the ALA used its victory over Oak Lawn, IL, and SafeLibraries.org to guide the St. Louis, MO, library director to lie to the media and the public to ensure ALA policies control. Some media had also misled the public. I have written a number of reports on the St. Louis County Public Library, including an article in the St. Louis MetroVoice, so I am very happy the library has decided to use simple common sense to alert parents to the contents of children's books.
See, "County Library Labels Teen Books with Sexual Content; System Set Up After Protests by Anti-Porn Group," by Steve Birmingham, Suburban Journals, 9 February 2009:
Charles Pace, St. Louis County Library executive director, said the purpose of the labeling system is not to prevent people from checking out materials, but rather to let parents know which materials are for younger and which are for older children.
“It’s just something to give parents a little bit of extra guidance, so they know that those materials have mature subject matter,” Pace said. “The books will remain where they are, but will just have a different label on them.” The library already reviews books with guidance from the American Library Association and in case of further complaints they have a reconsideration of materials policy, Pace said.
Anyone who objects to certain passages in specific books can file a request for review, Pace said.
Bravo, Charles Pace! Common sense and local values edged out ALA policies. What a breath of fresh air. Congratulations to Laura Kostial, Know Your Library, and Citizens Against Pornography.
This is a big win for St. Louis citizens. What an excellent example for other communities on how to use patience, persistence, and precedent to ensure common sense local policies apply in local public libraries, not out-of-state ALA policies and misinformation.