Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Big Win for St. Louis Citizens; Library Labels Books For Age Appropriateness After Citizen Protest

Yes we can! Citizens can work together to toss out the out-of-town policies of the American Library Association [ALA]!

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.



  1. Children need to stay innocent while they are kids as long as possible, their little minds don't need to be corrupted with a bunch of garbage. They need to put labels on all books that kids should not read all over the world. That's why there are so many problems with teenagers having sex at an early age, having abortions, teen suicide, alcohol and drugs, and the list goes on and on, all of this is cause they are exposed to all of this at an early age and they should not be. God does not want little children's minds to be corrupted with all of that sin, for that matter, he does not want adults minds to be corrupted with sin either but children should not even know about sex, adults yes, children no. Like I said, children need to stay innocent till they become an adult.

  2. Dear Soldier for Christ,

    Thank you very much for writing.

    You said, "They need to put labels on all books that kids should not read all over the world."

    Not quite. The point is people get to choose what's right for their own children once they are fully informed as to the contents of the material. The point is NOT that someone else decides what all children should NOT read, as you hint.

    Once people get the idea that someone like you wants to limit what people can read, that dooms the issue to failure. On the other hand, the St. Louis County Public Library has wisely chosen (thanks to citizen pressure to jettison ALA policy) to provide parents with a simple method to allow the parents to inform themselves as to the content of materials so they can make their own choices for their own children. That is the right thing to do.

    Please consider what I have said as constructive criticism.


Comments of a personal nature, trolling, and linkspam may be removed.