Sunday, October 25, 2009

Librarians Fired for Not Pornifying Child

In Nicholasville, KY, two librarians are fired for not pornifying an 11 year old girl in accordance with library policy at the Jessamine County Public Library. !!!! The second link has a video that must be seen.

Can there be any doubt that this is a direct result of American Library Association [ALA] policies and practices? Does anyone here think these two librarians would be required to give porn to children if it were not for the ALA?

WTVQ-ABC36 and WBKO-ABC13 report, you decide:

"Librarians Won't Give Child 'Porn' Book," WTVQ ABC36, 21 October 2009:

Two Nicholasville librarians are fired for not allowing a kid check out a book. The women say the book contains pornographic material inappropriate for children.

The two women say they were fired last month when they wouldn't let a young girl check out a book from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Now, both women say they're less concerned with their jobs and more concerned with keeping material like this out of children's hands.

"Residents in Jessamine County do not realize that these books that are so graphic are available in the library let alone to their children," former Jessamine County librarian, Beth Bovaire, said.

Beth Bovaire worked at Jessamine County Public Library up until a month ago. She and Sharon Cook worked as librarians- the two were fired last month when they say they didn't allow a child check out a book from the league of extraordinary gentleman series.

"My friend Sharon had brought it to me on Wednesday, and she said 'look at this book it's filthy and it's on hold for an 11 year old girl,' and I said well okay, lets take it off hold."

The Jessamine County Library director says it's against their policy to speak about employee terminations but he did give me a copy of their policy and it clearly states the responsibilities of the child's reading must lye with the parents and not with the library.

The women say the books contain lewd pictures of men and women in sexual situations that are inappropriate for children.

"If you give children pornography, a child, a 12 year old, can not understand and process the same way a 30 year old can," Sharon Cook said.

The women say parents these days are swamped and it's far too easy for a child to check out a book without them ever knowing. The women hope the library will reconsider their policies to make sure children aren't checking out inappropriate materials.

See also "Librarians Fired Over Porn," WBKO-ABC13, 23 October 2009, where there's a news video to watch as well.

"Parents do the best they can; they need some help." You think?



  1. It should at least be mentioned that the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" is a comic book (er... Graphic Novel) series aimed at adults. Don't know what individual issue is involved here, but the series definitely addresses adult themes (but is not legally obscene).

    The library in question has this series in the general section, NOT children's or young adult.

  2. Dan,

    Can you describe, in a much detail as decorum permits, the nature of the "offensive content?"

    Because I don't know about you and where you are from, but in my country we don't let government employees decide what our kids can read in the library.

    That sounds like socialism, Dan. I don't think America or the library world is ready for your brand of radical socialism.

    - Chuck

  3. Non-Censor, thanks. I think what you said makes the firings even worse.

    Chuck, thanks. That was an extremely funny comment.

    This story is getting more attention. To wit:

    "2 Librarians Fired For Refusing Book To 12 Year Old," by Blake Carver, LISNews, 26 October 2009.

    "Alan Moore and the Librarians," by The.Effing.Librarian, the.effing.librarian, 22 October 2009.

    Some of you are probably aware of the ALA's fucked-up opinion on age-appropriate material: they have none. The ALA believes that all material should be available to everyone, that children can check out R-rated movies, that libraries shouldn't filter kids' Internet computers, etc.


    So that's why I sympathize with these women. During book selection, they are told that certain materials have age recommendations, but once the book is available for check-out, they are supposed to ignore those evaluations as an outdated form of censorship.

    "Giving Pornography to Children," by library director Dennis Ingolfsland, The Recliner Commentaries, 25 October 2009.

    "Who Decides on Library Books?," by Staff, WTVQ-ABC36, 22 October 2009.

    "Alan Moore Comic Dubbed 'Pornographic'," by Mark Langshaw, Digital Spy, 23 October 2009.

  4. With some reservations about stepping into this one, I'll bite: What's so pornographic here?

    I've rummaged online and have so far seen only speculation. WHICH issue of the "League" was in question, and WHAT about it is being called "pornographic" here? Is it fair to say the now "ex" librarians were keeping pornography from a child? So far, all we have is a vague statement to that effect, but no details.

  5. OK... this might be a live one (I mean a seriously debatable issue).

    Responding to a question I emailed to one of the TV stations covering this story, a reporter answered back that the specific volume in question is the "Black Dossier" issue of the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" series.

    I'm looking at the volume right now, and it does, in fact, contain comic-book drawings depicting nude people, quite a few. And some of the drawings depict (or at least indicate) sexual activity.

    Legally obscene? Nope. But even I'd have to admit that most parents would want their 11-year-old to see it.

  6. Freudian slip.... most parents would NOT want their pre-teens to see it.

  7. This is interesting:

    "'Librarians' and 'Pornography,'" by Paul Beavers, ACRL's Intellectual Freedom Committee Blog, 28 October 2009.

  8. I agree with Mr. Beavers' analysis, especially his statement:

    "The Jessamine Public Library is to be applauded for its stand on parental responsibility. The two “librarians” deserved reproach for their decision."

  9. Thanks, Non-Censor. Your posts here have been outstanding.

    You may be interested in what I asked Mr. Beavers in the comments on his blog post and in how he responded.

    As an aside, he asked readers of his blog post to read mine, and the comments, and I'll assume your comments here are part of the reason why he made that recommendation. So, again, thank you, Non-Censor.

  10. It might also be noted that the American Library Association has the series of books "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen" noted or described as pornographic. That being said it might help all directors, superviors, employees, parents, to check the status before making decisions, be it for children, adults, employees, whatever the reason. In this situation, it appears a wise Latino woman may need to be hearing this case, or someone may need to be asking why there was such a rush to fire two librarians over an 11 year old girl checking out what is apparently defined as pornography. Laws don't allow her in a Book or Video store selling Porn, but KY would fire their librarians. Where is Oprah's "It takes a village to raise a child" in KY?
    Oprah, I hope you are hearing this!!

  11. Anonymous:
    You (and many others) are confusing two quite distinct terms: pornography and obscenity.

    They laws you mention as restricting the 11-year-old's access to X-rated materials are about obscenity. Restricting access is legal because that material meets the legal definition of obscene.

    The "League" materials have sexual content that some will consider pornographic, but that is a looser term with little or no legal definition. Just labeling something pornographic doesn't make it legal to interfere with a minor's First Amendment right to read (the parents can do that, but not the library).

    Having looked at the "League" book in question, I have to say that I doubt it rises to the legal definition of obscenity, but I can see where many parents wouldn't want their 11-year-old reading it.

    The library's hands are quite tied by Free Speech law. The one way I can see for them to impose an age-graded restriction would be to have the work declared "obscene with regard to minors." That's a difficult area of law to work with, and would likely require a court decision.

  12. If the librarians were so concerned, they could have just contacted the girl's parents. I am sure that at 11 years old, she doesn't drive herself to the library and most libraries have patrons' email & phone number on file (they must have, since they had a book on hold).

    If they were concerned about the parents not knowing, why not inform them?

  13. This is an excellent article:

    "Child Protection or Censorship? Library Employees Lose Jobs Over Book," by Amy Wilson, Lexington Herald-Leader, 8 November 2009.

    I love the part about the library's support for freedom of speech and for local control over local public libraries:

    They wanted to then suggest that the library change its policy on censorship.

    Boisvert said she wanted them to know that "because we are a conservative community, we will choose to have our children protected."

    Cook and Boisvert were never given the opportunity to speak. Neither was anyone else in the gallery. The reason given: It was not on the agenda.

    People left really, really riled.

    Director Critchfield has repeatedly said the library will not comment on personnel matters. The library, instead, has been left to try to speak through its policies.

  14. "On Sept. 22, Cook told two of her colleagues at the library about her dilemma, and Beth Boisvert made a decision. She would take the book off hold, thus disallowing the child — or the child's parents — ever to see the book."

    "On Sept. 23, both Cook and Boisvert were fired. They were told by library director Ron Critchfield the firings were a decision of the library board"

    Look at that! Fired the next day! That's funny, it wasn't on the agenda!!!


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