Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tintin under lock and key at the Brooklyn Public Library

A future FLIFer tipped us off on an article in today's New York Times, "A Library’s Approach to Books That Offend," by Alison Leigh Cowan.

Apparently, in 2007, due to a patron's objection to the depiction of Africans in Herge's Tintin au Congo, the Brooklyn Public Library moved the offending title from the public area of the library to a locked area with restricted access. As Cowan cites in her article,

“Policies should not unjustly exclude materials and resources even if they are offensive to the librarian or the user,’’ says the Web site of the American Library Association, which adds, “Toleration is meaningless without tolerance for what some may consider detestable.”

Check the article out and decide for yourself if restricted access is the best answer to formal objections lodged by patrons. Should "detestable" titles remain accessible to all? Take a look at the CLA and ALA Intellectual Freedom statements, where FLIF thinks you'll find your answer.

It's also very worth perusing the comments on the article for an insight into the public's perception of libraries and censorship...225 comments and going strong - there seems to be some powerful feelings out there!

Thanks C.H. for the tip!


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