Tonight my local library branch made the news, along with a book by Zane.
It turns out that a teenager brought home a book, written/edited? by the author, Zane (no linky-- that website is just plain painful on the eyes!), that contained graphic sexual content. The mother was not happy -- obviously, since it made the late night news.
" JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The good news is that local teenagers are going to the library more often.On a personal note, this is not the only erotic romance on the shelf at Pablo Creek - I was pleasantly surprised to pick up Diane Whiteside's Irish Devil (I think I saw one of the follow up stories too). Pablo creek also has a separate children's section -- as in not even in the same main room, and also a separate wall of teen books in the fiction, along with a separate teen computer/meet&greet/holds teen shelving room that is in a glassed off section from the main library. Teens and children are well catered for at this particular library.
But what are they reading once they get there?
Parents have been surprised to find what their teenagers are reading nowadays.
Adult romance novels are popular among teenagers.
These aren’t your typical boy meets girl stories necessarily, but stories that describe graphic sexual encounters.
You would think the last place your child would be exposed to graphic sex is your local library.
Roberta Maddox, a local mother, feels the same way.
She is still mad over what she found when her 16-year-old daughter brought some books back from the Pablo Creek branch of the Jacksonville Library.
Maddox believes “this is just the kind of stuff we're trying to protect our kids from in society today, and here she's able to just grab it off the shelf at the library with no one there to keep it away from them.”
The library says it has teen sections and plenty of staff to help guide young readers to appropriate material.
A warning label system has not yet been considered."
Maddox makes a valid point in one respect with the notion that graphic sexual content should be monitored for minors, yet at the same time I couldn't quite gauge the angle the live news report took. Were they reporting from the point of view that sex holds no place in a public library, or not? I'm not quite sure. They also made no comment as to the genre label on the spine - they showed a hardback, and they didn't show a direct close up to verify if it was labelled with romance/erotic/aphrodisia etc.
In the broadcast interview Maddox makes the comparison to liquor and cigarettes -- that they have enforceable age limitations so she doesn't have to worry about her daughter being able to purchase them, because legally she can't. But does that apply to sex? Of course there are legal limitations to the act itself, but reading about it? You might have more luck outlawing second hand smoke in a dedicated smoking section.
I appreciate the mother's point-of-view on one hand, yet as an author, and particularly in the same erotic romance genre, I can't help but disagree.
It begs the question, what would be classed as graphic? As time progresses, even standard romance lines are becoming less purple, and more bedroom doors are being left open, where does a graphic classification begin and end? Does it start with throbbing love muscle and aching moist cavern, head on past Penis and Vagina, and end at Cock and Pussy?
If her complaint merits change, what kind of censorship precedent will it set for the library system in general?
*** Yes, Jacksonville - the home of the infamous Hooha Monologues kerfluffle.