Friday, February 20, 2009

The Misgivings of Reading Sexy Books

Source: Associated Press, February 19, 2009

TOPEKA | The Topeka Shawnee County Library Board of Trustees has voted to restrict access to four books about sex.

The 5-3 vote came Thursday after the board heard more than two hours of testimony and discussion. The board had moved its regular meeting to a bigger room for the public hearing because of the interest in the issue.

The board took up the issue after Kim Borchers and her group "Kansans for Common Sense" requested that the books should be taken off the public shelves and available only by request from an adult.

The books are The Joy of Sex, The Joy of Gay Sex, Sex for Busy People, and the Lesbian Kama Sutra.

The board left the decision on how to restrict access to the books to the library staff.

The above news does not surprise me. Having lived in the Land of Dorothy, I know that public libraries are site of conservatism. I recall some years ago teaching "Sex in America," a course on heterosexuality and homosexuality and everything else in between. The course was offered by a public university but taught at a local public library, as part of a larger outreach program of the said university. A firestorm broke out. The library administration balked at me teaching such a course even though the enrollment was restricted to enrolled college students. Dare I say more here?

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