Sunday, October 25, 2009

Giving pornography to children

Two librarians in Kentucky have apparently been fired for refusing to make pornographic material available to children. See the Safe Libraries blog for the story.

Assuming that the material in question is truly pornographic, aren't there laws against making such material available to minors and if so, shouldn't the library director be prosecuted for doing so?


Non-Censor said...

In answer to the posted question, "No." That is, there is no law preventing a library giving pornographic materials to children. That's because the much-abused word "pornography" is so vague as to be unusable in a legal sense.

Now, if the book in question were "obscene," a term that has legal definition, then it would be illegal for the library even to have the book, let alone allow any patron to access it, regardless of whether the patron were an adult or minor. This is highly unlikely, though, as a library is very unlikely to acquire obscene materials.

It would be helpful, in this case, to know EXACTLY what is being called "pornographic" by the two ex-librarians.

SafeLibraries said...

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.

SafeLibraries said...

"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!!!

Dennis said...

Safe Libraries,

People on the Left never cease to shock me.

Keep up the good work.