Banned Books week may strike up controversy in the literary world. We, as librarians, believe that access should not be restricted to patrons; however, as humans, we do feel the need to protect those who cannot protect themselves. As I stated in an earlier post, most challenges are done so in the best interest of a child. In asking which other groups could challenge material, one responded with religious groups which is rightly so. In addition, racial issues is a popular challenged subject. A newer subject for challenge is on gender or sexual orientation dealing with mostly the rights of gays and lesbians (Rubin, 207). In conclusion, however, most want to protect children from potentially harmful material.
We, as librarians, are no different from society in having special concern for children. In contrast, the American Library Association's (ALA) policy called Free Access to Libraries for Minors states that library materials are not to be restricteed on the basis of the patron's age. The association "opposes libraries restricting access to library materials and services for minors and hold that it is parent - and only parents - who may restrict their children - and only their children - from access to library materials and services" (Rubin, 206).
With this information, I began thinking: How do librarians regulate/organize the issue of questionable material for children? Many questions on this topic vary depending on the type of library.
If a younger patron comes into your library wanting a book you may think is inappropriate, what do you do if the parent is not present? How would you feel as a parent if your son or daughter brought home a book you wouldn't approve of?
In a school library, how would you address this issue if a parent confronted you? Would you inform all parents at the onset of the school year about your and the school's policies?
Rubin, R. E. (2004). Foundations of library and information science (2nd ed.). New York: Neal- Schuman Publishers.