Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Librarians don't want to be parents

John Green is one of my favorite authors, partly because I like his books, and partly because I like him. That may seem like and odd thing to say about an author, but thanks to social networking and blogging, I feel like I get to know authors more than I did when I was younger. But that's a whole other post topic.

Recently, he referenced a NY Times article about how the Brooklyn Public Library handles challenges to the books that are on its shelves. Included are not only the letters that the challengers send in, but the response from the Library, which includes beautiful sentences like this one:

Librarians and library governing bodies cannot assume
the role of parents or the functions of parental
authority in the private relationship between parent
and child.

That text is from the ALA's "Free Access to Libraries for Minors," and is spot-on for how I feel about library materials.

The best line, and my favorite, however, is this one:

Librarians and governing bodies should maintain that
parents-and only parents--have the right and the
responsibility to restrict the access of their
children--and only their children--to library

Man, I love libraries.

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