What To Do About Your Local Library Putting Porn On Kids’ Shelves

What To Do About Your Local Library Putting Porn On Kids’ Shelves

Requests to move sexually inappropriate content from children’s sections of libraries are being stonewalled and misleadingly called ‘censorship,’ leaving kids at risk at your local library.
Jonathan Lange
By

It was a book that introduced the term “catch-22” into America’s vocabulary. The 1961 novel by Joseph Heller was published 60 years ago this month.

It satirized a bureaucratic loop that prevented a military man from requesting a psychological evaluation because, according to the “catch-22” rule, the very act of asking proved he didn’t need one. Merriam-Webster defines it as “a problematic situation for which the only solution is denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem.”

The American Library Association (ALA) regularly lists Heller’s novel among famous “banned books.” That’s a dubious claim, but it fits a regular pattern of trumping up claims of censorship to advance a more despicable agenda. Here’s how it works.

Leftist school administrators remove American classics like John Steinbeck’s “Of Mice and Men,” Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn,” and Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” from required reading lists in high school. This provides a pretext for the ALA’s official-sounding “Office of Intellectual Freedom” (OIF) to tag the books as “censored.”

The OIF then takes parents’ complaints about “woke” and sexually explicit, age-inappropriate books in children’s sections of libraries and categorizes that as “censorship” too, including such books in the ALA’s “Top 10 #BannedBooksList.” The objective is to shift the Overton Window by associating examples of leftist orthodoxy with American classics, and by sexualizing and radicalizing minors.

Harmful Policy Of No Age Limits

The ALA’s “Freedom to View Statement” ensures that the merest request to move a book from the children’s section to the adult section of the same library — so that is easier to monitor and not staring minors in the face — is counted as a censorial “challenge.” ALA policy says to not comply with such requests, and to direct librarians to fill out a “challenge” form that is sent to the ALA and catalogued as an attempt to “ban the book.”

The ALA recognizes no age limits on what children can access — either in print, video, audio, or online. “The American Library Association supports equal and equitable access to all library resources and services by users of all ages. Library policies and procedures that effectively deny minors equal and equitable access to all library resources and services available to other users is in violation of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights,” the ALA explains.

Accordingly, the ALA regularly opposes porn filters on computers in the children’s section.

Graphic Books in Children’s Sections of Libraries

The most pornographic books are not on the ALA’s annual list, and likely are in the children’s section of your local library. Thus, the ALA annual list distracts public attention from the worst books by steering public debate to the merely bad.

Consider three books omitted from this year’s list. Anyone unable to see why parents should object to the open display of “Doing It,” “The V-Word,” and “This Book is Gay” in the children’s section of a library has no business being around our children. (Caution, these links are graphic.) Despite what leftist ideologues will tell you, this has nothing to do with “sexual identity” and everything to do with exposing children of both sexes to inappropriate sexual content.

Unless you read the above-named titles for yourself, you will likely not believe what unsuspecting children can encounter in your local library. These titles would be perfectly at home in the seediest “adult book store.” Who but the most jaded parents would dream that a library might display them in the children’s section at the eye-level of your average seven-year-old?

The Real Catch-22

That brings us to the real catch-22: The pornographic language and pictures found in the children’s section of America’s libraries are so over-the-top that examples cannot be printed in any respectable publication. This is the very definition of catch-22. The public needs to know the extent of the problem. But a full disclosure is “denied by a circumstance inherent in the problem.”

Thus, parental concerns are shielded from the public by sheer decorum and decency. But that same decency is not restraining librarians from exposing even the youngest children to indecent content. By attractive, kid-friendly displays, they invite curious children to read what your local newspaper editor is ashamed to print.

This is no exaggeration, “Doing It” was attractively featured in the children’s section of my local library in a tiny, rural town in western Wyoming. On the other side of the state, parents have been wrestling with a library’s unelected board of trustees for months. Requests to move objectionable books into the adult section have been met with bureaucratic stonewalling. Last week, the county commissioners who fund the library announced that they will no longer allow parents to voice their concerns at public meetings.

What Can You Do?

So, what’s a citizen to do? First, educate yourself. Every county and school district library in America could be indecently exposing children to explicit content. Most libraries endorse and subscribe to the ALA’s twisted version of the First Amendment. Through guidance such as the Library Bill of Rights, The Freedom to Read Statement, and the Freedom to View Statement, the ALA treats parents shielding the innocence of their own children as violators of the First Amendment.

Second, every concerned citizen should search the card catalog for children’s books of a sexual or otherwise objectionable nature. Make sure to cover the libraries in your local school system as well. Work with other people in the community to share the workload. Often public access to school libraries is blocked. Work around these obstacles in the short term. In the long term, school library policies should be changed to reflect the transparency appropriate for publicly funded entities.

Third, go to administrators and discuss your findings. Seek a solution that protects the community’s children above all. Sexually objectionable books should, at the very least, not be exhibited on the direct eye-level of kids wandering past book displays. Better yet, move them into the adult part of the library. Parents who actually want their children to read such books can find them there.

Fourth, challenge policies. The policies and guidance provided by the ALA is designed to undermine parental rights and to obstruct reasonable modifications for a safe library environment. The ALA has abused any public trust it once enjoyed. It has become the leading advocate for sexualizing children and politically indoctrinating them.

Schools and counties are not answerable to the ALA. They are answerable to the voters. Their policies should reflect that fact.

Finally, remember that not only parents have a duty to make public libraries safe for children. The entire community shares the duty to create safe spaces. Parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles — even those with no other connection to the community’s children than a desire to see them thrive — all have a legitimate concern. Don’t be silenced because you don’t have a child in the school system. Don’t allow libraries to dismiss your concerns with antireligious bigotry or elitism.

The minds of children need and deserve the protection of every member of the public.

Jonathan G. Lange is a pastor of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. He has raised his family in Wyoming for two decades, serving parishes in Evanston and Kemmerer. He is a leader of the Wyoming Pastors Network. Follow his blog at OnlyHuman-JL.blogspot.com.

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