Censoring books isn’t part of a librarian’s job description
Anne A. Baker | June 7, 2012
Letter to the Editor…
As an educator, certified Maryland public librarian and member of the Harford County community, I am disappointed and embarrassed by the Harford County Public Library’s decision to censor the “50 Shades of Grey” series by E. L. James (“Too hot for Harford, librarian concludes,” May 31).
County library director Mary Hastler has denied censoring the book. However, by the American Library Association’s own definition, censorship is “the suppression of ideas and information that certain persons — individuals, groups or government officials — find objectionable or dangerous. … The censor wants to prejudge materials for everyone.”
I understand selection policy. But Ms. Hastler also states that “a lot of the reviews that came out very publicly and quickly identified these books as ‘mommy porn.’ Since our policy is that we don’t buy porn, we made the decision not to purchase the series.”
This is a clear admission that she decided to censor these books because of their sexual content, an act that is both unprofessional and unethical.