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Grandmother Blames Library for Letting 9-Year-Old Check Out Erotic Book

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Grandmother Blames Library for Letting 9-Year-Old Check Out Erotic Book

by Sasha Brown-Worsham

library blamed erotic bookAn Indiana grandmother is furious after her 9-year-old grandson was allowed to check out Night Games by Crystal Jordan via self check-out at the library. The book, apparently, is a sexually explicit erotic novel and is wholly inappropriate for young children. That much is true. But the library was fairly unapologetic, telling the grandmother that it's her responsibility to keep her kids from reading that stuff.

The question: Was the library in the right? I am going with yes.

While I agree with the grandmother that it's disturbing -- and lord knows I would be bothered -- the library is right here. It's a public library, which means they can and should have a lot of books for people to choose from and some of those books may not be for children.

See video here.

The reality is, as parents or guardians, it's our job to protect our kids from what they see. It's one thing to keep things out of a school library, but even that is a slippery slope.

Some of my earliest "erotic" memories come from stealing books from my parents' friends and reading them. Obviously my parents didn't condone this, but hey, they should have kept a better eye on me, right?

We are parents. As parents it's OUR job and our job only to protect our kids. I am sorry for this grandmother. That is upsetting. But the library is right here. As a public library, their job is to make sure the public has access to books.

Hiding books from people isn't the job of the library, and much as I don't think a 9-year-old should be reading that stuff, at least he's reading, right? He's showing an avid interest in books! It's not all bad.

Do you think the library is at fault here?

by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 8:20 AM
Replies (41-50):
MamaRae85
by *you're on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Totally agree!

Quoting SusanTheWriter:

Then you're assuming that every child reads on grade level or has the same level of maturity based on their age. You're also assuming that parental values are all the same, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Parents are ultimately responsible for what their kids read, but if they use the library as a drop-off service, then do they expect the library to pick up where they're leaving off? Is that a library's duty? Certainly not! As I said before, a library is responsible for making certain people have access to all kinds of reading material. They are NOT responsible for judging what people read, no matter their age.

Quoting zetajen:

do books have standards of ages. Like dirty magazines, you have to be a certain age to buy it. Is there something similar for books? If so, a library should age check any literature on the mature list and this would be the library's fault. if there is no such system, perhaps there should be.

Parents are responsible for keeping an eye on children, but I believe it takes a villiage too. communities should work together towards providing a safe, healthy enviroment for children in any way they can. I think that means having categories of books based on age. Any parent would be welcome to let their child read something outside of the realm deemed appropriate for that age. I think a simple safe guard would be a good thing. I personally don't want my child to read a graphic description of a murder before he is capable of dealing with that and not having nightmares.



rootytooty
by Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:11 AM

The library is NOT at fault.  The grandmother (or parents) should have been paying attention to what the child was checking out.  What'd they do?  Drop the kid off?? 

SciFiMama91
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM
A really simple fix, place restrictions on children's cards. I used to go to the library with my school or alone at that age so the guardian can't always make sure of what their child is getting.
LAHnTAH0812
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:20 AM
I agree that the librarian should have paid attention. erotic books should prompt a popup when checking them out or something. I remember going to Barnes & noble to buy books for school, one was the pearl by john steinbeck. I accidentally bought "the pearl"... some weird erotic Victorian novel. I was in hs so I knew about that stuff but imagine my surprise when we all pulled our books out for class lol
whoopsie16
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:37 AM
1 mom liked this

yes, I think the library is at fault. While I don't think they should "remove" the books, or "hide" them, I do think the card should have denied it. Now if he used his Grandma's card, then oh well that's her fault. But if he used his own card, it should say he's under 18 and not allow certain books/movies to be checked out. Here certain movies cannot be checked out if you're under 18 and your parent doesn't sign a consent form. As far as books go, I think sky is the limit. I used to check out all types of things my mom didn't want me reading as well....but I think they should have a consent form, just like the movies.

zetajen
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM
1 mom liked this

I am making no assumptions. there is some group that comes up with G, PG, PG-13 and R ratings for movies based on the language and themes in the movie. I think a similar idea for books is a good idea. I don't know that one exists currently. I may be wrong there.

Movies have various age requirement to see them at the theater, unless the child has parental permission. I think it would be good for the same system to be in place for books. Since books are more detailed, it is probably more important to have a rating system for them. Honestly, I am not going to read every book that any of my children plan to read for fun before they are allowed. I would appreciate a PG-13 rating to know, this one I may want to read or at least research before my 8 year old reads it. at that point, I may let him/her read it, but then ask questions and bring up a conversation about a particular theme. I may tell him/her to wait a few years.  but the rating helps me to know, the G rated book about fairy princesses get the rubber stamp. This innocuous looking book about summer camp is really about exploring sexuality. good to know.

some parents may only allow a G rating for their teenager and another parent bans nothing. they both can work within the system, just as we all do with movies. If I want my baby to see the latest blood and guts curse fest at the theater, I can give that permission.

a library's role would become to have age information attached to the library card and the computer would give the red flag that a kid needs parental permission to check out the book. If the kid has it, the librarian overrides and processes the transaction. it really isn't a big deal. It is just information sharing that is very quick and easy. Even the synopsis of the book on the back or inside cover may not elude to all themes in the book. I would not expect the librarian to check up on a kid reading. you don't have to check out a book to read it at the library. I am not saying the librarian should be the mother while a kid is there. I am just saying, like when a person buys a magazine that has an age limit, the cashier checks age. a librarian can do the same. I would imagine, if this idea came to fruition, it would be librarians creating the rating system.

during the 50 shades craze, young girls were reading those books. My DD is only 2 right now, so I don't know what age I would think that would be permissible for her. But a rating on the book would help me know I need to take a closer look at it and make an actual decision about it. that one is written at about a 3rd grade reading comprehension level, but I would say 8 is a little young for the sexual theme of it.

Quoting SusanTheWriter:

Then you're assuming that every child reads on grade level or has the same level of maturity based on their age. You're also assuming that parental values are all the same, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Parents are ultimately responsible for what their kids read, but if they use the library as a drop-off service, then do they expect the library to pick up where they're leaving off? Is that a library's duty? Certainly not! As I said before, a library is responsible for making certain people have access to all kinds of reading material. They are NOT responsible for judging what people read, no matter their age.

Quoting zetajen:

do books have standards of ages. Like dirty magazines, you have to be a certain age to buy it. Is there something similar for books? If so, a library should age check any literature on the mature list and this would be the library's fault. if there is no such system, perhaps there should be.

Parents are responsible for keeping an eye on children, but I believe it takes a villiage too. communities should work together towards providing a safe, healthy enviroment for children in any way they can. I think that means having categories of books based on age. Any parent would be welcome to let their child read something outside of the realm deemed appropriate for that age. I think a simple safe guard would be a good thing. I personally don't want my child to read a graphic description of a murder before he is capable of dealing with that and not having nightmares.




SusanTheWriter
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM
1 mom liked this

Oh. Well. Since it's that easy.

And cheap.

And you're happy for your taxes to go up to pay for it to be implemented.

And since you're not willing to flip through the books your kid brings home from the library because there's an algorithm that takes the place of actually being involved in your child's life.

Cool.

Quoting zetajen:

I am making no assumptions. there is some group that comes up with G, PG, PG-13 and R ratings for movies based on the language and themes in the movie. I think a similar idea for books is a good idea. I don't know that one exists currently. I may be wrong there.

Movies have various age requirement to see them at the theater, unless the child has parental permission. I think it would be good for the same system to be in place for books. Since books are more detailed, it is probably more important to have a rating system for them. Honestly, I am not going to read every book that any of my children plan to read for fun before they are allowed. I would appreciate a PG-13 rating to know, this one I may want to read or at least research before my 8 year old reads it. at that point, I may let him/her read it, but then ask questions and bring up a conversation about a particular theme. I may tell him/her to wait a few years.  but the rating helps me to know, the G rated book about fairy princesses get the rubber stamp. This innocuous looking book about summer camp is really about exploring sexuality. good to know.

some parents may only allow a G rating for their teenager and another parent bans nothing. they both can work within the system, just as we all do with movies. If I want my baby to see the latest blood and guts curse fest at the theater, I can give that permission.

a library's role would become to have age information attached to the library card and the computer would give the red flag that a kid needs parental permission to check out the book. If the kid has it, the librarian overrides and processes the transaction. it really isn't a big deal. It is just information sharing that is very quick and easy. Even the synopsis of the book on the back or inside cover may not elude to all themes in the book. I would not expect the librarian to check up on a kid reading. you don't have to check out a book to read it at the library. I am not saying the librarian should be the mother while a kid is there. I am just saying, like when a person buys a magazine that has an age limit, the cashier checks age. a librarian can do the same. I would imagine, if this idea came to fruition, it would be librarians creating the rating system.

during the 50 shades craze, young girls were reading those books. My DD is only 2 right now, so I don't know what age I would think that would be permissible for her. But a rating on the book would help me know I need to take a closer look at it and make an actual decision about it. that one is written at about a 3rd grade reading comprehension level, but I would say 8 is a little young for the sexual theme of it.

Quoting SusanTheWriter:

Then you're assuming that every child reads on grade level or has the same level of maturity based on their age. You're also assuming that parental values are all the same, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Parents are ultimately responsible for what their kids read, but if they use the library as a drop-off service, then do they expect the library to pick up where they're leaving off? Is that a library's duty? Certainly not! As I said before, a library is responsible for making certain people have access to all kinds of reading material. They are NOT responsible for judging what people read, no matter their age.

Quoting zetajen:

do books have standards of ages. Like dirty magazines, you have to be a certain age to buy it. Is there something similar for books? If so, a library should age check any literature on the mature list and this would be the library's fault. if there is no such system, perhaps there should be.

Parents are responsible for keeping an eye on children, but I believe it takes a villiage too. communities should work together towards providing a safe, healthy enviroment for children in any way they can. I think that means having categories of books based on age. Any parent would be welcome to let their child read something outside of the realm deemed appropriate for that age. I think a simple safe guard would be a good thing. I personally don't want my child to read a graphic description of a murder before he is capable of dealing with that and not having nightmares.





SusanTheWriter ~ Wife, Mom, Author

Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Aug. 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM
2 moms liked this

Coming froma former librarian I'm siding with the library. It is the parents responsibility to see what your kid is checking out. I used to HATE it when parents would just let their kids go and they would tear things apart. I have an 8 yr. old and I let him go pick out books, but I make him show them to me before we check them out. Nobody was paying attention to him, obviously, if he wandered into the adult section of the library.

I worked in a predomiately religious area, and it would crack me up when poeple would come and give me a book and tell me that it should be taken off the shelf because it has curse words in it, or sex. LOL. The director used to say this is a public library not a religious library, then advise us to give them a form to fill out, and let them know they could present their case in front of the library board to have a book removed. That rarely happened, and in my time working there no books were ever pulled.

The bottom line is watch you kids!

autodidact
by Snarknado on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

monitoring? 

I'm hoping only for inventory purposes, a requirement which is served just fine by self checkout.

Quoting GaleJ:

I am in a somewhat different place on this. I think that the library shouldn't have self check out, I think an important part of being a librarian is interacting with the patrons of the library and especially when it comes to children I think that one of the functions of the public library is some monitoring of what is checked out. I don't, in this case blame the library, the people raising this child should be monitoring what she is checking out and reading but I do wish that the librarians were able to be more hands on with patrons, it is an important function and I believe part of what their very special job is all about. 


xoxRachelxox
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:35 PM

It's not the librarians job to monitor what books a child takes out. That's on the parents or in this case, the grandparent.


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