I certainly don't condone book banning, but when a potentially-offensive children's book is at issue, perhaps a special collection is a good compromise. The book is still available to those willing to seek it out, but the extra step protects children from inadvertant exposure to something they might be offended by (or that their parents are trying to shield them from). Adult literature, however, is an entirely different story.
Friday, August 21, 2009
The Hunt Collection
The City Room blog at the New York Times reveals what happens to children's books at the Brooklyn Public Library that library officials determine to be offensive: They get sent to the Hunt Collection. The Hunt Collection resides "in a vault-like room accessible only to staff members." In a letter explaining its decision to banish the popular children's book Tintin au Congo to the Hunt Collection, the library described the collection as "a special collection of historic children’s literature that is available for viewing by appointment only."