Last month, the ALSC Intellectual Freedom committee published a post titled Anti-Gay Books and Your Library. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments and the time spent thinking and talking about this issue over the last month. One of the questions in the comments to that post was: “What did the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee expect to get out of this?” We expected to get a rousing, intelligent discussion by committed librarians, which is exactly what we got! Thank you all for contributing. We wanted to get everyone thinking beyond the initial knee jerk reaction that many of us have when seeing a title on a controversial topic or written from a viewpoint that makes us uncomfortable. Are we fair to everyone in our population or only those that we agree with? It is something to keep in mind and to keep talking about. The minute we become complacent, we could find ourselves shutting out some of our customers.
There is no right answer to the question, “Does this item belong on your shelves?” As many of you pointed out, that would depend on your library’s collection development policy, community, budget, etc. Any book can be right for some libraries and wrong for others, wouldn’t you agree?
ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee