Thursday, October 29, 2009

Demented Censor Runs Wild in Tennessee

Well, it seems that Maury County (Tennessee) Library patrons are going to have to use their imaginations a little more than they thought they would when they went to the library for something to read. The library is being victimized by a mystery censor with a big blue pen and a tiny little mind who is marking out all the "offensive" words in those library books.

MercuryNews.com has the details (what there are of them):
Officials believe the same person has used a blue pen to censor words in between 50 and 100 books during the past several months.

Library Director Elizabeth Potts said most of the books are mystery novels, but the vandal also targeted the "9/11 Commission Report."

Potts said no one is forced to read the books and "if they don't like them, they should just return them."

Potts said the library doesn't have the money to replace the damaged books, so patrons will to have to use their imagination to guess what the blotted out words are.
If this wasn't so stupid, it would be funny. I am so sick of all the nannies out there who think they know better what's good for me than I do. Come on, library system, nab this fool before more books are destroyed.

10 comments:

  1. Amazing. I mean, it wouldn't surprise me if someone did this to kids or YA books (the whole nanny thing) but books for adults???

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  2. This is a really common behavior that's seen in most libraries at some point or another (my mother is a retired librarian so I've heard the stories). You'd be amazed at the things people want to prevent other people from knowing about.

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  3. The 9-11 report? Now, I'm almost tempted to borrow this tome from my own library to find the naughty bits.

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  4. I heard that the librarian claimed she couldn't find out who had borrowed the books because of "federal privacy laws," which is BS. Twice I have had to pay for water damage to books I checked out. (Which, in their defense, I did cause, although not deliberately. My husband spilled wine on one book; I don't know what happened to the other.)

    The Memphis County Library and the Milwaukee Library had no compunction about checking records for the last borrower to see whom to charge.

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  5. How obnoxious. I hate morality police...let us choose for ourselves what we want to read or not. Marking up someone else's property, especially to censor out things one doesn't care for, is so controlling and paternalistic. Ugh.

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  6. It does seem strange that someone would do this in books for adult readers, Mary...but some people really do believe that they know better than EVERYONE else.

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  7. Caitlin, I've never run into "morality" censorship in a library book but I've seen it in "political" books where someone has taken offense to what was said about their point-of-view.

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  8. I had the same reaction, Alissa. What did I miss? :-)

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  9. It's kind of surprising to me, Factotum, because normally identifying this kind of person would still be politically correct...this person is definitely not one of the preferred (by the media and courts) liberal types.

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  10. Wendy, I agree...small minds and big pencils don't mix.

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