Archive for Friday, February 20, 2009

Topeka library restricts access to 4 sex-related books

The move is being called censorship by some and an attempt to protect children by others.

February 20, 2009


— Access to four books about sex, including “The Lesbian Kama Sutra,” will be restricted at the city’s public library after a woman complained about them being available on the shelves with other health books.

The library’s Board of Trustees voted Thursday night to prevent minors from having access to the books after reviewing the complaint. Topeka resident Kim Borchers called them “harmful to minors.”

The staff of the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library must now develop a plan for handling the books. The other three are “The Joy of Sex,” “The Joy of Gay Sex” and “Sex for Busy People: The Art of the Quickie for Lovers on the Go.”

Borchers, who leads a group called Kansans for Common Sense Policy, contends the books would be considered harmful under a law against promoting obscenity to minors.

The board’s vote was 5-3. Chairwoman Kerry Onstott Storey, who did not vote, said she was shocked and disappointed. Board member Michele Henry, who voted no, was in tears.

“I can hardly sit here,” she said, her voice trailing off. “I am sickened to be a part of something like this.”

Pedro Irigonegary, a Topeka attorney who attended the trustees’ meeting, said he already has been approached by people who want to file a lawsuit.


cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 2 months ago

I checked out Stephen King's "It" from my middle school library at the tender age of 12. I guarentee that there is more sexual material book than in all 4 of those books combined.

Of course, reading about my natural body processes at that age scarred me terribly, and resulted in my present moral bankruptcy and sociopathic tendancies. If only there were someone like this brave library patron around then who could have protected me from the burden of knowledge of post-pubescent life.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 2 months ago

I think that we are doing a disservice to our children by teaching them sex is joyful rather than shameful. If they were banning "The Shame of Sex" I would be up in arms.

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 2 months ago

genius: I think "The Shame of Sex" is the Catholic version.

Emily Campbell 9 years, 2 months ago

Again the parents aren't being held responsible for their actions of... well sex. If there's an issue of kids going behind their authorities’ backs and checking these books out, then again the parents failed at teaching their children the difference between right and wrong and doing what you're told. People need to have a license to procreate maybe then everyone wont be punished for a handful of people’s beliefs. I find this extremely annoying. It's no one's place to tell another what he or she can and cannot believe. Grrrr

1029 9 years, 2 months ago

Interesting that they ban these four books, yet they don't mention "Right To Assemble--How to Create a (Legal) Bomb-Making Orgy Club in your Neighborhood".

The book chronicles the development of a sick social club created by a bunch of sex-crazed, bomb-making lunatics in Paducah, KY. These bi-sexual monsters meet every week, do a bunch of drugs, tinker around with bombs, and then sleep with each other. Not only that, but they go out to local high schools and try to recruit others for their band of deviants. I don't know. Seems like they should ban this book also.

geniusmannumber1 9 years, 2 months ago

1029-- They have manuals for that now? I had to put mine together through trial and error. The learning curve was steep, but two failed marriages and three missing fingers later, I've never been more in love.

Thinking_Out_Loud 9 years, 2 months ago

cthulu_4_president found King more scarring than Lovecraft?!?!

katjok 9 years, 2 months ago

I drove by Paducah, KY a few times, and always thought it was a unique sounding town. Obviously a little too unique!

cthulhu_4_president 9 years, 2 months ago

lol @ thinking_out_loud. Notice I never said that "It" was scarier than anything, just way more intensly sexual (an aspect of Lovecraft's life that was akward, to say the least).

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 2 months ago

Um, shouldn't these parents be pleased that their kids are even going to the library and reading a book instead of burning their eyeballs out staring at a computer monitor? How many kids actually go to the library anymore of their own free will? Any kid too young to read such morality-bankrupting trash is too young to get to the library on their own, anyway. Maybe we should put bouncers in front of the grown-up section of the library who can card kids to keep them away from anything that might teach them the truth about sex, not that you can't get pregnant the first time or doing it standing up or that you can get pregnant if you kiss for more than 3 seconds. And where babies REALLY come from.

Jersey_Girl 9 years, 2 months ago

75x55 - Movie ratings having absolutely nothing to do with restricting or banning anything. They just let you know how the age recommendations for viewers. I bet if you drop off a 14-year-old and he/she tries to buy a ticket to an R-rated movie, he/she'll get that ticket. Same with video games. I've babysat a lot of kids who have videogames that are rated "M for Mature". Don't you think if they're young enough to need a babysitter, they might just be a little young for such a game? Go check the rating on Grand Theft Auto.

Calliope877 9 years, 2 months ago

"Parenting is up to the parents, and library policy is that children not be left unattended in the library," Chaika said.

DING,DING,DING! We have a winner! Seems like a simple enough policy to follow. I guess some parents just really suck at being parents.

Tony Kisner 9 years, 2 months ago

Anti gay. I would guess the population of busy people mirrors the general population. I would not assue busy people are necessarily gay.

So I guess I will not find Hustler next to Field and Stream either?

janeyb 9 years, 2 months ago

The books aren't banned, but will have to be requested. It starts with 4 books, but where does it end?

This came about because four members of the Topeka Bible Church have been appointed to the Library Board by the mayor. Intentional ? I don't know. The women making the request to remove the books from the shelf is also a memeber of the church. Conflict of interest?

Topeka Bible Church is the church that had one of the big private fundraisers for Phill Kline and also ran Bob Meissner for State Board of Education. Thank goodness both lost their elections. This church tries to run a candidate for every election in the Topeka area---we should watch them with as much caution as the Phelps.

davidsmom 9 years, 2 months ago

If the kids want the books, their parents can help them obtain them. Why do we put Playboy behind the counter at a convenience store? Because it isn't considered appropriate for children by the majority of the community. That's known as "community standards." The library is absolutely doing the correct thing here.

jafs 9 years, 2 months ago


I sort of agree, but what about all of the books which contain violence? I'd rather see them restricted than sexual ones.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 2 months ago

They'll probably just put it on the top shelf.

I think this is a sensible move. I've known many who said they were sexually messed up in part because their parents didn't TALK too them about sex... they just gave them a "book" like one of these and hoped they'd figure it out. Restricting these books takes them out of the hands of confused children and puts them in the hands of parents to decide what's best for their children.

This is a very sensible thing to do, and it's not censorship. Unless you are a midget and can't reach the top shelf. Then it's censorship.

Sharon Aikins 9 years, 2 months ago

I can see it now, a whole room set aside for these four books with a security guard outside checking ID's before one is allowed to enter the inner sanctum.

jonas_opines 9 years, 2 months ago

Could they have found a better way to make sure that all of these kids read these four books?

When will adults figure out not to make a big deal out of these things?

deskboy04 9 years, 2 months ago

I wonder what value those books have in a public library. Do libraries have to purchase books that are in bad taste? I know that some of you will cry about censorship...but librarians should make respsonsible choices when spending tax dollars for materials.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 2 months ago

I've been looking for a book called Sex for the Book Banners, but Ihaven't had any luck.

TacoBob 9 years, 2 months ago

Life is a series of revealed secrets. Or it should be. Taking these books from the shelves so young readers can't stumble on them, or even seek them out is a good thing to do. They are not banned, as mentioned above. Those that want them can get them.

Kids are curious, and good/bad parenting won't change that. I don't want my young child seeing graphic material. They will see it in good time, and have been exposed to some of it in their young lives. Does not mean it is right, and what I can control and meter over time makes me a good parent. Yes, movies and video games have this junk, but I want my home to be a haven, and for the library to take this away from young eyes. Can they get it at some point? Sure. Will I have an R rated movie in my house that the kids can see some day? Sure. But I don't need to give in to the world just because it is there and 'they will see it anyway". Geez, give them a shot at growing up and learning about life as they can process the information. They don't need graphic sex positions displayed at an early age. Thinking this is okay is irresponsible. Why do they section off the playboy magazines in stores and not sell them to kids? Same principle. Give these kids a break. If they want it, they can find it, but how about not making it just another book? All this knowledge will come soon enough, let them retain some innonence and wonder before they are doused in the cess pool.

TacoBob 9 years, 2 months ago

And do any of you really think 'book banning' is possible in this day and age? Between Obama and the internet, there is no chance of this happening on any scale. The barn door is open and unless the Taliban overruns us, quite the opposite will happen. Already has, just one mouse click and you are there....

Tom McCune 9 years, 2 months ago

These people need a quickie far more than any reader of "Sex for Busy People" ever did.

George_Braziller 9 years, 2 months ago

What's a sure fire way to get a kid interested is something? Tell him he can't eat, touch, watch, read, or do it.

Christine Pennewell Davis 9 years, 2 months ago

I am of two minds, I would not want my 8 yr old to get these books but do not think high school kids should be restricted that is up to the parents at that age. Just go to the library and say hey this is my kids name he/she is not allowed to check these outseems simple. On the other hand you have to be 18 to buy playboy kinda double standard, and yes I know pb is considerd porn but I am assuming you get my point.

yourworstnightmare 9 years, 2 months ago

Where are the parents here? Guess they want the library to be more of a babysitter than a repository of books and information.

I have no problem with an 18+ section of the library, but if parents are truly concerned, then be parents to your kids.

Anyway, kids shouldn't learn about sex from the library. They should learn about it the right way, from the internet that their parents are too lazy to censor.

SpeedRacer 9 years, 2 months ago

LJW, do you mean Pedro Irigonegaray? Usually, it is Bill O'Reilly and his ilk that like to mis-spell the names of people they "liberal".

OldEnuf2BYurDad 9 years, 2 months ago

"I have no problem with an 18+ section of the library, but if parents are truly concerned, then be parents to your kids."

Dead on correct.

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