Magazine article American Libraries

Picky Parents Pick J-Cards. (Censorship Watch)

Magazine article American Libraries

Picky Parents Pick J-Cards. (Censorship Watch)

Article excerpt

Two library systems in the Southeast have responded to long-standing objections to open-access policies by offering concerned parents the ability to opt for restricted juvenile cards.

* The Marion County Public Library System headquartered in Ocala, Florida, adopted October 31 an optional restricted-access policy that allows parents to set a limit on the type of books children under 17 can borrow, the Ocala Star-Banner reported November 2. Minors with restricted cards will only be allowed to borrow books in the children's section designed for readers up to age 13.

The decision came after months of controversy over two sex-education books, Deal With It! and It's Perfectly Normal, that some in the community found inappropriate for young adults (AL, Sept., p. 21). Board member John McKeever, an Ocala lawyer, told the Star-Banner, "I think it was the most effective, least restrictive way we could handle the problem."

County Attorney Gordon Johnston said in a memo to Library Director Julia Sieg that the new regulation was legally defensible because it provides parents with an option.

* Two weeks earlier, the board of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, informed the county commission that the library will offer concerned parents the option to restrict children under 13 from borrowing items cataloged in the adult collection. …

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