Friday, June 1, 2012

Harford County Public Library's "Selective Materials" Policy

Harford library stands behind decision not to carry 'Fifty Shades' trilogy. (Baltimore Sun, 5/31/2012)

Excerpt: "When this book came out," Hastler said, "it was a different book than what's normally on the best sellers list." 

What she was referring to are the numerous reviews of the book that not only called it horribly written, but also pornographic. 

As Jennifer Ralston, HCPL materials management administrator, noted in an e-mail Tuesday, of few of those reviews came from The New York Times, which described the book as "mommy porn," and USA Today, calling it "NC-17 bondage." 

"[I] looked at our [selection] policy and it's clear that we don't buy pornography for the library," Hastler said. 

I looked at it, too, and found a number of sections that provide various degrees of support for the selection of "50 Shades".

Several factors went into the decision not to buy copies of "50 Shades." 

"When we purchase anything," Hastler explained, "we have our board-approved selection policy [to use]." 

The library looks at different criteria in that policy — the quality of writing, what is popular, if there are holes in a certain genre collection, how well received an author is, the cost of a book, customer requests and looking at professional reviews.  [Emphasis added.]

The Freedom to Read statement notes that the  individual cannot restrict the freedom of others to read, but the materials selectors at the Harford County Public Libraryapparently feel free to do so.

The online public access catalog for the Baltimore County Public Library shows 1072 holds sfor the print copy of 50 Shades of Grey.

Related posts:
"50 Shades of Grey" @ the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.  (5/27/2012)
No "Shades of Grey" @ Fort Bend County Libraries. (5/26/2012)
Brevard County Public Library reverses its decision on "50 Shades". (5/26/2012)
A Woman's Touch is Riding the "50 Shades" Wave. (5/26/2012)
Is there some wiggle room in your collection development policy?  5/24/2012)
Have you dusted off your policy on erotica?  (5/22/2012)
Pulling "Shades" doesn't keep the noise out @ the Brevard County Public Library.  (5/15/2012)
"We do not collect erotica @ Gwinnett County Public Library"  (5/13/2012)
Will Fond du Lac residents now be clamoring for this books.  (4/12/2012)

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