A big thanks to Josh Olesker of the National Coalition Against Censorship, who confirmed, on the record, that Revolutionary Voices, a GLBT title, has been removed from Burlington County Public Library in New Jersey because "children may find it."
From Olesker's comment to my prior post on this instance of book banning:
"Greetings All: You have the story correctly. "Revolutionary Voices" has been pulled from not just the Rancocas Valley School library but now also from the Burlington County (NJ) library system. It's not just about the children; simply put, book-banning is now a reality in Burlington County, and everybody ought to know about it. We here at the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) have been following the situation for some weeks now and are glad to hear of your concern.
As the NCAC understands the BCLS part of the story, a female member of the 912 group (possibly Mrs. Marinelli) approached the BC Library staff to complain about "Revolutionary Voices" and push for its removal there too, sometime close to when the book was pulled from the RV school library, since "kids might find it there also." Instead of following the BCLS formal challenge procedure, the staff (under director Gail Sweet and library commissioners including Patrick Delany, whose name appeared on and then disappeared from a local 912 group member list earlier this spring) quietly pulled all available copies of the book off the shelves. Today there are no available copies of "Revolutionary Voices" in the BC library system, but it was pulled quietly in the hope that you wouldn't notice.
It is said that "free people read freely." That is not the case today in Burlington County, NJ. For more information and how you might get involved, visit www.ncac.org.
National Coalition Against Censorship
In a nutshell, then:
the reconsideration process was bypassed;
the book was removed from the adult nonfiction section of the public library;
the reason was "children could find it."
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© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy
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