No Longer Safe???
Homeschooling 6 kids can be expensive when you think about materials needed for projects, field trips, extra books, etc… We have always loved the library for the free learning materials easily found on its shelves. It also doesn’t hurt that we live within walking distance of our local public library. Kait used to walk down on a regular basis to drop off and pick up books for the family.
No longer can I let her inside the library, however. No longer are we free to browse and take a peek at different books.
Our library, and I suspect many public libraries throughout the country, are no longer safe for children.
First it was just the juvenile section. I could let the kids go into the children’s section, no problem; but Kait(13), who has been at an adult reading level for years now, has never been able to just walk into the juvenile section to look for a book. She has always had to find it in the computer catalog and then ask me to go get it for her. Why? The magazine shelves for one, and some of the books displayed have less than desirable covers and/or titles.
The juvenile magazine rack sits right in the center of this section and the kinds of magazines displayed are not acceptable. This is just one that got my attention but it isn’t even the worst I have seen. I guess I just hold a higher standard for what my innocent babies see. Also, what they hear! There, in the center of the small juvenile section, are a couple of inviting couches and chairs. I have heard the foul mouths and inappropriate talk of many a teen sitting there while I look for a book Kaitlyn has requested.
Then, last year, I found this magazine staring at me through the window as I was walking by the library. My kids were with me but luckily I saw it first and diverted their attention. A friend I was with walked in and removed the magazine and then talked to one of the librarians about it, which did no good, of course. The magazine cart still sits there, still displaying magazine covers that are completely inappropriate for children’s, and some adults, eyes.
The final straw was the new placement of the romance paperback spin rack. It is directly in front of the check out desk. You cannot check out a book without seeing raunchy, book covers.
Some of the librarians are extremely sympathetic to complaints but they say they have no control. Who has control then? It is some board that convenes in private to decide these things. We, the library going public, have no say. Even if we did, it isn’t about a number of specific instances. It is the ideals and motives behind them – things society is growing to accept as normal and okay because we have given up the fight to save our children’s innocence.
Disappointing, to say the least. I am angry about it – but such is life in the USA today.
I am so blessed that our little library here at home is growing pretty fast. The kids have shelves of safe reading material they can browse. We do still utilize our local library but we never take the kids. We just use the online system to request them and then Ryan or I go pick the books up.
So, parents, be very careful when you are in your libraries! Don’t just assume that everything is safe! Look around and always keep your eyes open! Prayfully, your library is still a good place for your family – but don’t assume anything.
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