We’ve been covering challenges to several books about sex in the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. In February, the library board voted to restrict The Joy of Sex, The Joy of Gay Sex, The Lesbian Kama Sutra, and Sex for Busy People, removing them from general circulation in the health section of the library. Svetlana wrote then,
While restricting access to these books has been done in the name of protecting minors, this decision actually infringes on the rights of adults. Information about sexuality, and this kind of sexual content, is protected by the First Amendment. As the librarians and many members of the public are aware, it is not the role of the public library to create barriers to accessing information.
Today, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, NCAC, the Association of American Publishers, PEN American Center and the Freedom to Read Foundation sent a letter to the library board opposing the restriction on the books.
The groups wrote:
We strongly urge you to protect the right of all readers to read and think freely, and to reject the notion that the choices made by any one reader may be imposed on any other. By returning The Joy of Sex and the other books to the open shelves, you will demonstrate respect for your patrons and their choices; for the professionalism of the librarians who serve the reading public; and for the First Amendment and its central role in a pluralistic, democratic society.
You can read the full text of the letter online here.