Friday, February 02, 2007

Banning books from Kelso library just got harder

Planning on trying to get a book you consider tasteless banned from the Kelso Public Library?

It just officially got tougher --- not that it's ever been easy to convince librarians to stifle the free-flow of ideas.

Now, if patrons want certain books, magazines or videos removed from the collection, library staff members can hand them a copy of the library materials selection policy, which the City Council approved this month. The library didn't have a written policy until now, the library director said.

The policy contains a questionnaire asking patrons which specific pages or sections of the material they're concerned about. It also asks whether the patron has read, seen or heard the entire content of the material in question.

"It's saying if there's an objection, it has to be based on the fact that you've read it," said Library Director Geraldine de Rooy. "It prevents people from just saying carte blanche, 'Please remove everything on XYZ.' That's censorship."

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