Will You Just Look At All This (Straight) Library Smut?

Will You Just Look At All This (Straight) Library Smut?

On September 2, 1970, in Liverpool, England, drunk librarian Harvey Richardson strangled 19-year-old Lorraine Jacob to death because she took his camera. This is a very sad and horrifying story and you may question why I am bringing it up right now, and the answer to that is that it is the only example I was able to find of a librarian killing anybody.

This week, in the good old US of A, residents of Jamestown, Michigan, voted to defund their local library. Was it because they were concerned about librarians killing unarmed Black people? No. As mentioned above, there are just not a lot of homicidal librarians out there. (Statistically, serial killers are most likely to work as aircraft machinists/assemblers, forestry workers/arborists, general laborers — mover, landscaper — or police/security officials.)

Rather, the Jamestown Township defunded Patmos Library because the library was carrying some LGBTQ-themed books and a bunch of Christian Nationalists calling themselves "Jamestown Conservatives" were sad about it and worried that said books would kill their children in cold blood turn their children gay or bi or trans.

It all started when someone found a copy of the graphic novel Gender Queer: a Memoir by Maia Kobabe in the adult section of the library and freaked out. Then they told two friends and they told two friends and suddenly library board meetings were inundated with angry residents demanding they take the book out of the library, and soon after, every other book mentioning the existence of LGBTQ+ people.

As a result of the harassment, the library director quit. And then her successor quit. Because no one wanted to put up with a bunch of loons screaming at them that they were trying to "groom" children to be gay or trans, which is not even a real thing.

Via The Guardian:

“We, the board, will not ban the books,” Walton told Associated Press on Thursday.

The library’s refusal to submit to the demands led to a campaign urging residents to vote against renewed funding for the library. A group calling itself Jamestown Conservatives handed out flyers condemning a library director who “promoted the LGBTQ ideology” and called for making the library “a safe and neutral place for our children”. On Facebook, the group says it exists to “keep our children safe, and protect their purity, as well as to keep the nuclear family intact as God designed”.

Residents ultimately voted 62% to 37% against a measure that would have raised property taxes by roughly $24 in order to fund the library, even as they approved similar measures to fund the fire department and road work. The library was one of just a few in the state to suffer such a loss, Mikula said: “Most passed with flying colors, sometimes up to 80%."

So now the library is only funded through the first quarter of the next year and, after that, will have to close. These people are choosing to not have a library in their town at all if that means they cannot purge it of all LGBTQ+ books.

People who spoke to Bridge Michigan outside the voting precincts explained that they just can't have books in the library that they personally disagree with and which are not in line with their personal religion.

“We don’t need to see those books out front,” said Sarah Johnson. “We’re all for the library. I use it. We want to make a statement that we want some say in the books (chosen to be in the collection).”

Steve Wiltz said he voted no because of “some of the materials that are in here I don’t agree with.”

Amanda Ensing, one of the organizers of the Jamestown Conservatives group, emerged from the library Tuesday wearing an “I voted” sticker. “They are trying to groom our children to believe that it’s OK to have these sinful desires,” Ensing said of library officials. “It’s not a political issue, it’s a Biblical issue.”

Being a curious person, I decided to take a look and see what other books the Patmos Library has on hand. Books that these concerned and very holy citizens were not upset over.

First, I looked for Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews's classic tale of a group of children locked in an attic by their Jesus freak grandmother and the incestuous sibling love affair that happens as a result of their imprisonment. You can't take it out of the Patmos Library right now, but that is only because someone else already has it.

Flowers in the Attic, all copies in use'Love doesn't always come when you want it to. Sometimes it just happens, despite your will.' V.C. Andrews

You can, however, take out 15 other V.C. Andrews books and while I haven't read all of them, the ones I have read all kind of rest on that same theme. If there is a V.C. Andrews book series without incest or someone being murdered or paralyzed by a fall down the stairs, I haven't heard of it.

Now, let it be known that I do not object to Flowers in the Attic, which I read in the 7th grade, being in the library. I just happen to find it interesting that they are not worried that their children will find that book and immediately take up love affairs with their siblings as a result.

All copies are also in use of a Harlequin romance novel titled Greek Tycoon, Inexperienced Mistress, with one on hold. It's part of their "Pregnant Brides" series. Are they not concerned such titles could "groom" children to love adultery? Or is it cool because a shotgun wedding is implied?

They've also got this other Harlequin romance novel titled Back in the Headlines, featuring people clearly having some fun naked times on the cover.

Let's take a look at the description, shall we?

'What woman wouldn't get all hot and bothered if Titus Alexander was staring at her like that?' As part of a number-one-selling girl band, Roxanne Carmichael was used to having the eyes of thousands on her, but now that she's scrubbing floors, one condescending look from the Duke of Torchester fires her blood with fury ... and attraction! Titus doesn't suffer fools, and does not drop his guard. But his new chambermaid is threatening his iron self-control with those legs and that wicked mouth! There's only one way he can get her out of his system-and that's to get her into his bed!

Are they not concerned this could lead their children to ... start writing Welcome Home Roxy Carmichael erotic fan fiction? I guess?

Also available? Multiple other Harlequin romance novels, 50 Shades of Grey, Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure, A Clockwork Orange, Lolita, a whole bunch of D.H. Lawrence and over 100 Danielle Steele novels.

Again, I don't object to these books being in the library or on ebooks or whatever. They absolutely should be. So should Gender Queer or any other books anyone wants to read, with the possible exception of To Serve Man.

Given how much they've professed to love free speech and "intellectual diversity" over the years when it comes to social media and speakers on college campuses, you'd think conservatives across the country would be up in arms working to distance themselves from an idea so objectionable and anti-American as defunding libraries. They don't seem to be doing that. Perhaps if libraries want to be defended from defunding the way some government programs are, librarians should spend less time encouraging people to read and more time killing them for bringing books back late.

[The Guardian]

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Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse


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