How to fight these anti-reading, anti-American vigilantes? People in Lewiston, Maine, came up with the fantastic idea of simply buying more books.
Vigilantes sometimes check out the books they want to ban, and then simply don’t bring the book back to the library. If there’s no book on the shelf to be checked out, they reason, no one else can check it out. One such vigilante in Lewiston, an activist in favor of homophobia it appears, refused even a court order to return the book she wanted to ban, Robie Harris’s It’s Perfectly Normal.
Jail time for the vigilante? Oh, the law would allow that. But instead, freedom fighters purchased four more copies of the book for the library.
Voting with ideas. What a concept!
Full text of the American Library Association press release, below the fold.
A standoff of more than a year ended August 29 in Lewiston, Maine, when city officials decided not to pursue further action against JoAn Karkos, who has refused to return the Lewiston Public Library’s copy of the youth sex-education book It’s Perfectly Normal that she borrowed in the summer of 2007 to keep it out of circulation. Karkos had defied an August 27 district court order to return the book and pay a $100 fine and was threatened with jail time if she did not return the book by 4 p.m. August 29.
“We feel there’s little to be gained,” by seeking imprisonment, library Director Rick Speer told American Libraries. “It would help her be a martyr and may bring public sentiment to her side.” He noted, however, that because of the case, the community expressed its support for the library on the issues of theft and censorship.
Karkos’s efforts also failed to make the title unavailable for borrowing in Lewiston. An August 29 city press release noted: “The library now has four copies of the same book, all donated by others, instead of the one that existed, [and Karkos’s] right to use the public library has been suspended and will remain so until such time that she complies with the order.”
Posted on August 29, 2008.