RE: Dealing with disturbing content
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:26:37 -0800 (PST)

One possible backup position: there's an R-rated version of Requiem for a
Dream that you could get to replace the unrated version. I hate to say that
because it goes against my ideal of no compromise on censorship issues, but
in the real world sometimes you have to give a little to avoid caving
completely. Example: at JCL video challenges have centered on the ability
of kids to check out any video in the collection and some parents got bent
out of shape when their kid brought home an R-rated film. Rather than
remove the films we tightened up library card registration procedures,
requiring that parents co-sign for their kids' cards up to age 16 and
allowing parents greater access to their kids'library records--what they
have checked out, etc. The idea was to make it very clear that we weren't
going to act in loco parentis, but we would make it easier for parents to do
the job themselves. Not ideal--the kids lost some of their confidentiality
as patrons, but we're not removing any videos and parents can't accuse us of
making it difficult to control what their kids watch.

Hope you can come up with something short of pulling the film that puts your
controversy to rest, Julie.

Peter Cartford
AV Librarian
Johnson County Library
9875 W. 87th St.
Overland Park, KS 66212

-----Original Message-----
From: Julie Stump []
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 10:08 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: Dealing with disturbing content

Yes. We had a complaint about Requiem for a dream. A man watched it with
his 14-year old daughter and they were both shocked. My Director is still
not sure she shouldn't remove the video from the collection. We use ratings
stickers on the videos and my Director claimed that because we use the
stickers we don't support the ALA Freedom the View and would be within our
rights to remove the film from the collection. It's a very upsetting
situation. There's just no way to discuss censorship calmly and rationally,
at least in my library.
Julie Stump
Voorheesville Public Library
Voorheesville, NY
----- Original Message -----
From: "jon aubrey" <>
To: "Multiple recipients of list" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 5:00 PM
Subject: Re: Dealing with disturbing content

> I've found that most patrons realize the risks and
> responsibilities in borrowing and viewing potentially
> disturbing and/or offensive video material. The few
> patrons who have ever complained to me personally
> about content have been elderly ones, not parents of
> teens or others.
> One question I do have is about films that were
> released with an NR (not rated) "rating." A good
> example of this would be Abel Ferrara's Bad
> Lieutenant, a film that's in our collection, available
> for check-out to teens who have been given permission
> to borrow videos by their parents, and not clearly
> marked as NR (and certainly not labeled by the library
> as containing potentially disturbing subject matter
> and imagery). This film went the NR route for a
> reason. Parts of it would have garnered the film an X
> rating had it ever been rated by the MPAA at all (the
> NR indicates that the film has circumvented the rating
> process altogether). No one has ever complained about
> the content of this film, but we're a very liberal
> community. After all, we did purchase the film in the
> first place. Has anyone out there ever had a problem
> with, or question about circulating an NR film?
> Jon A.
> Queens, NY
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