RE: Dealing with disturbing content

Gregory Callahan (
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 15:07:55 -0800 (PST)

Am I the only one who finds this library's soltution or providing the parents' access to the child's borrowing records a little, uh, problematic.

Well, actually, I'm shocked! 

Greg Callahan, Hyde Park Free Library

Hyde Park NY

>To: Multiple recipients of list
>Subject: RE: Dealing with disturbing content
>Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:26:30 -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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