[Videolib] Library video censorship

Jessica Rosner (jrosner@kino.com)
Thu, 23 Mar 2006 10:28:51 -0500

Sent to me by a librarian friend in Chicago who remembers all the fun Kino
had in Oklahoma with THE TIN DRUM

Oklahoma Bill Ties Library Funds to Gay-Free Kids¹ Collections
On March 15 the Oklahoma House passed by a 60­33 vote a bill that prohibits
local funding authorities and library boards from funding their public
libraries unless the libraries have ³place[d] all children and young adult
materials that contain homosexual or sexually explicit subject matter in a
special area [and limited] distribution . . . to adults only.² The bill also
specifies that the state library must withhold funds from noncompliant
public libraries.
Introduced in February by Rep. Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City), H.B. 2158
defines homosexual subject matter as ³content that relates to the recruiting
and advocating of same gender sexual relationships² and sexually explicit
subject matter as ³content that describes or depicts sexual conduct . . . so
that a prurient interest in sex is promoted.² The latter definition
specifically exempts material that ³merely mentions or references sexual
If enacted, H.B. 2158 would also mandate the establishment of a State
Library Material Content Advisory Board to ³annually develop a recommended
list of child and young adult materials that contain homosexual or sexually
explicit subject matter² for distribution to every library in the state. The
board, appointed by the respective leaders of the state house and senate,
would be comprised of four legislators, four parents of minor children, and
four teachers.
³The Oklahoma Library Association is very much in opposition to this
legislation,² OLA President Jeanie Johnson told American Libraries, citing
two of the association¹s four legislative goals‹supporting unrestricted
access and preserving local library control. ³To add another special
collection, you have to find some place to put it,² Sapulpa Public Library
Director Karla Shaffer said in the March 16 Sapulpa Daily Herald, referring
to the dearth of extra space in many small public libraries statewide.
Also expressing concern about the bill, Gov. Brad Henry told the March 17
Daily Oklahoman, ³I don¹t want government to do anything to intrude upon the
rights of parents.² However, Kern, who last year spearheaded a nonbinding
resolution urging librarians to establish adults-only sections similar to
those H.B. 2158 would mandate, characterized libraries as ³usurping the role
of parents² unless they segregate some materials. ³Our society is obsessed
with sex,² she said in the March 16 Oklahoma City Daily Oklahoman. ³And I
will tell you this: The American Library Association is out to sexualize our
Posted March 17, 2006.

Proud Resident of a BLUE STATE

Jessica Rosner
Kino International
333 W 39th St. 503
NY NY 10018

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