Joe: Public libraries are meant for the pleasure of the public. Therefore material that appeals to the general public, i.e. material meant for mass consumption, i.e. pop culture items are perfectly acceptable for dispensing.
Jane: The general public needs guidance when it comes to taste. Therefore only items that are considered in good ‘taste,’ i.e. classics should be available for library patrons. After all the public free library is funded by federal and local dollars and such should serve avoid serving purient/violent interests. Etc. Etc.
The other day I was at the Free Library of Philadelphia, and I happened upon a young father checking out items for his young children. Perfectly adorable children, and very young. Definitely younger than ten. (And quite intelligent. After a while it’s not too difficult to categorize children.) Rather than getting them picture books, or any such material of interest to young children he was checking out videos.
Five DVDs to be exact. I took a glance at the titles. Checking out CDs and DVDs is one of the less well-known benefits of the library.
Among his selections, all R-rated, was SAW IV. The only reason I noticed was because he gestured one his daughter to get it for him, “Get that one, we’ll watch it tonight.”
This is after he viciously decked his child for getting too ‘fresh.’ She wanted a particular book.
Bad parenting makes me angry.