'Freedom' extremismFrom: Bruce SadlerSykesvilleVisiting...

Letters to the editor

August 09, 1992

'Freedom' extremism

From: Bruce Sadler

Sykesville

Visiting the local library is something I enjoy. The selection of materials is extensive, the atmosphere is relaxing and the staff is both friendly and helpful.

Recently, however, I was made aware of something which should concern all of us regarding our libraries. You may not be aware of the nature of the reading material available to our children at the public libraries or at their school libraries.

Did you know there are dozens of books, maybe even hundreds, which contain and/or endorse premarital sex, witchcraft, homosexuality, incest and other mature subject matters, on the shelves in the children's department?

Many of these books are extremely graphic in their portrayalof these subjects. There are scores of books right here in the Carroll County libraries that have been banned or challenged in other library systems throughout the country.

Your children also have easy access to these books in their school's library.

Why, you might ask, are these books in our children's department of the library? The answer is something the library calls intellectual freedom: the right to free access to any information without censorship for all persons.

This freedom, according to the library's standards, includes children of all ages. Reasoning of this nature, when dealing with the innocent minds of our children, is both foolish and without regard for their well-being.

"Intellectual freedom," when taken to this extreme, in my estimation, is absurd.

We need to let the library system know that as citizens and taxpayers, we don't want this type of influence pervading our children's reading material.

Write, call or visit your local library. Tell them how you feel about this type of literature. Contact Ms. Jacqueline Adams, materials management coordinator for Carroll County libraries, at 848-4205.

If you object to certain material, ask for a form titled, "Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of a Book," fill it out and send it to Ms. Adams at Carroll County Public Library headquarters, 115 Airport Drive, Westminster, Md. 21157.

Also ask your local librarian to let you see the list of books which have been banned or challenged in other libraries throughout the country. Some of the challenged material represents objections from fringe segments of society,

but most are reasonable objections.

You may also contact the media specialist at your child's school in September. Ms. Donnadine Spillman is supervisor of media for Carroll County Schools; call her at 848-8280. Let her know about your concerns.

Do not be discouraged if you receive little cooperation with this issue. The American Library Association is extremely liberal-minded. They frown on any attempt to regulate, rate or restrict material from children.

They believe that children have a right to free access of any information, regardless of content or the child's age.

Finally, let's not misuse the great freedom we have in this country. Freedom without responsibility is license for social destruction.

Where there are no moral absolutes, chaos prevails and freedom is ultimately lost.

At the very least, we must protect our young from the immoral avenues in which some would lead them.

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