Not the Library’s job to censor

The Herald reports:

Auckland Council will not be removing a controversial book from its , despite a growing petition claiming it “advocates child abuse”.

The online petition, which has more than 2400 signatures, was launched on Friday by West Auckland mother after she learned Auckland Libraries stocked a copy of To Train Up a Child – a 1994 book which instructs parents to withhold food and whip their children with branches and belts.

The authors of the book – American pastors Michael and Debi Pearl – also advise readers to use a garden hose on children who have soiled their pants.

The book sounds pretty terrible, but libraries should not ban books because some people don’t like them.

Auckland Council chief operating officer Dean Kimpton said: “Under no circumstances is violence against children acceptable or lawful.”

However, he said this debate touched on the fundamental principle of freedom of expression and it was a matter that would be referred to the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

The Classification office decide if a publication is legal or not. Not libraries – or Ms Joy.

Those who have been borrowing the book may be doing so, for critical research purposes. Or they may just want to hear different views. I have no times for busy bodies who think they should decide for everyone else what they should be allowed to read.

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