This letter to the editor was in the December 22, 2005, Chico Enterprise Record:
Library book inappropriate
My friend told me she took her 9-year-old daughter and one of her
daughter's friends to the public library for a "wholesome" afternoon
outing. This is the public library supported by taxpayers' dollars.
daughter checked out several books from the children's section. My
friend later heard some giggling coming from her daughter's bedroom and
went to see what they were laughing at. One of the books her daughter
had contained very graphic information on the birds and bees along with
information about condoms and the use of them. Who would think one
would need to monitor books in the children's section of the public
When public schools, libraries and other government entities took
it upon themselves to decide when, where, and how much information our
children need regarding sex instead of the parents, where this
responsibility rightfully falls, the return for society was
skyrocketing illegitimate birth rates, sexually transmitted diseases,
at-will abortions, welfare abuse, and on, and on ...
Raising children does not "take a village," it takes parents
who are diligent, responsible, involved, and consistent. Schools need
to stick to academics, and the libraries should provide books to
children that are appropriate.
�Victoria K. Coots, Oroville
I hardly know where to start. A book about the "birds and bees" is appropriate. If parents don't feel comfortable talking about sex with their children, then the kids will get the information someplace, and the library is a good place to start - much better than learning from a sexual predator or a boy or girlfriend, much better than turning into a teen parent because you didn't know the facts, much better than having to decide whether or not to have an abortion before you are mature enough to make the decision (assuming the friend's child would have been given a choice). A book found in the Juvenile section of a library is appropriate for ages less than 12.
I looked in the Butte County Library Catalog, and the only book checked
out on the subject is "It's a girl thing : how to stay healthy, safe,
and in charge" / by Mavis Jukes ; illustrations by Debbie Tilley (1996). Info
about the book can be found at Amazon.com. The description says the book is appropriate for ages 10 to 14; however the "Product Details" say the book is appropriate for ages 9 to 12.
There are several other books in the Juvenile section about Sex education.
And, if the "friend" is concerned about what his or her children are reading, then he or she should monitor the books they check out from the library. It's the parent's responsibility to know what their children are doing.
I say BRAVO TO THE LIBRARY for making information available!