Book talk

Margaret Griffin, Bordentown
I was aghast and disgusted at the report in today’s (Aug. 5) Register News that the Burlington County Library System, at the direction of Director Gail Sweet, has removed “Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology” from its collection.
   I have been a BCLS patron for many years and also worked there as a library clerk for a time. I have always been proud of the depth and breadth of its collection, and the good services provided.
   That Ms. Sweet bowed to a complaint from a single individual (who appears to be a member of a right-wing pressure group), and that Ms. Sweet made a unilateral decision to ban this book instead of following the library’s own policy on removal, is simply horrifying to those who decry book banning.
   Using the library’s own system, I determined that the library has the following books in its collection:
   ”Portnoy’s Complaint” (Roth), wherein, among other sexually grotesque acts, the narrator makes love to his own family’s liver dinner.
   ”The Tropic of Cancer” ( Miller), which contains graphic sexual content.
   ”Naked Lunch” (Burroughs) which is arguably one of the most sexually graphic and scatological works in English.
   ”The Joy of Sex” (Comfort). If ,as Sweet said, it was the picture of two men apparently in flagrante which caused her to ban the book in question, perhaps she should take a look at “Joy” which contains multiple pictures of naked heterosexuals in happy coitus.
   And finally and most egregiously, “Mein Kamf” (Hitler) No need to comment!
   Given the above, the banning of the book in question smacks of rank homophobia. I call upon the library’s board to remedy this error in judgment on Ms. Sweet’s part, and restore the book to the shelves.
   I call upon other citizens to add their voices to mine in protest until this is accomplished. Why should the banning of one book matter to us? Because it is a slippery slope which endangers our free society. And because homophobia has no place among people of good will.