The comics blogosphere and press has been closely following the situation in Marshall, MO, where complaints over content led to FUN HOME and BLANKETS being removed from library shelves. The library began a long, thoughtful process of public hearings to decide on a new policy, one of which was held on Tuesday.

Now, a comment on a Beat posting on the matter from Amy Crump, the chief librarian at the Marshall Public Library states simply:

The Marshall Public Library Board of Trustees voted to return both ‘’Fun Home’’ and ‘’Blankets’’ to the library’s shelves on Wednesday, March 14, 2007.

We imagine a fuller story in the Marshall Democrat-Newws, which has covered this story extensively, will be along, but if true, this sounds like a triumph of the democratic process to us. Of course, we’re biased.


  1. The library put together a good, solid materials selection policy with clear, strong criteria for acquiring materials, along with a clear procedure any challenge must follow. It’s very much in line with other such policies in place in libraries across the country. This challenge could end up being one of the best things that could have happened for the library in that it forced them to do what they should have done years ago.

  2. I just hope they don’t get those people who then check the books out, and don’t bring them back. You know… people who take it upon themselves to keep the world free from “smut” because no one else will. It’s sad stuff, but what can we do about it? Really. Any ideas, anyone?

  3. One way is that the library patron will be blocked from checking out other library material. If they do not pay to replace the item, the library could always prosecute the patron for theft, although it is unlikely.

    Another way is to make certain items part of the Reference collection, or a Special Collection, which means that, technically, the books never leave the library building. Few libraries catalog non-reference books as reference, but some do have restricted stacks.

    The most proactive way is to donate books to the library, preferably with respected literary reviews attached. A library might sell the book if it does not wish to catalog it, so it helps if you can find a librarian who can “godfather” the book into the library.

    One more bit of info. Computer catalogs also track how often and frequently a book circulates. Smart librarians will monitor this information and select books based on the percieved needs of patrons.

    Oh, and it never hurts to attend library board meetings, or join the local “Friends of the Library” organization, or volunteer at your local branch.