Newsarama has the fullest account:

According to Zack Sims, Staff Writer for the Marshall-Democrat News, the meeting opened with the Board President, in her opening statement, suggesting that, in light of the recent developments, a committee be formed for write a formal “materials selection policyâ€? for the library, to determine the guidelines the library will use to select titles for its collection.

No public comment was heard or asked for, as it was noted that the meeting on October 4th served as the public’s time to comment on the issue, and last night’s meeting was a Library Board Meeting – albeit with more people than normal in attendance.

The proposal was agreed to unanimously, and until the policy has been written and adopted by the Board, the two books will remain out of circulation. After the policy is formed, the two books will be evaluated as to their suitableness for the library.


Reaction is mixed. Tom says it’s “a smart way to go about it.” One of our email correspondents suggests “So, essentially, the books have [been] banned, without saying it.”

It is a disappointing result for those who find the idea of branding BLANKETS as pornography ludicrous, but it’s hardly surprising. The public was 3 to 1 FOR the books being removed, after all, and as the Supreme Court said, “community standards” are part of the test of material which appeals to “prurient interest.”

The decision will come as no surprise to those who live outside the more liberal coastal beltways. On our one car trip to Missouri, we were struck by the number of billboards along side the road advertising DNA clinics, who seemed to be doing a booming business in paternity tests. There was even one with a picture of an adorable tot, and the memorable headline “Who’s my daddy?” Perhaps if the youth of Marshall, MO were more busily engaged by reading challenging material they would not spend so much time getting knocked up. Just a thought.

1 COMMENT

  1. The library I work at will not stock comics, manga or graphic novels and is even a little leery about novels with comic book characters in the title- like Batman by Andrew Vachss and The Death of Superman novel by Roger Stern (I think). Why? Theft, not the content, but the fact that someone will inevitably steal it once it’s out of the front desk’s site. Only things that have survived are the reprint editons of Superman – they are in non-fiction, under the fine art section in Dewey.

  2. And yet, those of us who have had graphic novels, manga and comics in our libraries (I worked in several urban libraries) keep telling others that the theft rate of these items is no higher, is in fact LESS than thefts of the Bible, auto repair manuals, etc. That is a specious reason made by an a library administrator who just doesn’t want to deal with the material.

    As far as the “no decision” decision in Marshall, MO – that is par for the course. Now, if a strong collection development statement results from the study, then it’s a good thing. I hope the library will contact the American Library Association for help.

  3. Can someone in Marshall, MO complain about a romance novel on library shelves? They have half-naked men and women on the covers and extended passages involving exciting things you can do with man parts and woman parts that use delightful phrases like “slipped in like hot buttered steel.” It’s just words instead of words and pictures, but I’ll bet it won’t be hard to find an entire shelf of romance novels in the library are far more “pornographic” than Fun Home or Blankets.

    If they pull those off the shelves in addition to the comics, then at least they’ll be consistent and I’ll be happy to leave them alone. If not, though, then they deserve every insult that’s been hurled at them so far and more.

  4. Quoting you – “The public was 3 to 1 FOR the books being removed, after all,” Please go to the Marshall Democrat News website poll on this issue and you will see your facts are wrong. There was an overwhelming response for not banning the books as you will see by the votes. Scroll down to the Oct. 5th poll. This is a town of 13,000 people. The concerned citizens who are opposed to the books being in the library do not represent the entire community.

  5. Hey Marshall resident: The poll was open to anyone who wanted to vote. Hell, *I* voted. In fact I justvoetd to say I was ready for Marshall’s homecoming, when, in fact, I am nowhere NEAR ready.

    The 3-to-1 ratio was for the Marshall residents who showed up at the local board meeting. That’s also on record.

    I’m saddened by the move, and baffled by the idea that Blankets and Fun Home will bring a seedy element to Marshall, but this was a victory for community standards, and in theory that is the proper way to conduct things. Obviously their standards are not my standards, and that’s why I don’t live there, but this is not meant to be a Marshall-bashing thread.

    I do reserve the right to poke fun at questionable public statements by anyoneon any side of the fence, however.

  6. Hey, I’m on your side of the fence, as you call it. I’m disappointed in the board’s decision. I feel they took the easy way out. I just wanted to call attention to the fact that the people at the meetings who are opposed to the books do not represent the entire 13,000 people in our town. As for the “seedy” people, that was said by one person. Someone I happen to know and have always respected. I was very disappointed in her statement.

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