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Librarians Refuse to Lend ‘League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ to 11-Year-Old, Call It ‘Porn’

The latest comics controversy is here, and it’s a new one: Two librarians have informed the media that they have been fired for refusing to allow an 11-year-old to check out the Alan Moore graphic novel “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” a decision they defended by calling it “porn.”

Not “Lost Girls,” mind you, but “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”

Here’s how a local news station, WTVQ, described the incident:

Beth Bovaire worked at Jessamine County Public Library up until a month ago. She and Sharon Cook worked as librarians- the two were fired last month when they say they didn’t allow a child check out a book from the league of extraordinary gentleman series.

“My friend Sharon had brought it to me on Wednesday, and she said ‘look at this book it’s filthy and it’s on hold for an 11 year old girl,’ and I said well okay, lets take it off hold.”

The Jessamine County Library director says it’s against their policy to speak about employee terminations but he did give me a copy of their policy and it clearly states the responsibilities of the child’s reading must lye with the parents and not with the library.

The women say the books contain lewd pictures of men and women in sexual situations that are inappropriate for children.

Putting aside WTVQ’s hatred of punctuation, formatting, and spelling for the moment, they apparently didn’t see the need to investigate the book the librarians got fired over — and by “investigate” I mean “open” — so all we know is that these too women thought some unspecified aspect of it was “filthy” and “lewd” and presumably other words that grandmas say when Britney Spears is on television. Then they titled the article “Librarians Won’t Give Child ‘Porn’ Book,” and called it a day.

As I was reading, I took a wild guess that this incident took place in the south — where history has taught us it is a terrible idea to offer the public even vaguely controversial comics — and lo and behold, a quick Google search reveals that it all went down in Kentucky. Even so, I find the whole controversy a little bit unsettling, as every librarian I have ever encountered has been all about Banned Books Week and enthusiastic about what graphic novels and manga can do for circulation; it’s actually kind of shocking to hear that these ladies are working hard to keep excellent sequential art out of the hands of their patrons.

I’ve actually got my copy of “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” right here, and I just spent the last ten minutes leafing through it and trying to figure out where the porn is. There’s certainly some violence, but when it comes to sexual content, there’s almost none, save for ladies in low-cut dresses and one scene where an invisible man attempts to (or actually does?) have sex with a girl in a nightgown, although we don’t actually see anything because he’s invisible.

If this what they think passes for “porn,” I can only assume that they have never actually encountered pornography, which in today’s day and age is kind of like not knowing what a cell phone looks like. Should those two ladies ever discover the internet, I’m not sure there’d be enough smelling salts in the world to revive them.

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