The other day, while I was in the library, collecting books on homosexuality for a biology report, I noticed that many of the books I was looking for were not to be found on the shelves. After asking a librarian to help me look, and checking the circulation status of the books, she determined they were in the library, but then added that “it was probable, due to the ‘sensitive nature’ of the books, they were most likely locked up.” I was stunned that a library would lock up their own books, and asked why the books would be taken off the shelves. The librarian responded that, “because of recent attention the library received from The Daily Universe Letters to the Editor regarding controversial books, they had pulled a number of their books off the shelves.”
I am quite frankly appalled and dismayed that a university promoting higher learning would engage in book censorship! Our library is currently ranked third in the nation, and it gives one pause to imagine that a library so highly regarded is facilitating the removal of ideas and information from its shelves. Part of the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights reads: “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.” How shameful that the Lee Library has capitulated to the disapproval of others, seeking to placate ignorant Letters to the Editor by removing material that others might not feel comfortable with. If the policy of the HBLL is appeasement, then let me make it very clear what I am not comfortable with: Censorship. Bring back our book!