So I work in a school library and it is, therefore, unsurprising to learn that 95% of my library users are between the ages of 11 and 18. What is surprising is that the public libraries don’t seem to consider this when they pass on dead stock (stuff no longer wanted for the public library).
Sometimes the stuff they send is great – teen fiction like John Green’s ‘Looking for Alaska’ for instance or comic books like Jodi Picoult’s ‘Wonder Woman: Love & Murder’ which are a great addition to my stock.
Sometimes they miss the mark spectacularly. I had thought the recent batch – which included ‘Psychic Cats’ by Theresa Cheung – was as off the mark as they could go. In that batch there was a range of books pitched at middle aged women who want to communicate with the dear departed, angels or just self-help themselves to happiness. While I have no doubt there are many public library users who are after such reads there are, to my knowledge, no 11 to 18 year olds who are.
So it was with some trepidation that I viewed the batch of books they sent this week – stock weeded from the ‘supernatural’ section of the local public library. There was the usual ’3rd book in the series’ titles that aren’t worth adding (I don’t have the other books and can’t afford to buy them from the budget), a few nice titles I could add and this -
‘Succubi Like It Hot’ by Jill Myles- is inappropriate for stock for two reasons.
The second reason is that the content is totally inappropriate and I mean really inappropriate. I know some parents are happy to let their kids read ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ but I really can’t justify a school library stocking erotic fiction.
Now I know it is hard to tell how adult the content of a book if you haven’t read it. I also know there is no way you can have read every book in the library. I would suggest, however, that the rippling six pack on the cover would suggest it might be a bit sexy and ring some kind of warning bell that it might not be suitable for a school.
You can’t judge a book by it’s cover? No? There might have been an argument for that if the quotation on the cover didn’t describe the book as:
So the public libraries are still not worrying you that it might be more of at 18+ read than a PG-13? No? Then what about the blurb on the back:
Sounds like a sexier version of Buffy or Supernatural right? A mini skirt clad archaeologist who is mixed up in a supernatural element and happens to have more than one date – what is inappropriate here?
Clearly nothing – must just be my mind that is making it sound naughty.
Given the pristine nature of the book (only two issues) I can only assume that the person sorting the stock in the public library never opened it.
When I opened it it was a bit racy and clearly heading south (or should that be South?) as our heroine tried in vain to get her ‘Itch’ scratched.
When I shared it with one of my colleges they page they opened it on gave them such as shock they managed to crack the spine. So now it automatically falls open on this:
So that settles it – despite the fact that I am sure this would be a very popular title there is no way it’s making it onto the shelf! Though it may make it on to my ‘to read’ pile.
I just want to check that a brainy vixen in a miniskirt can outsmart the forces of evil.