Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

April 28, 2006

Banned Manga Book Filed as “YA”?


CR reader Ray Cornwall proves himself far more clever than I am by looking at the listings for the library that removed Paul Gravett's Manga: 60 Years of Japanese Comics from the shelves and asking the following:
Many of the reports claimed that the book was shelved in the Adult section, where it belongs, as opposed to the children's or young adult's section. However, the library catalog shows a call number for the book of YA 741.5952 GRA- indicating that the book was actually shelved as a Young Adult book. This means that, despite a Library Journal review that indicates the book contained explicit sex acts and violent gore, the library shelved the book in the teen section anyway.

Had the library paid any attention to the book, they would have properly shelved this book in the Adult section. I find it curious that they're shifting blame from themselves and onto the book, when the real problem is their cataloging procedures.

You can click through the hazy screenshot above for the entry and access to the Library Journal piece (if it's expired, search "Gravett").

I'm not sure how much we can tell about exactly which factors came into play and how exactly the book was filed or picked up without having been there, and the fact that the supervisor involved seems to have retreated to a Torquemada-like "this book is no good for anyone no matter what their age" stance has the unique side effect of protecting the library from some of the adult/child filing issues. Still, this could raise some interesting and crucial questions when it comes to the initial incident and the rhetoric that followed.

UPDATE: Not so fast; better reason unpacked here.
posted 2:29 am PST | Permalink

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