A Provo Library Board member has deemed a book on sexuality too racy for young eyes and wants it banned from the children's section.
John Chamberlain was so offended by the book, "It's Perfectly Normal," that he threatened to resign but later changed his mind."As far as I can tell, the majority of the board disagreed with the book," Chamberlain said. "But my frustration was that no one appeared to be willing to take the bull by the horns and get the problem solved."
An irate caller brought the book to Mayor George Stewart's attention about three months ago. Stewart informed the board, but Chamberlain was dismayed when library staff took the position that they could not legally dispose of the book, which had been on the shelves since February.
Library Director Julie Farnsworth said U.S. Supreme Court rulings on related issues indicate that removing it for political, social or moral reasons could violate the First Amendment. Amid the complaints, she has removed it from the children's section so she can review it.
Published in 1994 by Candlewick Press of Cambridge, Mass., the book written by Robie H. Harris and illustrated by Michael Emberley has been well-received by critics. Farnsworth said the book was purchased because it was critically acclaimed and conformed with the library's selection criteria.
But Chamberlain views the book as an insidious influence that is out of harmony with community standards.
He is particularly incensed by illustrations of nude men and women and writings on sexual intercourse, masturbation and homosexuality.
The board will consider what to do about the book at its next meeting.