10-Year-Old Borrows Steamy Gay Sex Manga From Local Library

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10-Year-Old Borrows Steamy Gay Sex Manga From Local Library

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A 10-year-old girl managed to borrow Makoto Tateno's Hero Heel from a King County Library.

One Travis De Nevers has filed a complaint with the King County Library System (KCLS) after discovering his 10-year-old niece managed to check out a copy of an adults-only yaoi manga.

Described as a "huge anime fan," De Nevers' niece borrowed a number of manga, including Makoto Tateno's Hero Heel. De Nevers realized something was amiss when he noticed the book's "Parental Advisory" sticker. He flicked through the title, only to discover it contained drawings of two garden-variety bishies engaging in "rather violent" sex. The book is quite clearly marked as "yaoi."

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term, "yaoi" is used to describe fiction that focuses on male homosexual romance marketed towards the ladies. The genre, which is dominated by female authors, is known for romanticizing aggressive and sometimes non-consensual sex. It's sometimes gets a bit rapey, in other words.

Needless to say, Mr De Nevers was not keen on his pre-teen niece having access to such material, and he outlined his concerns in a letter to Bill Ptacek, director of the KCLS.

How can it be that a young girl can check-out this book? Why would it even be located in a place where children would have easy access to it?

I do not want this to happen again to my niece or other children. I am asking that you review your check-out practices and make the changes necessary to prevent it. Please send me a response detailing your steps to correct this serious situation.

De Nevers' outrage is totally justified, the library staff certainly shouldn't have let his niece check the book out, but in a statement to the B-Town blog, he questions whether such manga should be in the library in the first place.

"What also sickens me is that people are going to the library to read this kind of content?," he said. "An anime comic book section is where people go to read porn? Around kids? There is no good coming from this being in our library."

Now at this point you'd expect the threat of public outrage would push the KCLS to issue an apology, instead the library system - ahem - came out swinging in a statement to ANN.

In keeping with the mission to provide free, open and equal access to ideas and information, KCLS develops its collection to reflect the diversity of the patrons we serve. Materials are selected based on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, current and anticipated needs and interests of the public and contribution to the breadth of collections. We also expand the collection by responding to requests from patrons, and graphic novels are one of the most requested areas of the collection. When evaluating suggested titles, staff consults industry-related websites, newsletters and blogs. If overall reviews are positive, a title is purchased; conversely, if the consensus is negative, the request is declined.

Although many people associate graphic novels with children and teens, the industry increasingly publishes titles for adults thanks to the popularity of Anime TV shows.
The title checked out, "Hero Heel 2" was catalogued as Adult Non-Fiction. All non-fiction titles, including children's non-fiction, are shelved together. The parental advisory sticker on the cover was adhered to the book by the publisher. KCLS does not apply ratings to its materials but recognizes that certain items in the collection that are popular with some may be considered objectionable by others. For that reason, staff relies on the authority of parents and legal guardians to supervise the reading, viewing or listening use of library materials for their own minor children. KCLS' Parental Responsibility Policy ... states in part, that:

"Parents and guardians are responsible for their children's behavior, safety and welfare while their children are in the library or on library grounds, which includes their children's access to library materials and electronic resources. KCLS strongly recommends that a parent, guardian or other responsible party be present to supervise children ages 12 and younger. KCLS staff is available to assist parents, guardians and their children in the use of the library; however, KCLS staff cannot act "in loco parentis" (in place of a parent) for children in the library."

The Policy also states that

"KCLS will not limit children to the use of books in the children's section of the library, as these materials may not meet the needs and interests of all children. In addition, library staff is not responsible for determining whether materials used by children and teens are "age appropriate."
These policies are not unique to KCLS. They are consistent with public library policies across the United States.

The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund also chimed in with a defense of Manga as a legitimate art form, guy-on-guy love included.

As CBLDF readers are aware, comics, graphic novels, and manga often face challenges from those who think any book with lots of pictures must be for children. That certainly seems to be the case here, as de Nevers expresses surprise that "an anime comic book section is where people go to read porn." While Hero Heel 2 likely doesn't qualify as pornography by a strict definition, it is definitely intended for adults, who make up a large part of any library's patron base. Modern public libraries build their collections with a wide variety of ages, tastes, cultures, and interests in mind. There may be indeed be materials in those collections that some parents do not want their children to access, but the responsibility for setting those boundaries lies with the parents, not the libraries.

Source: ANN

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I'm with both sides here. While the library can and should stock whichever books it wants, I can't see how it would hurt to put an age limit on some of its racier material. I've worked in libraries (including a school library) and that's what we did - we just wrote an "over 12s only" note on the inside cover so that when we went to check it out we'd know to check the age. If a parent was with them though they could say it was fine.

I'm sensitive to the fact that bringing in some kind of age-limit across all collections in all libraries would be a horrible idea, but when it comes to stuff like yaoi could we use just a little common sense?

Good going KCLS imo.

Well, they are really opening themselves up for a suit for providing pornography to minors arent they.

I figure they should stock most kinds of things, but giving visual pornography to pre-teens is a bit much IMO

Hm... I can understand the man's concern, but I also accept the library's policy of "you don't like her reading it? take it up with her parents"

My local library has a check it out yourself terminal, meaning that I don't have to interact with staff to check books out.

This sounds to me like yet another person who feels that the parenting of children should be left to someone other than parents. Clearly it isn't the fault of the people that let a pre-teen wander around unsupervised, it must be the libraries fault for stocking the material in the first place. /sarcasm

Given the fact that you can find far worse in written word than "a little bit rapey", this is just overreaction based on the fact that this particular book was manga rather than text.

FelixG:
Well, they are really opening themselves up for a suit for providing pornography to minors arent they.

I figure they should stock most kinds of things, but giving visual pornography to pre-teens is a bit much IMO

Read the response from the KCLS. They are in the right here, what he complains about is even stated in the Parental Responsibility Policy. The fact that they have a wide variety of things in stock doesn't affect the fact that he's a closed minded parent that didn't supervise his child.

The book did say 'Parental Advisory Explicit Content' on there. And surely if he didn't know what was the issue the Library Staff should have been clued in enough to advise what Yaoi means. Or could just take a look at the front cover lol

The problem is the slippery slope here. The uniformed can see this and ban ALL manga from libraries, which is crucially unfair. It was a major screw up on the library's end, but I worry what will happen next.

That policy is pretty ironclad from where I'm standing. De Nevers' concern is legitimate, though he really should keep a better eye on what his niece partakes in, if she's liable to grab yaoi off a shelf, intentionally or otherwise.

... Why is Hero Heel 2 "non-fiction?"

Crazy idea that parents take responsibility for what books their child rents out.

That'll never catch on, Parents are always talking about how they want governments and corporations to run their lives and tell them how to do their parenting. Oh wait, no.

The only thing that needs to be changed is those under the age of consent need parental CONFIRMATION of them renting out "parental guidance" works.

Really, what was this 10 year old girl doing alone renting out books? I thought children that you were supposed to have a parent or guardian with them 24/7?

This article upsets me.

Mostly because I have no idea how to pronounce "yaoi".

I mean, three vowels and a "y"? Come on, what the hell?

Reveras:

FelixG:
Well, they are really opening themselves up for a suit for providing pornography to minors arent they.

I figure they should stock most kinds of things, but giving visual pornography to pre-teens is a bit much IMO

Read the response from the KCLS. They are in the right here, what he complains about is even stated in the Parental Responsibility Policy. The fact that they have a wide variety of things in stock doesn't affect the fact that he's a closed minded parent that didn't supervise his child.

Yeah the 'policy' wouldn't hold up very well if taken to any court, pretty much like any EULA.

The fact is, it is pornography, it belongs to the library, they provided it to a pre-teen, doesnt matter if they whine "But in our EULA it says that its the paaareeennnts responsibility!" because then any store could go off selling whatever they want to anyone they want saying "well if the parents didnt want their kids to have the porn/cigs/alcohol/ect they shoulda been watching them closer!"

And as soon as he saw the parental advisory sticker (Which the library entertainingly didn't even bother to provide, it was from the publisher) he DID look into it.

Before this I didnt even know libraries lent out porn, so I have little doubt he didnt know either.

I think part of the problem is that it was categorized as non-fiction, which I'm assuming it shouldn't be, unless it's a true account of extremely effeminate rapists. Presumably the adult fiction section is actually separate from the children's section, which might make it a little less likely for younger kids to pick it up in the first place.

As for the general case, while the librarian probably could and/or should have been a bit more attentive, ultimately it's the parent's responsibility to check out what their kids are up to.

I happen to know for a fact that Hero Heel 2 has a very rich and deep storyline that any preteen would like.

It was categorised as "Adult non-fiction"?!

Dafuq?

What else do they class as "non-fiction" I wonder...?

Walk your kids to the library.

Ban porn from libraries.

Everyone's happy. No?

Parent failed to be a parent, you should ALWAYS pay attention to what your children are picking up at a library, video store, game store, whatever. Ratings and labels exist for a reason, use them.

Yeah, I think the library should make sure the kid's section is for books meant for kids.
Why else have a separate section at all?

Just put them in the 'adult' section of the library, that's where I got most of my books when I was 10.

Zhukov:
This article upsets me.

Mostly because I have no idea how to pronounce "yaoi".

I mean, three vowels and a "y"? Come on, what the hell?

It's an acronym, so don't feel too bad about it.

After all, who really gives a shit about acronyms?

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term, "yaoi" is used to describe fiction that focuses on male homosexual romance marketed towards the ladies. The genre, which is dominated by female authors, is known for romanticizing aggressive and sometimes non-consensual sex. It's sometimes gets a bit rapey, in other words.

So... women fantasizes about guys forcibly and sometimes violently having sex with each other?

Meh, par for the course for libraries. They never card people around here. Don't like it? Monitor what your kid reads, then, if you don't want this to happen again. Most manga books have age ratings on the back for a reason. :P

I'm in agreement with the library on this on. I like the idea of being given a kind of 'we recommend' age-rating which parents can overturn if they wish, since not all kids are the same and it's ultimately up to the parent to restrict their access to such things.

However, I think a child shouldn't be allowed to purchase such material outside the influence of a parent: if the parent allows them to buy it that's one thing, but how do you prove the parent is allowing their child to read the books they're bringing home if they're not there to initially put them on loan?

I,m going to assume here that she went with a parent to the library. Couldn't her mother,father,aunt or uncle notice that AO sticker on the cover?

Like, that entire "romance" section in the library has tons of, ummm, steamy scenes in it. Difference? One is a manga and most people assume kids can read it. Just like when I went to see The Watchmen in theaters and saw parents bringing their kids in. Responsibility. At this point, it is completely the parents fault: to show how stupid some are, my wife use to work at a video rental store, and PARENTS complained when they let their kid watched Knocked Up.

For fucks sake, what do these people expect?

A quick glance at the kcls.org 'how to' section reveals this:

Self-Checkout

To avoid the checkout desk line, consider checking out library materials yourself.

Who says the librarians even saw this kid check out this particular book?

Zack Alklazaris:

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with the term, "yaoi" is used to describe fiction that focuses on male homosexual romance marketed towards the ladies. The genre, which is dominated by female authors, is known for romanticizing aggressive and sometimes non-consensual sex. It's sometimes gets a bit rapey, in other words.

So... women fantasizes about guys forcibly and sometimes violently having sex with each other?

It's Japan. Where "much worse" is always part of the escalation (I have seen things I'm not particularly proud of). Even if the dial is broken.

I don't know about library porn, but at the video store I frequented as a kid illicit material was always shelved high up so only adults could reach it. Same thing goes for Playboys at the book store. I remember squinting my eyes like crazy trying to sneak a peek at that top shelf back in the day.

Don't know how this library went about it, but obviously they should devise a similar system to keep this out of the hands of children.

I'm on the dad's side in this case.

I wonder if there'd be as much of a shitstorm a-brewing if it was just an erotic book and not a Manga...
I'm fairly certain anyone with interest and the ability to read can pick up the Game of Thrones series and from what I've heard there are plenty of violent decapitations and sex scenes in there.

Anyway, since when did Libraries have Manga in them? Does this happen in the UK? And most importantly, Where?

Librarians really know how to make a reasoned response, couldn't be related to all that reading, could it? :3

Cid SilverWing:
Walk your kids to the library.

Ban porn from libraries.

Everyone's happy. No?

I want to know which libraries I can go to, to get me some porn.

Wait a minute... what am I seeing here?

Grey Carter:

..."Hero Heel 2" was catalogued as Adult Non-Fiction. All non-fiction titles, including children's non-fiction, are shelved together.

. Am I reading this right? This manga was classed as non-fiction? Wow. Either this 10 year old girl is good at checking out books under a different classification or there's a whole veil thats been lifted revealing that yaoi graphic novels are considered a learning material. Blows my mind. Though I wouldn't expect sexy time novels to be placed amongst non-fiction books of a sexual nature. /sarcasm

Thats really the only problem that I see here. Other than that they should really have a system involving, I dunno electronic library cards maybe, that can check the borrower's age if they decide to use the self-check out rather than physical check-out. So that the machine could flag the attempt for attention and an attendant can come over and see whats what and ask whether thats really the sort of book the minor wants or to be really intrusive whether their parents (who should really be nearby anyway) consent to them taking it out. That should stop pre-pubescent girls (and boys possibily . Just sayin...) from ogling pictures of a sexual nature (or reading terrible literature e.g. Twilight, Shades of Grey, [Enter your most hated book here]). Also it'd be pretty handy for tracking books. (Tell me how they already have a system like this in place (barring the age flags) and that I'm a idiot.)

FelixG:

Yeah the 'policy' wouldn't hold up very well if taken to any court, pretty much like any EULA.

The fact is, it is pornography, it belongs to the library, they provided it to a pre-teen, doesnt matter if they whine "But in our EULA it says that its the paaareeennnts responsibility!" because then any store could go off selling whatever they want to anyone they want saying "well if the parents didnt want their kids to have the porn/cigs/alcohol/ect they shoulda been watching them closer!"

And as soon as he saw the parental advisory sticker (Which the library entertainingly didn't even bother to provide, it was from the publisher) he DID look into it.

Before this I didnt even know libraries lent out porn, so I have little doubt he didnt know either.

If the policy doesn't hold up in court then you live in a broken country. The code of conduct is considered a law. It's as simple as that, if you don't respect it, you can be taken to court on account of that. Their code of conduct is very clear there, they are not responsible for what ensues if the parent does not check his child. And what you said about that alcohol/cig comparison is just plain gibberish because those items are straight up outlawed to children because they are a clear way of hurting them. Books can influence but not break a person, it's why they are subjected to the "check them before you let your kids read them" treatment. Certain books that are considered to be of adult age are read by children as a means to make them think and inspire them, take "The Picture of Dorian Gray" as a prime example and pretty much anything that Alexandre Dumas has ever written as well.

I really don't know who to side with in this case... I mean, if Hero Heel is graphic in any way, I agree it shouldn't be made available to kids, but I also agree that it's the responsibility of the parents and guardians to check what their kids are reading in the first place.

I guess everyone's kind of at fault here.

On a funnier(?) note, reminds me of a time I was browsing the anime/cartoon section of a second-hand DVD store (mostly kiddie fare, and obviously entirely accessible to kids, but also Miyazaki & co.) and stumbled onto Urotsukidoji...

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