News Malta Library Puts Manga Book Under Restricted Access
posted on 2011-01-27 23:30 EST
The Malta Today newspaper reported last Friday that the University of Malta Library placed 33 books — listed here — in a special cabinet where patron must request access. Included among these books is Paul Gravett's 2004 nonfiction volume Manga: The First Sixty Years, alongside the Marquis de Sade's Justine, 101 Myths of the Bible: How Ancient Scribes Invented Biblical History, and books about pornography and human sexuality.
A representative of the library on these islands south of Italy stated that "some of these books might be out of print, or very fragile, or might be in such high demand that, once placed on open shelves, pages might get torn out, or stolen entirely." The Malta Today noted that only 13 out of the 33 books are more than 20 years old, and the non-governmental organization Front Against Censorship added that several titles on the list are readily available from Amazon and other booksellers at regular or discounted prices. University library director Kevin Joseph Ellul defended the library's practices by asserting that requests for access have not been denied so far.
In 2006, the San Bernardino County Supervisor ordered Manga: The First Sixty Years pulled from the county's public libraries due to several sexually explicit drawings which appear in the book. A nearby community college displayed the book as a protest against the censorship.