Florida Library Makes Teen Area After Manga Complaints

posted on 2010-08-12 23:58 EDT by Gia Manry
Reorganization was initially a response to woman's petition to remove manga

According to the Crestview News Bulletin newspaper, the Crestview Public Library in Florida has responded to a mother's complaint about its manga selection by reorganizing the library to create a dedicated section for teenage readers. The space was made by both re-shuffling materials and eliminating VHS and audio tapes, which will be sold at an upcoming library event. Teen library patrons assisted in the creation of the space, which features "comfy chairs" and study nooks as well as teen-focused book stacks.

The reorganization came in the wake of a formal complaint from a local mother, Margaret Barbaree, who claimed that her son required placement in a home for extensive therapy after reading a mature manga. After Barbaree presented her complaint to the City Council, however, the council's president visited the library and determined that the book had come from a top shelf area where books not intended for young readers are placed; he also observed the manga in the young adult section and deemed it appropriate.

Manga has occasionally been a source of controversy at libraries, such as when an Oregon boy checked out a mature title in 2008 or when a Maryland school library removed Dragon Ball from its stacks last year. However, librarians have frequently recommended manga titles, particularly to young readers. Manga has appeared on the School Library Journal's Best Comics and Best Adult Books for High School Students. The American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) releases a list of great graphic novels for teens, in which manga plays a significant role.

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