Tina Harden‘s daughter brought home a couple young Gossip Girl-inspired novels in 2008. When Tina flipped through the books and saw the bad language and references to sex/drugs, she did what came naturally to her.
She stole the books. She has had them in her possession since the fall of 2008:
Harden owes $85 in fines but hasn’t paid them. She said she is hoping the library will waive the fines.
“It’s not that I lost the books or I didn’t feel like turning them in,” she said. “I want us to work together. Hopefully they have the same goals as I do.”
What. The. Fuck.
She stole library books to make sure no one else could read them.
That’s not ok. Ever.
Hey, guess what? I’m offended by what I see in the Koran and the Bible and the entire Left Behind series. But you don’t see me indefinitely “borrowing” every copy of those books from libraries.
I know better than that.
I don’t support censorship like that.
You know if Harden had it her way, the library would get rid of anything that appears on those Banned Books lists.
Thankfully, people wiser than she came through this week:
After an article about Harden appeared in Thursday’s Orlando Sentinel, a man donated replacement books to the library and several others told the library they planned to send checks or books to replace the ones Harden was keeping.
What does Harden say to that?
Harden does not fault people who have offered to replace the books.
“They’re taking some action in response to something that I’m doing, and that’s what makes our country so great, that we have that freedom,” she said. “I feel like I’m a pretty middle-of-the-road kind of person. I just want children to be safe and not come across material that’s really inappropriate for their age level.”
There are many things that make our country great. Nowhere on that list is the ability to remove books you deem unworthy from a library.
In the past day, I have posted about politics and religion and discrimination against gay people… and yet, this pisses me off more than any of those. Maybe it just seems like this could happen anywhere.
Harden is welcome to shelter her children from reading the books they want or watching TV shows they like. She can send them to a private school, never let them go on dates when they’re older, and isolate them from the rest of the world if she so desires.
But she has no right to take that decision away from anyone else.
(via Jessa Crispin)