Librarians ban yarn about knitting

A porn star’s memoir, a study of the IRA, and a history of knitting are among 100 books public library bosses have refused to stock in recent years.

Requests to buy an erotic Korean drama, an account of the life of actor, James Dean, by pop star, Morrissey, and the collected works of famed psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, were also refused.

Details disclosed under Freedom of Information show Dublin City librarians turned down 130 separate requests from members for books and DVDs over the past five years.

Among them was Linda Lovelace’s autobiography, Ordeal.

The actor, whose real name was Linda Boreman, became a household name in the 1970s, after her role in the infamous film, Deep Throat, the first pornographic movie to crossover into the mainstream.

Ms Boreman went on to become an anti-pornography campaigner, championed by some leading feminist thinkers, before her untimely death, in a car crash in 2002, at the age of 53.

Dublin City libraries declined to stock her memoir, on the basis that it was “too expensive, limited readership”.

The same reason was quoted for refusing to buy Uinseann MacEoin’s The IRA in the Twilight Years, a study of the movement between 1923 and 1948.

Curiously, Dublin City libraries hosted a talk last year by its historian-in-residence, Brian Hanley, called ‘The IRA in the Twilight Years’, which it said was named after Mr MacEoin’s book, which it declined to stock in 2014.

Librarians also refused a request to buy Richard Rutt’s A History of Hand Knitting, described by one major online bookseller as “the only history of hand-knitting”. Again, Dublin City libraries deemed it “too expensive, limited readership”.

Other items turned down include the DVD Untold Scandal, a 2004 South Korean cinematic retelling of the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, which was referred to by one film critic as “pandering to a soft-core, pillow-book ideal of oriental sensuality”.

It was refused, because of its adult-only film board classification.

Almost half of all refusals were because the books requested were textbooks, with most of the remaining deemed too expensive or having too limited an interest.

Dublin City libraries says it is not possible to buy copies of every book published in any given year, quoting figures that 149,800 titles were published in the UK and Ireland in 2012.

It says it remains “mindful of considerations of budget and space” when buying-in books, which are chosen by a “central team, assigned to selection, with input and suggestions from members of the public and library staff”.

Guidelines state a wide array of religious and political views should be represented and titles be chosen for their literary, cultural, and recreational relevance and for their information and learning value.


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