Library concerns will be addressed - 26/04/2007Mayor Michael Laws today said that parental concerns over explicit books and comics being made available at Wanganui Library without an age grading, "is understandable and will be addressed".
"I was concerned to read the report in the 'Wanganui Chronicle' today (Thursday, April 26) and have requested a report from the Chief Executive on the matter.
"It is not a question of censoring and removing the books, so much as indicating their appropriateness for which age group."
Mr Laws said that he had been unaware of the parental concerns until reading of them in the newspaper this morning.
"When the Chief Executive reports back on current policy, I will refer the matter to Cr Nicki Higgie for the consideration of the Community Development Committee. In the meantime, I have requested that council officers review the matter and take the appropriate action."
Mr Laws stressed that councils should not censor reading material but that freedom needed to be counter-balanced against the right of parents to restrict reading choices for their children.
"Adolescent fiction has become increasingly edgy over recent years, but that should not necessarily be an excuse for younger children having access to inappropriate material. This is a good chance to debate the issue and invite further public and parental comment."
Mr Laws said that "the last thing I want to see is another 'Puppetry of the Penis' charade, but some indication as to the appropriateness of reading material at the library may be the solution. If in doubt, we can always ask the Censor's Office for an age classification".