Since 1998, the Edmonton Public Library has had a formal process for people looking to have books or other materials removed from the library. For Eminem it was offensive lyrics that drew fire, while Maxim’s portrayal of women was the issue. And for the Muppets, it was their film Muppets Wizard of Oz that drew a patrons ire, because it portrayed the destruction of a house by a tornado.
Pilar Martinez, the library’s deputy CEO, said when a customer has such an objection they always start by talking about the issue with staff.
Martinez said only one customer complaint has lead to a book being removed, which was an out of date haircutting manual. She said in that case it is something staff would have eventually removed anyway, but generally they lean heavily towards intellectual freedom.
“Our role in the community really is to provide a diverse collection that represents the various viewpoints in our city and in our society,” she said.
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