Fwd: Marion County Florida Board may censor Lolita
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Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 10:14:06 -0600
From: Steve McCann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Fwd: Marion County Board may censor Lolita
Yet another potential censoring of Lolita, this time because of an incident
from 1960. Says one supporter of the censorship: "whatever goes in your head
comes out in your behavior", which is certainly an interesting thesis ...
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Date sent: Thu, 08 Sep 2005 09:02:30 -0500
From: "Don Wood" <email@example.com>
To: Intellectual Freedom Action News <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [IFACTION:1223] MARION COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS MAY
AT PUBLIC LIBRARY
Send reply to: email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2005
MARION COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
MAY CENSOR LOLITA AT PUBLIC LIBRARY
Alleged Kissing Incident 45 Years Ago Could Play Role
The Marion County Public Library System will perform an in-depth review of
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov * a novel in its collection concerning the
relationship between a pedophile and his 12-year old stepdaughter, nicknamed
Lolita. The review was triggered by Terry Blaes of Dunnellon, a former
reference librarian at the library and former chairman of its citizen
advisory board, which was abolished by the Marion County Board of County
Commissioners earlier this year.
Lolita has become a literary classic, receiving critical acclaim while
selling 50 million copies in 20 languages. First published in the United
States in 1958, Lolita is in well over 1,000 libraries across the United
States, including more than 50 public libraries in Florida. It is also
available at mainstream bookstores for viewing and sale without age
restriction. Yesterday, the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Ocala had two
editions on display for sale to anyone.
Blaes says in a Statement of Concern on Lolita filed August 8 that she made
the filing at the library because she wants "to help the community decide
what to do with the book." In her filing, Blaes recommends that the library
perform the review her filing requires but "take no action because public
libraries in the United States are dedicated to supporting the American
public's freedom to read."
As a member of Marion County's public library advisory board, Blaes voted to
keep in the library, unrestricted, books that some residents wanted
censored. County Commissioner Randy Harris, who also serves as Chairman of
the Republican Executive Committee of Marion County, has been a vocal critic
of the library collection and has spearheaded a five-year long battle to
censor it. Harris pushed for a takeover of library policymaking from the
library advisory board and abolishment of that board, making Marion County's
one of the few public libraries in Florida to operate without a citizen
advisory board. Shortly thereafter, commissioners voted in new policies
effective August 1, giving themselves the final say on questioned library
In the filing, Blaes cites as one reason for her attention to Lolita a May
2004 appearance by Joe Mitchell of Anthony before the Marion County Board of
County Commissioners. Mitchell related to commissioners an alleged incident
around 1960 between a college student in his early 20's and Mitchell's
12-year-old stepdaughter. Mitchell told commissioners the student, to whom
Mitchell was renting a room, "comes up and starts tryin' to kiss on her."
Mitchell said the student blamed his actions on reading Lolita.
Phyllis Johnson of Ocala, another resident concerned about library material,
appeared before commissioners in June 2004. Johnson, who identified herself
as a psychologist and member of the Harris-led Republican Executive
Committee of Marion County, said she was concerned about the behavior of
adults. She said, "whatever goes in your head comes out in your behavior."
The behavioral implications for commissioners who will be reading Lolita, a
story of pedophilia, are unclear.
According to the filing by Blaes, she can be contacted at 352-465-6492.
For further information on this media release, contact:
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