Today in Dumbassery

Today's spotlight shines on JoAn Karkos, of Lewiston, Maine. Ms. Karkos was horrified, horrified!, when she checked out copies of a particular sex and puberty education book from not one but two libraries. And she's refusing to return them::
LEWISTON, Maine -- A Lewiston woman who said she was "horrified" by the content of an acclaimed sex education book has checked out copies from two libraries and refuses to give them back.

JoAn Karkos made her feelings known in letters to the Lewiston and Auburn public libraries. Each letter was accompanied by a check for $20.95 to cover the cost of the book, "It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health."

Lewiston library director Rick Speer said he may seek help from police if she doesn't return what she borrowed.
These are public libraries where anyone should be able to receive information and knowledge via the books on the shelves, no matter how "horrified" one is by the content of said books. If Ms. Karkos doesn't like the content of the books, she should not have them in her home. She, however, has absolutely no right to take them away from other people. None. Zero. Apparently Ms. Karkos lacks the intelligence to grasp such a simple concept and her money would be better spent on a dictionary where she can look up the meanings of "public" and "library".

Ms. Harris had this to say about her books, in 2001:
“A number of people told me not to put in abortion, that we would sell less books, that it would be controversial. Any book on sex in the USA is controversial if it has to do with reproduction and about making choices. I knew it was important to present both sides of the issue -- pro-choice, pro-life. If I left it out, or if we left out particular drawings or other topics -- I mentioned sexual abuse or sexually transmitted diseases -- it would be saying, ‘We can’t talk about those things. You shouldn’t know about them.’"

She added, “Our kids already know about 99.9 percent of this stuff. What concerned me is that they have a lot of misinformation, no matter how much they tell us, and I wanted them to get accurate information. So I think the litmus test for me was, ‘What’s in the best interest of the child? What’s going to help a child stay healthy?’”

We have one of her books, It's So Amazing!: A Book about Eggs, Sperm, Birth, Babies, and Families, and I highly recommend it as a companion piece to discussions about "where babies come from". This is the book that Karkos is withholding from the public because she has deemed herself Arbiter of What Other People Need to Know.

Ms. Harris' was one of 2005's most challenged authors, according to the American Library Association. Speaking of, Banned Books Week is coming up (Sept. 29th - Oct 6th). The theme this year is: Free People Read Freely. Someone needs to inform Ms. Karkos of that.

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