An Indiana woman wants her local library to restrict the visibility of some of its books after her nine-year-old grandson checked out an erotic novel.
Jeannine Dereen says her grandson used the self-checkout system at a West Indianapolis library branch to check out Night Games by Crystal Jordan.
"It's very sexually explicit, graphic," Dereen told local news station Fox 59. She said her grandson’s interest in video games brought the title to his attention, and that he did not understand the material in the book.
The cover for Night Games on Jordan's website includes a man and woman in an embrace with the tagline "Pleasure after dark…" The back cover includes the advisory: "WARNING! This is a REALLY HOT book. (Sexually Explicit)."
Jordan’s extensive list of works includes other erotic novels and e-books with such racy titles as Full Swing, Carnal Desires and Primal Heat.
"Always wanted to say this: no comment," tweeted Jordan. Her Twitter bio describes her as a "librarian turned romance writer, award-winning author, and shameless smut-peddler."
Child’s guardian ultimately responsible, says library
Dereen filed a complaint to the library to get the book, and others like them, removed from the shelves or moved to a separate section free from the gaze of children. The library responded by saying that it did not plan to change its policies, and that the child’s guardian is ultimately responsible for the books he or she wants to check out.
Dereen then turned to Fox 59 in the hopes that it would help sway public opinion in her favour.
"I want to get this (Night Games) out of there. I want to just keep talking to people about getting these kinds of books out or putting them behind closed doors. One or the other," Deeren said.
Fox 59 contacted the library to ask whether books in the adult fiction section could be given age restrictions in a similar manner to adult DVDs, which could alert them whenever an underage borrower tried to check out an erotic title.
"We've communicated with the patron and explained our reasoning. We serve a population with varying tastes and interests," said Indianapolis Public Library spokesman Jon Barnes.
"The library has many suitable books for children and this book was in the adult section."
The Indianapolis Public Library does have a "My First Library Card" that allows children aged six years or younger to borrow children’s books.