'50 Shades of Grey': Moral courage in Bel Air

Kudos to the librarian in Harford County who wouldn't approve stocking "50 Shades of Grey" ("Harford librarian stands by her rejection of '50 Shades,'" June 5). I like to read mysteries and adventure books and checked one out to read. It was horrible, smutty stuff, providing in vivid detail the life of a male convict and all the degradation and humiliation suffered by one. But it was fiction, not real life. And the details of what happened in the showers were so gross I quit reading it. I returned it and asked to speak to the head librarian. I expressed my concern and she answered that "it is film noir."

Well, I don't know what her idea of "film noir" was but I am familiar with the term as someone who saw many "film noir" movies. And this didn't fit. It was just plain gross smut. And this book was displayed on the shelves for general consumption, Anyone, including children, could have checked it out!

My thoughts regarding that incident and the situation in Harford County are that we need one of two things: Either the return of the late Mary Avara who famously worked on the state film censor board, or a system for libraries to use similar to the film ratings system (G, PG, etc.) Books such as these should not be available through my tax dollars for the general public.

I checked with the Baltimore County Public Library branch nearby and was told that they do not make available DVDs of movies rated R or X and they "screen out" porn on their computers. Great! So if they do that for those two modes of entertainment, why not for books?

Yes, I read The Sun editorial ("Banned in Bel Air," June 2) so "why not let the people decide?" Well, if that philosophy held, then the county library would offer porn and X-rated videos, wouldn't they? When I was in high school my principal taught us six words to live by. The first two were – "freedom and responsibility." What they meant was that, yes, we should all have freedom (such as the freedom of speech and expression) but it should be used responsibly.

Stocking these books in a public library would not demonstrate responsibility. Except in Harford County. Thank you, HCPL, for demonstrating real moral courage!

Bill Moulds, Timonium

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