Something to offend everyone

Its Day 28 of 30 blog posts in 30 days challenge and I’m inspired today by another quote.

I have just started a Quote of the Week in our staffroom at work – picking up on the groundbreaking Word of the Week started by my predecessor.Β  I was inspired by a quote forwarded to me by my husband, who has a blog – Quote for the Day.

Anyway, the quote is as follows:

“A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.”Β  Jo Godwin.

The staff have delighted in this quote, its one they can relate to quite easily as we have enough complaints about someone being offended about something in the library.

The more common complaints are about (at least in recent years):

  • Having games consoles to play on (used to be the Internet computers)
  • Having graphic novels that are too graphic (same was said for romances a decade ago)
  • Having pictures of human bodies in anatomy type books that kids can access (that one has been consistent since forever)
  • Too noisy
  • Not given enough time on the computers – just to finish ……
  • Not trusted to do x without x (eg. borrow without their card, or borrow if they promise that they will return their long overdue item the next day, etc, etc)

What sort of things does your library do/offer or not, that causes offense to some?


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    • Evan on June 28, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    In case you’re interested, the Quote for the Day blog is here, and you can also follow it on Twitter,, Facebook, Buzz and of course an RSS feed.

    • Ruth on June 29, 2010 at 2:19 am

    LOL! Too true. We’re an academic library with some advanced high school students, so we’ve offended some people by having dvd’s with sex scenes in them on open shelves. We offended many academics with the idea of moving some material off campus to a store. We have an Art in the Library program and wwe have had some items there that have offend some. We constantly get complaints about short loans (only 2 hours – I can’t read it in that!) and we currently have a fabulous exhibition on Banned Books.

  1. Nice to know that we are doing our jobs well then! πŸ™‚

    • Penny on June 29, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I used to work in a Christian school library…. need I say more? πŸ˜›

  2. Nuff said. πŸ™‚

    • Sue's sister on June 30, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Horrors–we let the homeless in!

  3. Gasp! How could you! πŸ™‚

  4. And I had a customer demand that a poetry night held in the library be stopped because he’d heard that some of it was rude and none of it mentioned God.

    He informed me that he wrote poetry and that all of it mentioned God.

    When I pointed our that we merely hired out the room to the poets and that it wasn’t a library event as such, he backed off. I didn’t mention that we were going out of our way to promote it and hiring the room out at a cut price.

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