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Tintin Dans Le Chambre Forte

from The New York Times

A Library’s Approach to Books That Offend

TinTinRuby Washington/The New York Times
The vault-like room in the Brooklyn Public Library where “Tintin au Congo” was reshelved after a patron took issue with the book.

The cartoonist Hergé is popular again, as is his adventurous reporter Tintin, who will be featured in a Steven Spielberg movie due out in 2011.

But if you go to the Brooklyn Public Library seeking a copy of “Tintin au Congo,” Hergé’s second book in a series, prepare to make an appointment and wait days to see the book.

“It’s not for the public,” a librarian in the children’s room said this month when a patron asked to see it.

The book, published 79 years ago, was moved in 2007 from the public area of the library to a back room where it is held under lock and key.

The move came after a patron objected, as others have, to the way Africans are depicted in the book. “The content is racially offensive to black people,’’ a librarian wrote on Form 286, also known as a Request for Reconsideration of Library Material [pdf].

[ click to continue reading at NYTimes.com ]

Posted on August 28, 2009 by Editor

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