Florida County Library Lifts Ban on ’50 Shades of Grey’

By Suzan Clarke

May 30, 2012 6:30am
ht fifty shades grey jef 120402 wblog Florida County Library Lifts Ban on 50 Shades of Grey

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A Florida county’s public library system has lifted its ban on controversial erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

The Brevard County Library System had pulled copies of the racy tome, and the two subsequent books in the trilogy, from its shelves earlier this month.

In a March 4 interview with The Palm Beach Post, Cathy Schweinsberg, the library services director, said the book did not meet the system’s selection criteria.

“Nobody asked us to take it off the shelves,” she said. “But we bought some copies before we realized what it was. We looked at it, because it’s been called ‘mommy porn’ and ‘soft porn.’ We don’t collect porn.”

But in a statement released Monday, the library system said it would immediately restock its 19 copies of the books in the trilogy in response to public demand.

“Earlier this month, a decision was made to pull ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from our libraries as a result of published reviews and our own initial analysis of the book and its controversial content. Since then, we have begun a review of our selection criteria and that review continues even as the decision has been made to supply the book in response to requests by county residents,” the statement read.

“We have always stood against censorship,” Schweinsberg said in the statement. “We have a long history of standing against censorship and that continues to be a priority for this library system.”

“50 Shades of Grey” is the first in a best-selling trilogy by British author E.L. James. The books focus on the relationship between protagonists Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, and explicitly detail the pair’s sadomasochistic sexual encounters.

Public libraries in several states have banned to books, saying they are too steamy or too poorly written, according to the Associated Press.

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