questionable books returned to library

15 january 2004

marple - by leslie krowchenko, times correspondent - © the daily times 2004

the books are back.  seven titles from the sexual instruction section of the marple public library were returned yesterday, a day after more than 75 township residents gathered at st. pius x church to air their concerns regarding the collection.

the books, including "great sex tips" by anne hooper and "the illustrated guide to extended massive orgasm" by steve bodansky, were checked out last month by glen mills resident jack whoriskey.  he discovered them in the "new-book" section while searching for a title on the atkins diet.

whoriskey, who said he considers the books "pornographic," showed them to the township commissioners.

the volumes were due to be returned before christmas, but he was given permission by township manager joe flicker to keep them as long as necessary.

whoriskey subsequently brought the books to the attention of local clergy, organizations, state sen. ted erickson, r-26, and state rep. tom killion, r-168.

"he was afraid if he returned them on time he would not be able to renew them," said flicker.  "in an effort to diffuse the situation, i told him he could keep them until he was done with his campaign, then they had to be brought back."

the books are currently not available for circulation, as they are being held for review by the library board, said library director deborah parsons.

the group�s next regularly scheduled meeting is jan. 26.  "they obviously want to take a look at them," she added.

tuesday night�s two-hour meeting included comments by whoriskey and observations by attorney tom paschos regarding protection of minors from pornography.

guest speaker sue brinkmann, a correspondent for the catholic standard & times who recently wrote a seven-part series on the kinsey report and the effects of pornography on the family structure [entitled, "sordid science:  the sex research of alfred c. kinsey"], cited similar book challenges in communities in new jersey and new york.

she also recommended the web sites and

"it helps when we know we are not alone," said brinkmann.  "we are not a bunch of whiners."

those in attendance were encouraged to submit questions, which included inquires about censorship, the library�s "citizen�s request form for re-evaluation of library materials," filters on library computers and the vulnerability of children in a library setting.

the majority signed a sheet listing their names and addresses for future contact.  sample letters expressing concern about the accessibility of sexually explicit materials were available to send to clergy, legislators or elected township officials.

many in attendance added their names to a petition citing alarm about the pornographic materials and internet access in the library and numerous copies were taken to secure additional signatures.

the group tentatively plans to present the documents at the feb. 9 commissioners meeting.

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