Only on 6: Library says controversial poster won’t come down, even after parent complaints
ALBANY, NY (WRGB) - The Albany Public Library is responding tonight after a parent complaint about a bathroom poster.
The poster points teens to books on subjects like suicide, drugs and sex, but some adults we spoke with said the library shouldn't be encouraging kids to look up this type of information.
Douglas Holiday is not OK with what's hanging in the ladies restroom at the New Scotland Avenue branch.
“That’s just not appropriate for kids to be exposed to,” Holiday said.
A poster directed at teens with a list of serious subjects like sex and the Dewey decimal numbers to look them up.
A parent's Facebook post alerted us to the story. She saw the poster with her 6-yr-old.
"I found this to be pretty upsetting..." she writes.
Holiday agreed with her concerns.
“Certainly that's material that should be handled by parents, not even in a learning environment like a library,” Holiday said.
Monique Mooney was surprised when we showed her some of the promoted books with titles like, The Joy of Sex, but she says actually feels kids need this information.
“That’s good you know, because children out here these are days are growing up really fast, I mean they do it in school so that’s why it’s in the library,” Mooney said.
Albany Public Library Assistant Director Melanie Metzger says the library put the posters up about a year ago and has them up in multiple branches.
“One complaint, mostly positive feedback,” Metzger said.
She says the library created the posters to make teens feel comfortable. In some cases, she says teens were so afraid to check out books on these subjects, they'd steal them instead.
“People are afraid to ask for the information so they go find them and walk out with them because they’re embarrassed to have some of the information,” Metzger said.
Metzger says she applauds concerned parents who are addressing these issues with their kids, but says the posters won't be coming down because of the kids who benefit from them.
“For a lot of kids they don’t have that trusted adult to go to and that’s why we provide the information for those kids in the neighborhood,” Metzger said.
After our story, Metzger said they will consider changing the poster to direct teens to the teen book sections.
The way the poster reads right now, teens could easily pull books on sex in the adult section not intended for them.
However, she says kids are allowed to check out books in whatever section they want.