An interesting struggle is shaping up in Upper Arlington, Ohio. Can a library board remove free gay newspapers from the mass of materials distributed at the entrance of the public library? According to an article in the Gay People’s Chronicle, one of the publications that a patron requested be removed, both a preliminary report to the library board and a legal opinion from the Franklin County prosecutor’s office suggest that the papers must stay unless they are obscene, pornographic, or harm minors. The article suggests that the only way to limit legally the distribution of otherwise legal material would be to stop the distribution of all free publications.
It would appear that public libraries need to act carefully when the issue of removing publications comes up.