Sunday Signage: Public Library FAIL

(Warning: This post contains a bad word! Do not read ahead without your mommy or daddy’s permission.)

Seen on the Public Library website:

Excuse the 1990s pixel-effects of this photo.

Oh boy. The actual book cover cleverly covers up the discriminating letters with a picture of a full moon. I believe the official title of the book is even “Go the F**k to Sleep”. Alas, the Public Library had to go and spell it out for all of us who couldn’t see past those asterisks. Way to be literal, public library– We probably couldn’t have figured it out without you. 😉

I’ve been totally swamped by work lately, so apologies for being MIA from your comments section. I’ll be back to regular reading, posting, and commenting by mid-September! (Hopefully!) In the meantime, I hope your summer months are going swimmingly.

34 responses

    • It was front and center, too. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so glaring if it was buried deep in the website archives somewhere, but to have it right on the front page was a little jarring! 🙂

  1. Oh how utterly funny! I am sure the library’s face is red. Wonder if the person who let that slip through is an underpaid worker who is now smirking to her/himself? Happy summer to you, Dana. I hope you are having a blast!

    • I’m happy to have caught the screen shot when I did, Kathy. I haven’t checked, but I’m sure a little editing was done after the fact. It’s amazing what a simple asterisk can do!

    • You should have seen the number of surprised/appalled comments on the book entry, Dean. Lots of people were giving three cheers to the library, but an equal/greater amount were saying that GVPL should have just slipped in an asterisk where it counted. One of these days, I should check to see if the entry has been amended. (I know, I know: “One of these days….”, as my voice trails off into ambiguous nothingness.) 😉

      • As is often the case, context is everything. The library website is just a listing of actual books, not a promoter or defender towards any particular demographic, especially those who might have sensitive ears.

        I find it interesting how the shock value may really only belong to those shocked. It’s well known that words can lose their offensive power by becoming commonplace. To me, a swear word that is censored represents greater offense by the censor than by the censoree.
        Kids are in a special category, but the rest of us really are being disingenuous if we claim the F-word is dangerous or harmful to us.

        • I agree, Dean. I think the main issue was the listing’s placement on the front page of the GVPL search site. There’s nothing wrong with using the f-word, but I guess some parents wouldn’t want their children stumbling upon the listing as they surfed through the wholesome public library website. 🙂

          • I can’t think of a better way to reduce the offensive nature of the word than to simply present it innocently as if it really does not offend, and considering how we all know the word quite well, it really is less and less controversial .. with time.
            I like to think of it as a “special” word to use selectively.

    • I think the book is a great idea, too. (Same with those “All My Friends Are Dead” picture books.) Alas, I don’t think it would have had the same appeal being written by a woman without children. Had *I* written the Go To Sleep book, I wouldn’t have been rich– I would have been lynched! 🙂

      Only one more month of utter chaos until things simmer down a bit again. I can do it! (I hope!)

    • Thanks, Cindy! Yes, busy is a good thing in our neck of the woods. Can’t wait to have a decent sleep and some sweet, sweet boredom, though. 😉 I hope you’re doing well!

    • I hope your wife is aware of the dangers of her profession. (I hope she’s a good whisperer, too. Perhaps you guys have complementary skill sets to balance out your strengths and weaknesses?)

    • I should really double check on the actual title of the book before I go accusing the library of anything sinister. [goes to Google and surfs around] OK: The actual title contains the full f-word, but the cover illustration covers it up. Inside the book, the f-word is used in its full, profane glory.

      Many online book sites, including Amazon and AbeBooks, censor out the full word in their listings of the book, but the public library here said “What the hell? Let’s celebrate the true intentions of the author! And let’s put it on the front page of our public library website!”

      No word on whether the DVD title was altered as well…

  2. Wow! Good catch, Dana! Somebody must have gotten in trouble over that one. I’ve seen that book in bookstores and want to read it (because I understand the sentiment…lol!).

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