SMALL BOOK, BIG ISSUES

It’s called manga, Japanese graphic novels that have mushroomed into multiple millions of dollars of business in the U.S. One series in the Goldendale Library, intended for readers 18 and older, ended up in the 12-to-18 section, sparking sharp reactions.

Some parents in Goldendale feel the Goldendale Library has become a mine field for their children, with content wildly inappropriate for young ages within all-too-easy reach of small hands. The library says it’s parents’ job, not theirs, to control what children get their hands on.

Before coming to Goldendale, Olga Hodges was a health educator and project manager for Multnomah County Public Health Department in Portland, working with 13 different middle and high school clinics. Hodges now has become central organizer of a sizable constituency of concerned library patrons. She says it would be preferable to see the library be a perfectly safe place, in every section, to bring her kids, and, while they’re at it, get higher quality books in there. But initially her focus is on a more immediate goal. “We’re not asking the library to get rid of books we don’t like,” she says. “We want books to be placed in age-appropriate sections of the library.”