Leading up to Banned Books Week 2012, ALA will highlight one book from its new timeline of banned and challenged books each day. Today we feature the enormous controversy that erupted in 1992 over the book “Sex,” by Madonna.
The mylar-wrapped, spiral-bound book of photographs of the exhibitionist pop star Madonna in revealing and erotic poses raised challenges across the country soon after its release in October 1992. In Houston, TX, a group called Citizens Against Pornography mobilized efforts to have the book removed. The public library agreed to keep the book, but not allow it to circulate and to restrict in-library access to adults only. In Austin, TX, the county attorney told the library that to make the book available to minors in any way was illegal. In Mesa, AZ, the mayor ordered the library not to shelve the book. The Pikes Peak (CO) Library in Colorado Springs cancelled the library’s order after citizen protest. “Sex” was challenged at the Manchester (CT) Public Library, Des Moines (IA) Public Library, Champaign (IL) Public Library, South Bend (IN) Public Library and Topeka and Shawnee County (KS) Public Library. The St. Louis (MO) Public Library cancelled the library’s order after citizen protest, while the Ingham County (MI) library board declined to ban the controversial book.
For more information about Banned Books Week, please visit www.ala.org/bbooks.