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Sex in the Library: A Guide to Sexual Content in Teen Literature

SITL cover [1]

 

By Mary Jo Heller and Aarene Storms

8.5 x 11 Trade paperback. 978-1-61751-028-1

$40. June 2013

• Public and school libraries
• Ideal for collection development and booktalks
• Guidance on establishing selection policies
• No-holds-barred and no-body-parts-left-out reviews of
more than 100 books
• Reviews rate sexual content, language, violence, age level,
and alert words

Review by School Library Journal:

RedReviewStar Sex in the Library and Music Programming Guide Stand Out in Crop of New Professional Reading Titles | Professional Reading ReviewsHeller, Mary Jo & Aarene Storms. Sex in the Library: A Guide to Sexual Content in Teen Literature. 120p. appendix. bibliog. index. VOYA. 2013. pap. $40.00. ISBN 978-1-61751-028-1.

 

The authors (a school and a public librarian) have been offering a workshop called Sex in the Library (SITL) for years. They conduct collaborative booktalks on titles with sexual content, while educating audiences on the role of librarians. They focus on the major differences between school and public library missions, budgets, selection criteria, and collection development policies. Sex in the Library is more than a humorous glimpse into their attempt to “lure” teens back into a love of reading. It’s also a guide for replication. Readers will learn how to plan and implement their own SITL, and the title includes advice on selling the idea to administrators, compiling booktalks and booklists, pitching books to boys, reviewing books, and dealing with snickers and occasional hecklers. The authors also cover the differences in conducting SITL for students, teachers, parents, and librarians. The book also contains resource lists at the end of many chapters, sample excerpts and book blurbs, an ample list of book reviews arranged by topic, resources for booktalking and a bibliography. The magic Heller and Storms have created might be difficult to put into practice in every community; however, they provide rationale and strategies that are hard to ignore. Even if SITL is not for your audience, the authors have devised a great collaborative booktalking format for multiple audiences that is worth the investment, and their plans could be adapted to other topics that would engage and educate audiences.–Adrienne L. Strock, Chicago Public Library

Table of Contents:

Introduction: Raised Eyebrows

Part I: Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex in the Library

Chapter 1: Foreplay

Choose a Partner for “Sex in the Library”
Assemble the Booklist
Criteria for Inclusion on the List
Mission Statements
Our SITL Booklist Isn’t Necessarily
Your SITL Booklist
Other Booktalking Resources
The Dreaded Mission Statement
Fitting Nonfiction Books in SITL
Resources

Chapter 2: Safe Sex and How to Have It

SITL Sessions Are Open
Booklists
What to Say (or Not) to Administrators
When Administrators Actually Do Show Up
Resources

Chapter 3: Slip into Something More Comfortable

Vocabulary and How to Use It
Choosing Excerpts
The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Dual Booktalking
The Art of the Segue
Sample SITL Program
Choosing Books for a SITL Program
Star Trek Sex and How to Have Some
Important Points about Booktalking in General and SITL Specifically
Resources

Chapter 4: The Locker Room: Fiction Books about Sexuality for Boys

Targeting Boys while Booktalking:
Strategies That Will Get (and Keep) Them Interested
Resources

Chapter 5: Not Tonight, Dear

Tying SITL into the School Curriculum
Books about Saying “NO”
“No, I’m Not Ready”
Resources

Chapter 6: Kiss and Tell: Having Sex with Students and Teachers

Losing Your Virginity: Presenting Your First SITL Program to a Group
Getting over the Titters
Audience Reactions, and How to Use Them Constructively
Discussions, and How to Have Them
The Inevitable Back Row
SITL and Collaboration
Resources

Chapter 7: Hearts Beating as One: Having Sex with the PTA

Things That Parents Want to Know
What Adults Think Librarians Do All Day
Talking about What Librarians Really Do All Day
What (Some) Librarians Do and Not Do (and Why)
Sexual Content in Books Written for Teens
How to Mention the Budget, Tactfully (or Not)
Discussions and How to Have Them
From Debates to Advocacy

Chapter 8: Just Do It: Having Sex with Librarians

Things That Librarians Want to Know
Collection Development: Rinse and Repeat
Just the Books, Ma’am
Self-censorship
Resources

Chapter 9: Morning After Pills: The Reality of Fiction

Reasons to Include Fiction in the Library and the Curriculum
Much More Than “Just the facts, Ma’am”
Sex in the Classroom
Tough Stuff
SITL Books Serve More Than One Purpose for Readers
Minority Groups and the Library
Resources

Chapter 10: Writing It on the Wall: Reviewing Steamy Books

Writing a Book Review, What to Do with It
Structure for a Book Review
Reviewing “Bad” Books
Whom Do You Trust?
Hey! I’m Talkin’ to YOU
Re-use Your Reviews

Chapter 11: Afterglow

What We’ve Learned
What Has Changed
What to Do Now

Part Two: The Good Stuff: Book Reviews

Alert Words
Rating System
Reader Reactions
Alerts

Brave New Worlds: Futuristic and Dystopic Novels
Can’t Feel My Head: Sex and Addiction
Fangs and Fur: Supernatural Sex
First Time for Everything: First Kisses, First Relationships, First Sexual Experiences
Girl Power: Strong Young Women
Havin’ My Baby: Pregnancy and Other Side Effects of Sex
Hit Me Baby, One More Time: Violence and Dysfunctional Relationships
Laughing My Butt Off: Sex and Humor
Mostly Harmless: Great Books with a Little Bit of Sex, Drugs, Violence, or Rock-and-Roll
“N-O” Spells No: Abstinence and Refusals
Not Dead …Yet: Death and Dying and Sex
The Rainbow Connection: LGBTQ Topics
Real Life, or Something Like It: Contemporary Realistic Fiction
Smokin’ in the Boys’ Room: The Male Experience
Truth or Dare: Nonfiction and Memoir
Resources

Bibliography

Appendix Great Sources for Booktalking

Index

About the Authors

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