According to their website (, Family Friendly Libraries (FFL), founded in 1995, is a "grassroots organization of concerned citizens, librarians and library trustees" that believes in "common sense access policies", seeks to "protect children from exposure to age-inappropriate materials without parental consent", and favors "placing libraries under maximum local control with more acknowledgment of taxpayer authority and community standards."

Sounds nice, don't you think?

They're a pro-censorship organization. Hell, they almost qualify as an anti-library organization.

"Right to read? It's a bunch of hogwash. You don't have the right to read anything you want. We have to protect each other from dangerous material."

--FFL co-founder Phil Burress

According to Article One of the FFL's charter, a library's primary purpose isn't actually to provide books to patrons: "As a branch of the government charged with protecting and preserving our society,... the library system clearly acknowledges the importance and superiority of the traditional family (defined as 'mother and father married to each other, committed to a lifetime, monogamous relationship')." It also states that opposing views wouldn't be excluded, but they wouldn't be given equal shelf space with officially sanctioned books. In fact, books which don't get the FFL's approval would be placed in restricted areas of the library, where you'd have to get special permission to even look at the books, much less check them out.

In other words, libraries shouldn't be allowing people to read books that feature homosexuals, people who commit adultery, or nontraditional families. They'd be required to make moral judgments about books to make sure that the FFL's preferences dominate all others.

Though the FFL claims to be a secular, non-religious organization, the charter states that "the Creator has given us ABSOLUTE STANDARDS to live by (like sexual purity) which is encoded in our LAWS (like the sodomy, adultery and fornication laws)... the principles of Creator-authenticated absolute standards for people and their government applies in ALL issues." Co-founder Karen Gounaud has also stated that she believes the ideal library trustee should be "someone who understands that there is no constitutional mandate for the separation of church and state." Sound secular to you?

The FFL hates the American Library Association (ALA) with a purple passion. They've referred to the ALA as "an arrogant, monopolistic, lobbying special-interest group" and claims it is "known nationwide as a pro-pornography group." Why is the ALA so horrible? Well, their Library Bill of Rights supports intellectual freedom and decries censorship in all its forms. Can't have that, can we? Kids might start thinking for themselves. Kids might even learn something...

Is there any good way to stop these lunatics? Hell yeah! Volunteer at your local library, or at least attend meetings of the library board. If you hear that the FFL is trying to make inroads in your community, write letters to your local newspaper (they're always very interested in Freedom of Speech issues), lawmakers (the censors are talking to them, so you should, too), churches (actually, very few of them favor censorship, so you should encourage them to speak out), schools (they're nearly always the first place the censors target for harrassment), and librarians (just to let them know you appreciate their hard work). If there is an anti-censorship protest somewhere, attend it. Censorship drives often bring bad publicity for a community -- let the world see that not everyone in town is anti-freedom. Finally -- and perhaps most importantly -- read some books!