DENVER – The Denver Public Library (search) has canceled its subscription to four Spanish-language adult comic books after complaints that the series contains sexually explicit illustrations.
City librarian Rick Ashton ordered the removal of 6,569 of the fotonovelas earlier this month, pending a content review. Some of the books depicted women chased by weapon-toting men; they also had illustrated stories by Jack London (search) and Edgar Allan Poe.
"We have millions of items in our collection, and our job is to strike a balance and serve a diverse community," library spokeswoman Diane Schieman-Christman (search) said Tuesday.
She said four fotonovela series had been canceled and 10 others would continue, though library officials said they won't order similar publications in other languages unless someone files a complaint.
"That does make it look as if they are discriminating against the Spanish-language part, not the content," said Estevan Flores, executive director of the Latino/a Research & Policy Center. "As long as they are in the adult section, I don't know what the problem is."
The library has been criticized by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., for spending taxpayer money to serve a Spanish-speaking population he says includes illegal immigrants.
The canceled series are "El Libro Vaquero" ("Cowboy Book"), "Frontera Violenta" ("Violent Frontier"), "La Novela Policiaca" ("Police Novel") and "El Libro Policiaco" ("Police Book"). All four series had explicit content, Schieman-Christman said.
Fotonovelas have been part of the library collection for 15 years.