I snuck into the forbidden section of the library this weekend.
I even brought Child with me (shameless!), and admitted to her that I was flouting the rules. That I was specifically banned, but I was darn well going in anyway. If anyone challenged me, I'd state my case and argue my right to be there.
Still, I felt furtive. I scanned the shelves quickly, with glances over my shoulder at the empty librarian's desk, at the other patrons who were allowed. Were they looking at me funny? Were they whispering about me, or planning to call in enforcement?
But the books...they were worth it. My favorites, the ones I'd seen on blogs for a year but hadn't had a chance to get, the ones my friends had been talking about...all there. I would've gotten a big pile, if I didn't still have Christmas books to read.
That's right, folks. It was the new YA section.
It was well-stocked. It had a manga section, new releases I was drooling over, and a ton of "classics", both the kind English teachers give you and the kind you run across for yourself. It is also "Limited to patrons 13-18 years old."
I sort of understand, on one level, that the librarians are trying to create a safe, teen-exclusive feel, like NO GROWN-UPS ALLOWED. There also might be some weird stalker issues they're worried about. But really? You think interest in YA books stops magically at age 18, and you should BAN anyone older than that from browsing the books? No, really? What about precocious kids under 13 who might want to take a peek?
I have a problem with this. To me it smacks of discrimination, not to mention pigeon-holing. And as a YA writer, I will absolutely argue why I should be there, why anyone who loves good books should be able to be there.
What do you think?