National Lib Week 2014: For Sex Ed, See Librarian

For Sex Education, See Librarian For Sex Education, See Librarian: A Guide to Issues and Resources
Cornog and Perper

Submitter: My colleagues and I are just thankful no one ever noticed this book on our shelves…and then asked us for a sex ed seminar. *Quietly withdraw*

Holly: My first thought was that it goes back to a time when sex ed books were kept behind the desk, so if you wanted them you had to ask the librarian for them. Maybe? It is a bibliography of suggested books to have in your collection, which was ok for 1996 and a couple of years after that, but is pretty useless now.

Mary: I first looked at the title and read For Sex, See Librarian. Now that is customer service.


  1. LOL! That’s funny – but it’s true – our library kept all books with “naked” people pictures behind the desk. We still keep the SI Swimsuit Edition back there…

    1. We keep the SI Swimsuit Edition behind the desk as well, though that could be so it doesn’t get stolen within five minutes of its arrival.

      1. We don’t even put the SI Swimsuit out anymore and pretend we never got it. The last few years the same day it went out someone would come up having found the cover in the men’s bathroom and the insides missing.

  2. Who among us wouldn’t buy the t-shirt with this cover and then put it in a drawer never to be worn, at least not in public?

  3. That title would make a pretty good Friday Fiction smut novel, methinks. It just needs an illustration of a saucy librarian winking over her cat-eye frames.

  4. The first library job I had, back in the 1970s, there were a couple of shelves of books perceived to be too sexy in the stacks. I don’t know of the public ever got up to courage to ask for any, but we librarians certainly read them – things like Portnoy’s Complaint and Last Exit to Brooklyn….

  5. I nominate this for ALB’s Best Book Title of the Year. Mark it for the year-end roundup! 😉

  6. Our library director once accidentally ordered The Pop-Up Book of Sex (she must have ordered it by the ISBN), We keep it in a storage closet-the pop ups are a hoot.

      1. There’s definitely a Pop-Up Kama Sutra. I remember seeing it in a book catalogue around 1980, and it’s just appeared in the latest Bibliophile Books catalogue.

        Exactly WHAT pops up, I hesitate to guess.

  7. In 1990, Libraries Unlimited published A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The School Library, by Larry Parsons. In it there was a replication of a subject card found by an elementary school librarian. A predecessor had created it, not knowing rules for catalog cards. It had three words on it.


    see Librarian

    1. This title has to be intentional. A book that Google has read, title “The Laughing Librarian”, gives a version of the “SEX – see librarian” story, where, upon complaint, the catalog card is changed to “SEX: (For SEX, ask at desk).” “The Laughing Librarian” cites “Saturday Review” (undated), “Reader’s Digest” (1970, from the former source) and “Library Journal” (September 1, 1978).

      It’s very thorough and a laugh on every page, but the pages are quite large. I assume that that this version of the revised catalog card is precisely correct.

  8. I see this entry and think of these awesomely awful redone book covers. It is all bad romance fiction book covers with the subjects being librarians. I especially like the one titled, “Shake your MLS and Save Your Library: Creative Fundraising Ideas for Public Libraries.”

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