Can I keep this job?


I just began a new job at our local library that for the most part I really enjoy. :) However, I am questioning whether or not I can keep it. My duties are primarily checking in books and shelving them. During this process I have come across several books/dvds that are sexually explicit, satanl/occult themed, anti-God/Christianity, and graphic horror. I feel horrible about putting these out for people to check out, but I really need this job. We are uber-tight on finances and my psychiatrist and therapist want me to work part time due to my mental illness. I do not have a degree, nor much work experience, so there are very little employment opportunities for me. So, is it morally acceptable for me to keep this job, knowing that it will mean that I have to continue distributing these sinful materials? Thanks for your imput. God bless!


I can't imagine a Catholic not being able to work at a library. I would imagine they also have books on saints, on Catholicism, Bibles etc. Libraries have a vast assortment of materials -its kind of the nature of public libraries. I would hope some of these materials would at least not be available to children though.


You are not "distibuting" these materials. You are not the librarian. You do not make the decisions about what to carry in the library. If you did not work there, people would still be able to obtain these materials. You are not material to the process, similar to a clerk that works in a store that sells a variety of items including condoms.

You might ask the librarian if someone else could shelve materials you find offensive, but if you are it then go ahead.


A librarian at the Vatican would have probably put numerous non-Catholic and anti-Catholic books on the shelves :)


Maybe you could shelve the objectionable items facing backwards. ;) :whistle:


You could also get 30-40 people together to check out “all” of the offensive materials 7 days a week, and keep rotating them so that they remain out of circulation…


It is definitely ok for you to continue working there! :thumbsup: Just as it would be ok for you to work at a bookstore.

I really think that you working there is going to be good for you too. :slight_smile:



[quote="streetpreacher, post:6, topic:218198"]
You could also get 30-40 people together to check out "all" of the offensive materials 7 days a week, and keep rotating them so that they remain out of circulation.....


You realize, of course, that one of the ways librarians decide what to purchase is to meet the demand. If all the books on a topic are checked out there is clearly a need to purchase more books in that area because they're so popular. On the other hand, we don't need more books like those ones that have an inch of dust on them.


The quota of people in the continuous loop can increase right along side of this. They still are obligated to cover a broad range of criteria.


[quote="prolifewife, post:1, topic:218198"]
I have come across several books/dvds that are sexually explicit, satanl/occult themed, anti-God/Christianity, and graphic horror.


It would be silly for a Christian to never read anything contrary to their own beliefs. You don't get to play mother to everyone who comes into your library by deciding what they should and shouldn't read. And I don't think that working at a library can be construed as supporting the entire contents of every book there, anymore that someone who buys a mutual fund ought to be held morally culpable for every action of every company contained in the mutual fund.


If you tried to find a job that had no objectionable aspects in it, you’d never get a job. Every job you take is going to expose you to this sinful world, because WE ARE IN IT! Whether it’s a co-worker who is a Wiccan, a supervisor who is openly gay, or books that explain demonism, it’s gonna happen in any job.

How about every time you handle one of these books, you say a prayer for the next person who reads it to be thoroughly convicted by the Holy Spirit?

Just a thought.



Your job sounds wonderful, PLW!! (Minus the things that make you uncomfortable, of course.)

I used to work for a company that offered printing services. If I ever felt uncomfortable making copies of something or processing an order, I was allowed to decline the job. Someone else would do it. I only ever declined one job, and it was Nazi/White Supremacist propaganda (the customer was actually nice enough to ask me, first, before showing me what it was, and I declined). My managers were a little surprised that I copied an inventory list for an adult shop one time, but I was like, “It didn’t have pictures, it didn’t even have descriptions, just a bunch of numbers under very general categories, like ‘Clothing.’ If the name of the business hadn’t been on the cover, I never would’ve known what it was, anyway.”

I think you’re okay. :smiley:


My only added input is that probably the majority of people you ask would acknowledge some aspect of their job making them uncomfortable - be it what they do, who they work for, some things that the company does. If people would all walkaway from those scenarios there would be many unemployed people. That said, its not healthy to be doing something that just goes against your core values. I think if you can recognize that aside from the material you find objectionable, that there is even greater good that comes from a library making books and information available to people, and if you generally believe in free speech and the good that comes from that...perhaps you can come to terms with this and continue to work there without too much conflict.


I see no problem with it. Just shelve the material and move on.

My job as a relay operator has me occasionally relaying conversations that I'm not particularly comfortable with, and my job also requires me to use appropriate voice inflection for all text typed by a customer, whether I like what they're typing or not. (Relay is a service for people who are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled.) While a large part of my job involves relaying calls for deaf people who are contacting businesses of all sorts (making a doctor's appointment, calling the cable company, calling to place an order for just about everything under the sun for which one can place an order over the phone) or family/friends chatting, there are the cringe-worthy calls where I'm speaking language most foul (because that's what the party typed and I must read it) or the ones where I'm quite certain that they're arranging the purchase of illegal drugs (and that can't be reported to the police unless the police were to tap that wire independently of relay).

While I might wish that those calls don't drop into my station, it doesn't make it a moral problem for me to keep my job (and you might say that it is a moral good that I am doing this job); I see the OP's library job to be morally like my own job.


I worked at a discount bookstore not too long ago and I had this same issue with tons of occult/new age books, erotica novels and homosexual parenting books...along with some questionable religious books and other such things.

I asked about a priest about this and essentially...if you have no say in what books or products are sold, then you are not really responsible. However, look for another job if possible.

I still felt uncomfortable and left the job. Thankfully, I just got a new job working in the kitchen at a Catholic elderly home. Can't find much objectionable stuff there. While working at the book store, I did my best to present the Catholic books in prominent position in the religious section.

If you can avoid putting these books away, by means do so. Or, if you feel these books could be harmful for someone else putting them so yourself and just say some prayers.

One thing, never assume someone checking these books are checking them out for the wrong reasons.

I felt so uncomfortable having to point a customer to some new age dream interpretation book...and I am quite scrupulous, so just imagine how difficult it was for me.

Pray and trust in God. This is advice I need to truly follow.


The vatican actually has a large amount of pagan material in its library. They preserved plenty of books from the Roman Empire simply to preserve the information, and as long as someone is scholar who they feel will be responsible enough to treat an ancient text with respect they will allow them to study that text.


Keep the job - who knows - maybe your presence can be that “gut-check” some teenager from Church has before checking out something they know they shouldn’t be.


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