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Libraries to add R-rated DVDs to collections

Pending the outcome of a community consultation, Clarence Valley Council (CVC) will update its Clarence Regional Library Collection Development Policy to include R18+ rated DVDs.

The report to the June 23 CVC meeting advised councillors that the DVDs would “be added to the collection on a case-by-case basis”.

The proposed change to the policy, which currently rules out the inclusion of any R-rated titles, was prompted by people making requests or enquiries at CVC’s various libraries.

“Since the last review of the policy, a number of critically acclaimed and popular TV series and films have been rated R18+ by the Australian Classification Board, precluding their inclusion in the Clarence Regional Library Collection,” regional librarian Kathryn Breward wrote in the report to council.

“They include the majority of the Game of Thrones series, the TV series Versailles, Walking Dead and American Gods.

“There are also a number of critically acclaimed films including Taxi Driver, Mad Max and Wolf Creek that are R18+.

“The Regional Library has had 11 requests for Purchase for Game of Thrones DVDs in the last six years and countless enquiries.”

“There have also been requests for Versailles, The Walking Dead and Fortitude.”

Ms Breward wrote that “there is not an alternative lending source for these items in Maclean, Yamba, Iluka, Urunga or Dorrigo”, whereas “Grafton and Bellingen currently each have a DVD rental store”.

If the policy is updated as proposed, “R-rated DVDs will only be able to be borrowed at a service desk; and borrowers who look under 25 will be asked to prove that they are 18 or over”.

Councillors unanimously decided that “consideration will be given to critically acclaimed or award winning films and TV series”.

The draft policy update will also include the removal of the libraries’ Issues in Society collection because “use of these publications has declined over the last two years as a result of students moving to online resources”.

Similarly, Australian Bureau of Statistics publications will be removed, too, because ABS reports “are no longer produced in hard copy’ and instead are released online.

The council will exhibit the draft policy changes for 28 days.

If there are no submissions that conflict with the intent of the policy update, it be adopted without further consideration by councillors.