We don’t often think of banned book issues when considering talking book and braille library services, but yesterday, the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped shared this fascinating story upon the passing of Hugh Hefner:
“Hugh Hefner’s death on Wednesday at age 91 brings to mind ‘Playboy’ magazine’s role in the history of NLS. In the early 1980s, various objections were raised about ‘Playboy’ being offered as part of the NLS magazine program. In response, the House and the Senate decided to end taxpayer funding for the braille edition of the magazine. The American Council of the Blind, the American Library Association, the Blinded Veterans Association, and others filed suit, and on August 28, …1986, a federal judge ruled that withholding funds for ‘Playboy’ violated the First Amendment. NLS continues to offer braille and audio editions of ‘Playboy.’ And, just to be clear: they only include the articles.”
In the NLS collection, “The Playboy Interview (DB17158)” and “The Playboy Interview II (DB21612)” include more than fifty of the magazine’s signature Q&As with famous personalities, including politicians, actors, musicians, artists, and authors. Also “Playboy Stories: The Best of Forty Years of Short Fiction (DB42199)” collects some of the magazine’s award-winning fiction.