You are kiddingYesterday at the local British Library, I chanced upon a Sandman novel by Neil Gaiman. I have never read one and had heard about it from Sudarshan, so I picked it up. At the issue counter, however, I was informed that it was a "junior member" book and being on a Senior Membership, I couldn't borrow it.
The British Library here have always done very silly things like this. For instance, common sense would dictate that no terrorist outfit worth its ammo would bother to attack a library in Pune - yet they continue have a couple of pretty useless bomb detectors. Coming back to the point in question, they have separate memberships for Junior, Senior and Family categories (the last one includes both and hence is costlier). The sensible thing to do would be to grade memberships in terms of the number of items (books, CDs, DVDs) you're allowed to borrow. For who is going to decide what is a children's book and what's adult? Why shouldn't I be allowed to read Noddy and why not let a kid discover P.G.Wodehouse?
In the Sandman instance, from what I saw while glancing through the contents, the novel was quite "graphic" and anyone who classifies it as children's lit just based on the fact that it is visually-oriented is nuts. They should show them some of the Manga from Japan. Eventually some "junior" member is going to borrow that book and receive quite an education. Until his/her parents get it, for they're going to have a fit.