The Wake County (NC) Public Library System wrote to me today to tell me that they have refused to purchase any copies of the latest book by the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. — Dr. Alveda King’s book King Rules: Ten Truths for You, Your Family, and Our Nation to Prosper. I have to say I was simultaneously disappointed and dumbstruck.
Based on what criteria, you may well ask, did they decide not to buy a single copy? In the email I received, they suggested Dr. King’s book failed on criteria such as “ongoing rather than short-term interest, positive/favorable professional reviews, existing need, qualifications of author, appropriateness for a public library with a general audience.” Seriously?
What, one wonders, did they find deficient or objectionable — the author or her book?
Dr. King is described as a “Guardian of the King Family Legacy.” She is a Christian Minister, “a grateful mother and grandmother, a former college professor, author, mentor, stage and screen actress, Georgia State Legislator and presidential appointee.” She runs Alveda King Ministries, and she “devotes her God-given gifts and talents of writing, singing, song writing, producing and directing media projects and other gifts to glorify God in the earth.”
Like Dr. King herself, the book is courageous and insightful, described by Dr. Ben Carson as a volume that “places renewed emphasis on the importance of the family as a principal source of values, and as a fortress against societal erosion. This is a refreshing look at the forces that led to the greatness of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that can lead to success in our lives.”
So what did the Library buy in 2014 in place of King’s Rules? Since the beginning of the year, the Library System has added multiple copies of the following books to its shelves — which they apparently found to be of more ongoing interest, with more favorable professional reviews, written by a more qualified author, and meeting more of a need than Dr. King and her book:
- Get the Scoop on Animal Puke! : From Zombie Ants to Vampire Bats, 251 Cool Facts About Vomit, Regurgitation, & More! (17 copies)
- Hades Speaks! : A Guide to the Underworld by the Greek God of the Dead (17 copies)
- Bathtime Buddies: 20 Crocheted Animals from the Sea (13 copies)
- The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (13 copies)
- Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (13 copies)
- Glitterville’s Handmade Christmas: A Glittered Guide for Whimsical Crafting! (13 copies)
The video trailer for the book is below. My suggestion about King Rules? Read it joyfully, prayerfully learn from it, and be inspired by it — despite the Wake County Library System’s failure to help you do so.