Sports Illustrated Refuses To Send Swimsuit Issue To Libraries

Why is Sports Illustrated refusing to send a copy of the swimsuit issue to libraries? Is it because they want people to buy it off the shelves? Robyn writes:

I am a librarian at the University of Dallas. We have not received our issue of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition even though we have an active subscription. The serials discussion list I am on has been abuzz on this topic. It turns out no libraries have received their issues. The publisher has decided not to send it to any institutions. Librarians who call in to complain are being offered an subscription extension of two issues. That will not satisfy patrons who are looking for the swimsuit edition. They’ll just have to go buy it on the newsstand (surely that’s not the publisher’s intent!)

It should be up to the institution to decide whether or not they choose to make the issue available to patrons. The publisher should send the issues we’ve paid for. If we throw them in the trash, that’s our prerogative.

Who knew librarians were so down with the swimsuit issue? That’s very cool, somehow.

Anyway, this is shady behavior by Time, the publisher of Sports Illustrated. Boo. If libraries want to provide the swimsuit issue then that’s their business.—MEGHANN MARCO

Message Board Full Of Pissed Off Librarians

Sports Illustrated Withholds Swimsuit Issue from Libraries, Schools [Library Journal]


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  1. Falconfire says:

    I have a feeling this has more to do with fear that they might get shit from the Government for allowing it to be in a public library.

    Playboys been being weird with library’s as well since a few Republican think tanks went after people being allowed access to it in Public Library’s calling it access to porn.

  2. SexCpotatoes says:

    Actually, I think the government would be more against Playboy because of the positively SCATHING article contained in the current issue detailng how the military has been keeping PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) diagnoses from troops who really need them. In one case it ended with a soldier stabbing one of his fellow platoon-mates 32 times, after an EVAC order was given by an army shrink, and subsequently ignored, the guy was sent on leave back in the states, and had maybe a 3 minute talk with a different shrink on the phone.

  3. mopar_man says:

    Wow. Libraries not being able to carry SWIMSUIT issues and tools companies (Mac & Snap-On come to mind) not making girlie calendars anymore. I guess the feminazis are winning.

  4. Rajio says:

    If they wanted to stop people mooching off libraries why would they just do this with the swimsuit issue? It doesn’t add up.

  5. phrygian says:

    The librarians I know — and I know a fair number — are all about the free flow of ideas. Hence, why so many librarians stood up again putting filtering software on public library computers and why so many stand up against book bans. (My local library celebrates Banned Book Week by promoting often-banned works.) SI should definitely be sending all the issues the libraries pay for and not be making judgment calls on what’s appropriate for them.

    I’m more surprised that a UD librarian is complaining about missing the swimsuit edition. It’s a very conservative Catholic university. (–Not that the religiously devout can’t appreciate an attractive model in a swimsuit.)

  6. Optimistic Prime says:

    It might have more to do with the sticky factor.

  7. detrop says:

    @phrygian ha ha my thoughts exactly, although in my time at UD there were a couple of edgier librarians about.

  8. clementine says:

    We received our copy at the University of North Texas. It was processed and added to the collection today.

  9. mediahohoho says:

    Historically (since I was a teenager spending way too much time with this annual issue), SI has gotten a ton of crap from librarians who write letters about how they thought this was a nice sports publication but instead they get this smut and …. well, you get the idea.

    Probably, just sick of getting all those copies returned, especially from school librarians. You know, the folks who got all bent out of shape over use of the word “scrotum” in an award-winning children’s book.

    As much as I’d like to agree wih phrygian about librarians encouraging the free flow of ideas, etc., they seem to have caught the “nanny state” who’ll-protect-the-children bug.

  10. anotheranon says:

    If I were Time, and I didn’t want libraries to have the swimsuit edition (presumably to keep library participation from cutting into magazine sales), I would refuse to sell standard subscriptions to libraries. I would instead offer a cheaper subscription that explicitly excluded the swimsuit edition. While I’m sure this would make libraries and their users unhappy, it at least wouldn’t look like theft, which this does.

  11. B says:

    @mediahohoho: It’s my understanding that SI uses those letters from angry librarians and other subscribers to make the swimsuit issue seem more risque than it really is.

  12. byondhelp says:

    Phrygian’s right – as a whole librarians are the most anti-censorship group of people I’ve ever known, so SI or any other publisher telling them what they can or cannot distribute to their patrons would probably get, well, exactly this kind of reaction.

  13. RokMartian says:

    I think the last magazine I’d want to pick up in a library is the swimsuit issue. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the swimsuit issue is the fastest stolen item at libraries, anyway.

    Good article here:

  14. AcilletaM says:

    I think this is a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t for SI.

  15. Baylen says:

    Probably afraid of a Carl Monday exposé.

  16. homerjay says:

    Hmmm…. Robyn’s making a pretty big deal about not getting her issue of nearly naked chick. Something you want to tell us there, Robyn???

    Neah… Just kidding… We tease the ones we love. Really, you can have my copy if you want it. I’m, uhhh, done with it.

  17. Phil Mickelsons Man Tits says:

    Will you marry me, Snorg girl?

  18. mediahohoho says:

    @B: That wouldn’t surprise me. It seems like that would have been a big yawn years ago.

    And then I remember how apoplectic people get over things like Janet Jackson’s 3-milisecond nip slip.

    Personally, I think the mail carriers are stealing it. Too dang heavy to carry anyway.

  19. Dread says:

    SI doesn’t want people to see the issue because it’s the biggest selling issue by far.

    SI could give a rat’s ass about whether it gets stolen or not.

  20. pthomas745 says:

    The Swimsuit Issue jumped the shark years ago, just like jump the shark did.

  21. Librarian_X says:

    To quote Spider Robinson (The Callahan Touch. Ace, 1993, p.64)

    “…one of the secret masters of the world: a librarian. They control information. Don’t ever piss one off.”

  22. sooze says:

    …and a single tear rolls down Mike Cooper’s cheek.

  23. ogradybt says:

    I worked in the serials department of my college library and this was always a popular thing to steal. My supervisor started putting those magnetic alarm stickers inside the mag. I also frequently found it in the bathroom.

    Nothing sucks more than thinking you have a cool job and then realizing people are masturbating on your turf.

  24. Brie says:


    >As much as I’d like to agree wih phrygian about librarians encouraging the free flow of ideas, etc., they seem to have caught the “nanny state” who’ll-protect-the-children bug.

    More like the “who’ll-protect-my-job” bug. Free-flowing ideas are awesome until it’s you who’s getting written up because you thought it was okay for patron X to look at material Y. (That’s the frustrated middle manager in me speaking.)

  25. yellojkt says:

    My work blocks all of because of the lingerie/swimwear pictures. So I have to get my sports scores from ESPN. Nice job sticking to the knitting.

  26. alicetheowl says:

    This Neil Gaiman entry has a pretty comprehensive letter about the pressures librarians are under by their communities, and it gives a pretty good perspective on the Higher Power of Lucky controversy.

    In short, neither librarians nor feminazis are to blame for library censorship in most communities. Look to the “we must protect the children!” crowd for answers.

  27. cdmunch says:

    They’re just trying to cut back on the number of people jacking off in public.

  28. brilliantmistake says:

    How nice it is to see this item on International Women’s Day.

  29. LuvJones says:

    It’s been said that the swimsuit issue is one of the largest selling issues. So it would make sense NOT to send it to libraries so people who want to see a perfectly airbrushed woman have to buy the issue

  30. John says:

    Back when I worked in a library, the swimsuit issue was always stolen the first day it was put out anyway.

  31. englishmajormoney says:

    @mopar_man: Yeah, that’s it. It’s that Time and tool companies are being infiltrated by militant feminists. Speak truth to power, man.

  32. itchy feet says:

    Tell you what: It’s not the librarians, people. Step into the way-back machine to 1985. Some yahoo parent in my school district (only one, I might add) objected to the SI SSE in the high school library.

    Said yahoo got the principal involved. Principal (another yahoo) kinda-sorta thought it might lead the boys astray and quietly asked the librarian to put it away.

    And promptly walked into a raging buzzsaw of righteous indignation from that 5’1,” 98-pound, blonde, pixie-cut wearing pit bull terrier of an Iowa farmgirl, Lutheran master’s of library science holder. The look on his face priceless – as if he’d been hacked to death by a butterfly.

    But it was only my Mom, God rest her soul.

    The mag stayed because, as my Mom said: “Well, honestly!”

  33. Americana says:

    “It’s that Time and tool companies are being infiltrated by militant feminists. Speak truth to power, man.”

    Don’t light anything next to the strawman.