It infuriates me that the book banning thing has been insane across the States. And it’a now reached my library where most people in my town are conservatives and push bibles in your face to convert you…
A bit of backstory—about a month or so ago, there was a Pride parade at our park. Not a lot of people came, but it was a lot busier than I thought was gonna be. It actually my very first Pride event that I’ve ever went to. There was family-friendly drag queens, some speakers, and music, along with a bunch of various vendors. The library was asked to be a sponsor, and so, our head outreach person paid 25 dollars for a spot to be out there. It was her and me, and we grabbed a bunch of LGBT books that ranged from toddlers to adult fiction, to show that we aren’t only an ally, but we have materials for LGBT readers.
Some of the books, as said before, were children’s books… and these were things like the Pronoun Book, Bye Bye Binary, and a few others.
Well, there was a guy at the parade who kept walking around, taking photos of people and things, and was very suspicious. Multiple people actually had concerns (my colleague even checked the linings of his pockets to make sure he didn’t have a weapon) and the security teams followed him around. Toward the end of the night, he came up to our booth and started taking photos of the books and each page and then asked questions like, “So the library chose to be here?”
We found out, eventually, he was from a church in town and was like a reporter or something from them. And the next day, he did a hate post on Facebook and tagged not only the library but multiple other businesses and was basically like, “These places should be ashamed of themselves for showing porn and strippers to kids, and the library should be defunded.”
The library had a board meeting to talk about said books in the post and said they were gonna keep them in, because we’re a non-censoring library.
But it didn’t end there.
For the last few weeks, we’ve had a ton of people complain and shove the Bible in our faces about how porn shouldn’t be in the kids section… when it actually isn’t because there are no nude photos or depictions of sex made for kids. They just call it porn to describe the LGBT community.
So then there was a bunch of misinformation going around, including an addition of multiple teen books about sex (temptations, abuse, hormones, etc.) that were described as “books in the children’s section” when it’s clearly in the teen section. I even had a call from a guy the other day who was asking about information on the situation, and he’s like, “Yeah, there’s talk about pornography in kids books and the strippers that kids saw at park…”
Like sir, I have the pictures and videos to PROVE they weren’t strippers. I have seen your child wear less clothing than this at the pool. So…
And pornography? Please. A book about learning pronouns or an ABC book is not porn. I mean, have you read the Bible? There is lots of violence and rape and sin in that book that is enough traumatizing for adults… and you still give that book to kids… *dramatic eyelash blinking
Because of all this, there was a board meeting today to discuss about banning these books… and boy, it seemed insane. I didn’t participate, but there was a bunch of people (the room holds 150, and there was like close to 200). There was a police officer who attended, and who told people to quiet down or they’d get kicked out (because there were quite a few people who were yelling). There was also a lady who brought a blow horn and said blew it at the end of the meeting and said, “At the end of the day, Jesus has the last say.” According to my supervisor who attended, it seemed half and half…
We’re hoping things end up okay because this isn’t only personal to us as a library, but it’s personal in a way that makes you feel like you aren’t actually welcomed or that there is no freedom anymore.
We’re afraid because it’s a scary time, as people have lost their jobs over this. Our mayor isn’t happy about the situation, and not only is he on the board but he also is very conservative and is for the ban. But I’m hoping that the most people on our board is for keeping the books, like the chair of the board who is a librarian at the high school (and was actually at the Pride event).
What’s also even more infuriating is that all of these people who are for the ban keep saying that the writers of these books and the readers of them are pedos when our town is filled with actual sex offenders (most of whom are straight men) who are not in jail, and one of the guys who actually said this got married to a 15 year old when he was in his late 20s (my supervisor actually knew him).