The board of a Kansas public library is being forced to consider a request that books featuring transgender characters be moved out of the children’s section of the library.
Local resident Marci Laffen made the written request to the library asking that the books George, Lily and Dunkin and I am Jazz be moved to either the adult of young adult section of the library citing “sexual content” in her request. In addition, Laffen suggested books with themes of bullying, rebelling against police and refusing to take medications are the reasons the books do not have a place in the child’s section of the Andover Public Library in Kansas.
Board members will meet in mid-February to decide where the books are shelved due to the complaint. The last meeting held to discuss the issue was attended by more than fifty people.
Blake Cooper, a library board members told the Associated Press last week that Laffen’s request characterised the works mentioned as a “sexual revolution agenda” and the “indoctrination of children”
As a result of the complaint, I Am Jazz, a picture book biography about a transgender child has been moved to the children’s nonfiction section of the library. The meeting in February should decide what will happen to the other books mentioned.
The request has led to discussions about a library’s role in sex education and a child’s right to read about topics that may involved complex subjects. While I Am Jazz has been moved to nonfiction, it joins many other children’s nonfiction books that deal with difficult topics, it’s now shelved among books about the revolutionary war, Martin Luther King and other serious topics, none of which have been cause for complaint.
What are your thoughts on this decision? We close today with this quote from Jo Godwin.
‘A truly great library contains something in it to offend everyone.’ ~ Jo Godwin