Thursday, August 17, 2023

Oconee County Library Board To Consider Five Requests For Reshelving Of Books At Library In Watkinsville

***Decision Expected In October***

The Oconee County Library Board of Trustees, at its meeting in October, is expected to consider the requests of five citizens who have asked that the Oconee County Library in Watkinsville change the shelving of five different books the citizens say are inappropriate for children.

The five Requests for Reconsideration of Material currently are being reviewed by a committee of professional librarians of the Athens Regional Library System, of which the Oconee County and Bogart libraries are a part.

That review will be distributed to the Oconee County Intellectual Freedom Committee for review and a recommendation prior to the Oct. 9 Library Board meeting, according to Library Board Chair Mark Campbell.

Four of the five books considered objectionable deal with LGBTQ+ issues.

The fifth is focused on issues of consent.

Four of the five complaints are about books identified through online searches of the library, while the fifth book was “found at the library.”

First Complaint

Kara Smith on June 16 asked that a book she “found at the library” be removed from the “children’s section.”

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The book, If You’re A Kid Like Gavin: The True Story Of A Young Trans Activist, by Gavin Grimm and Kyle Lukoff, with illustrator J. Yang, “is about a complex issue and inappropriate for young kids,” Smith wrote in her request.

Smith says she wants to “Remove (the book) from the children’s section” and recommends as an alternative “a non-grooming book.”

Smith finds objectionable: “So a child is telling her parents ‘You’re wrong about my gender’” (page 8); “No, not every bathroom is for everyone” (page 11) and “Lie, she’s not a boy” (page 12).

The complaint is marked as received on July 13.

Second Book

Suzannah Heimel on July 11 asked that a book in the young adult section be moved to the adult section.

Heimel said she discovered the book through an online search of “gender, queer, etc.”

The book is Welcome To Consent: How To Say No, When To Say Yes, And How To Be The Boss Of Your Own Body (Welcome To Your Body) by Yumi Stynes and Dr. Melissa Kang.

“The material is inappropriate for JUV shelving, ages birth to 5th grade,” Heimel wrote in her complaint. “There is discussion of sex, masturbation, horniness, anal sex, penetrative sex, etc.,” she said.

Heimel listed 48 pages in the book she found objectionable.

Heimel had filed a Request for Reconsideration of Material in March, asking for a reshelving of Flamer, a graphic novel by Mike Curato, at the Oconee County Library.

At its meeting on July 10, the Library Board voted to move Flamer from the Young Adult section to the Adult section of the library.

Third Book

Rebecca Billings on July 15 asked that a book she found via an online search be moved from the Young Adult to the Adult section of the library.

The book that Billings identified is Welcome To St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure: A Graphic Novel, by Lewis Hancox.

“This book is inappropriate for the YA age group (11-18),” Billings wrote in explaining her concerns about the book. “It talks about puberty blockers, top surgery, binders, packers, etc.”

“It normalizes this without giving any bad side effects from these,” she continued. “Also graphic sex scenes.”

Billings lists 27 “Offensive pages.”

Fourth Book

Cyndy Hartman on July 17 asked that a book she discovered via an online search be moved from the young adult section to the adult section.

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The book is Beyond Magenta: Transgender And Nonbinary Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin.

“These are true stories about trans kids and their life stories,” Hartman wrote in explaining her concerns about the book. “They expose adult sexual interactions, pedophilia, drug abuse/use,” she continued.

“This is not appropriate for the middle schoolers in the YA age group,” Hartman wrote.

She listed 18 pages that she labeled as “objectionable.”

Fifth Book

Pat Daugherty on July 18 asked that a book be moved to the adult section.

The book is The ABC’s Of LGBT+: (Gender Identity Book For Teens, Teen & Young Adult LGBT Issues by Ashley Hardell.

Daugherty said she found the book via an online search.

“This book discusses/introduces 80+ genders to kids,” Daugherty wrote. “It is confusing + inappropriate for this age group,” she continued.

1 comment: said...

It does not serve society's good to hide information from people who need it. Have the book hiders read the books? To what do they object? Do they think young adults need no source of information about something that troubles them?