Some say there is still work to be done after the library keeps controversial books | Premium

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The Victoria Public Library Advisory Board voted on Wednesday to keep 21 disputed books in the library’s collection, but some residents have suggested that this is not the end of their efforts to have the “relevant” books removed from the library. library.

“The 21 books are just a tiny bit that we got to review, but there are lots and lots of other books like (‘Talking About It: A Teenager’s Guide to Sex, Relationships, and Life. ‘human being’) that we haven’t even approached, ”Bonnie Cantrell told the board on Wednesday. “The whole section needs to be looked at. “

However, residents who have asked the advisory board to reconsider which books are allowed in the library do not seem to fully agree on what type of material they find of concern that should be removed from the library.

Cantrell said she was not surprised by the board’s decision on Wednesday in an interview on Friday. She said she didn’t think all of the books considered Wednesday were inappropriate or should be deleted.

“We are really standing up for children and not against the LGBTQ community,” she said. “I feel like the mistake we made was to choose really light books, when there are much worse ones in this section.”

Two of the books she mentioned as examples were “Let’s Talk About It,” a teenage sex education book in graphic novel form, and “Flayed Corpse and Other Stories,” a comic book anthology by horror. Both were mentioned at the December meeting, and “Let’s Talk” was also mentioned at a meeting in November. No formal request for re-evaluation has been submitted to the library for any of the books.

Cantrell said she was not against having books in the children’s section that depict LGBTQ characters and their relationships as long as there are no graphic sexual images.

“I am disappointed that LGBTQ people feel so hated and that we are trying to destroy them,” she said.

But not everyone seems to share their tolerance for LGBTQ books. Many of the disputed books were picture books about LGBTQ characters that did not contain any graphic sexual images or descriptions.

In a reassessment request form, one woman specifically asked the board that “LGBTQ books or any other type of sexualized book be removed” from the library.

Others wrote in their forms that they were upset with how some of these books “get kids to accept the gay way of life”, saying it could “cause a lot of confusion, anger and strained relationships. in a Christian home ”. Another said he feared the books would promote “nonconformity at the most basic level” or “lead teens down a path that takes away any kind of morality.”

In her letter to the board, Lauren Flake expressed concern that these books may lead children to accept more of LGBTQ people and relationships later in life.

“It puts pressure on conservative families. I have seen several friends and family members go through the agony of their children choosing lifestyles different from those in which they were raised, ”she wrote.

Gay Patek, the resident and grandmother who first brought people together to review books and submit requests for re-evaluation, began efforts over the summer to have books removed from the library after discovering two picture books in the juvenile section that told the story of a transgender child. . She said she compiled a list of around 200 books relating to books.

She would not share this list with The Victoria Advocate and could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Since residents appealed the library director’s decision in September, no new citizen requests to re-evaluate library materials have been submitted. Residents initially submitted nearly 43 requests for reassessment over the summer, all of which were denied by the library director. The decisions regarding the 21 books examined on Wednesday are the only ones to have been appealed to date.

“I’m not sure what is expected, if anything, from this day forward,” Cantrell said, when asked if she was aware of the intention to submit further reassessment requests. “I really don’t know what the future holds for them, but at least the community is sensitized … and at least people will be more aware when they come in with their children to be very careful and vigilant, and for that I ‘I am grateful.

This story was updated on December 20, 2021 to correct the number of disputed books in the Victoria Public Library system.

Cat writes about the city and county government of Victoria. Questions, advice or ideas? Let me know cdelaura@vicad.com or (361) 580-6511

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