I read this CNN article about a group in Wisconsin who has been fighting with the West Bend Community Memorial Library over the group’s desire to have a long list of YA books moved to the adult section of the library. Their challenge failed, but there’s a lawsuit pending.
The news article has the predictable all-over-the-place approach to the issue but it seems that this is one of those fights that has everything including outraged parents, a beleaguered library board whose members don’t have their terms renewed, assertion of First Amendment rights, threats of book burning, and a lot of homophobic-sounding nastiness. The article, though on the web, also doesn’t seem to understand the usefulness of hyperlinks to telling a story that is playing out on the web so I have added them here
- the library’s materials selection policy (pdf) which appears to have been updated just a few weeks ago
- West Bend Citizens for Safe Libraries
- blog post “there’s no such thing as a ‘safe library’” from the National Coalition Against Censorship’s blog
- Wissup blog with lots of commentary about the library
- West Bend Parents for Free Speech blog (interview with Maria Hanrahan, the blog’s founder)
- City of West Bend’s website
- Information from American Libraries about the lawsuit against the city of West Bend for the books in the library being, among other things “explicitly vulgar, racial, and anti-Christian” The plaintiffs want the book Baby Be-Bop to be burned or similarly destroyed.
I really wish the library or the city had more accessible public statements about this whole ongoing mess.