LGBTQ children’s books at Sanibel library are staying on the shelves

Published: August 26, 2022 6:10 PM EDT
Updated: August 28, 2022 11:53 AM EDT

LGBTQ children’s books that stirred up controversy in a library are staying on the shelves at Sanibel library.

The Board of the Sanibel Public Library said it’s the parent’s job to decide what their kids are allowed to read.

Last month a group wanted these books out of the children’s section because they mention topics like gender identity.

The board didn’t hear anything, it felt demanded a change in its policy.

The policy said in part, “The mission of the Sanibel Public Library is to provide a variety of reading, listening, and viewing materials.”

When it comes to kids, parents should be their guide.

Margaret Mohundro, Executive Director at Sanibel Public Library district, said, “We don’t serve as a censor. The responsibility of library materials used by minors rests with their parents and guardians. And we don’t restrict materials based on the possibility that they may be looked at or viewed or read by a child, and the parent doesn’t think that’s appropriate. That’s the parents’ job.”

After all the packed meetings, the Sanibel Public Library decided to make no changes to the book offerings in the children’s youth section.

“The policy as it is, the board decided it has strength, and it stands as it is. They didn’t vote on a new policy,” Mohundro said.

Mohundro said she fully supports the board’s decision.

“As a public entity, our role is, as librarians, is to provide open access to information, all viewpoints, all types of information that reflect the interests of the public,” Mohundro said.

Their decision won’t sit well with some parents who made it clear last month that they wanted action.

One concerned parent said, “she’s 8 years old. She knows how to read, and she loves exploring, but there are certain topics that I don’t want brought up yet.”

Any books in review or challenged will remain on the shelves until the challenge is complete.

Anyone who has questions or concerns about a book or wants a book removed can fill out a reconsideration form.