NATIONAL NEWS

Alabama Public Library Service to create list of controversial books

Sep 14, 2023, 4:03 PM

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Public Library Service has voted to create a list of books that parents might consider inappropriate for children and teenagers.

The list will be compiled from submissions from the public and posted to the Library Service website and distributed to libraries, news outlets reported.

The proposal, approved Wednesday, was sponsored by Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl, who is a member of the library board. Wahl told The Associated Press that the list is meant to be a resource for librarians and parents. He said it will be up to local libraries to decide what books they stock and where they are placed.

Wahl said they do no not believe they have the authority to dictate to local libraries on book selection. The board is seeking an opinion from the Alabama attorney general’s office on the scope of their authority.

“Since the beginning of time, parents have protected children from inappropriate material,” Wahl said.

Lauren Boone with Read Freely Alabama told WSFA that the proposal is about censorship, not protecting children.

“It sounds so pretty when you say it’s protecting the children when really, that’s what it is being marketed as. But underneath it’s anti-LGBTQ+,” Boone said.

Public libraries have emerged as the latest culture war flashpoint, with some conservative groups putting nationwide pressure on librarians to pull books with LGBTQ material and other content the groups consider inappropriate for children. Lawmakers in several Republican-led states have pushed for state libraries to withdraw from the American Library Association.

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Alabama Public Library Service to create list of controversial books