The Crook County Library Board of Trustees held a meeting Thursday night with a focus on books with LGBTQ content in the children’s section. Ultimately, they decided to not make any changes.
Due to growing public pushback, the library board offered two proposals. One was to create a special section for this material. The other was to not make any changes at all.
The board brought in a number of experts to speak on the topic.
“If the conditions are not faced by the end of the period, that library will lose legal public library status with the State of Oregon,” said Buzzy Nielson with the State Library of Oregon.
“Forcing the labeling and creating a separate collection for LGBTQ+ materials would jeopardize and put into question our continued partnership with the Crook County Library,” said Lynne Mlldenstein with the Deschutes County Library.
The public then got its chance to weigh in. Here are some of the comments on both sides of the issue.
“The LGBTQIA+ community did not ask for this separate section. These books are children’s books and they belong with the other books.”
“LGBTQ issues are inherently sexual. It should not be taught to kids who don’t have any ability and do not have any maturity to talk about sexual issues.”
“Supporting a ban, a restriction of books takes you down a path of inequality and not representing all in our community.”
“Having them in a category makes them easier to find for the people who are looking for them. Easier to avoid for people who want to.”
One board member also asked for a show of hands from the dozens of people were in attendance whether they wanted to keep things as they are. It appeared a majority raised their hand in approval, although many did not.
The board voted 4-1 to not make any changes.