ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene residents and parents had their chance Monday to voice concerns over reading materials offered at the Abilene Public Library.
Among the books brought to the spotlight were This Day in June and the Bride was a Boy– along with several other reads of a common theme: LGBTQ+ subject matters.
“We’re not trying to change the world, but we feel like we’re responsible for what goes into our children and grandchildren’s minds,” said Abilene resident, Joan Batson.
Batson told KTAB/KRBC she’s concerned for the young minds in the community who might wander to the Abilene Public Library and find literature which may not be age-appropriate.
“As a grandparent I have a responsibility,” Batson said. “If I take my grandchildren to the library, I’m responsible for what books they check out.”
Batson said her 13-year-old granddaughter, Remie, frequently takes trips to the library.
“I have picked up a few things and looked at the cover and been like, ‘oh, this is not something anyone should just pick up, who has no idea what’s going on or something,'” Batson explained.
She was confused by what she found and wanted to express her concern to Abilene City Council. While Remie presented perspective from the younger generation, other local adults had similar feelings.
“There’s just such a push of radicals to sexualize everything in our public schools and our public arena,” resident Alice Brown said.
Just like Batson and several others, Brown addressed the topic at the meeting. City Council and the Abilene Public Library heard their complaints and Julee Hatton, Director of Library Services for the City of Abilene, said they are directing concerned townspeople towards possible change.
“We have a procedure in place at the library when people in the community have questions or want us to formally reconsider owning a library book or library material,” Hatton advised.
The library said it will provide a form on its website, available to the public, for staff to evaluate.
The procedure for re-considering library materials at the Abilene Public Library will be addressed at the next Abilene City Council meeting. That meeting will be held Thursday, June 9 at 8:30 a.m., in the Meeting Room of the South Branch Library.