January 21, 2022

Minnesota: Complaints by Parents Cause Library Visit By Author Rainbow Rowell To Be Canceled, Book Also Challenged

From a Column by Omaha World Herald Columnist, Erin Grace: 

Rainbow Rowell should be in the Minneapolis area today, talking about her best-selling, award-winning, highly acclaimed novel for teens, “Eleanor & Park.”

She should be standing in a public library in Anoka County reading from her 324-page novel, her second, which came out in February.


Rowell is not in Minnesota today because the Anoka County Library pulled its invite. And because the Anoka-Hennepin district, Minnesota’s largest public school system, declined to pick up the speaker’s fee the library had offered. And because neither responded to Rowell’s offer to come for free, which she would have done all along.

Instead, the two public entities bowed to the complaints, generated by a small but vocal group of people called the Parents Action League, which got spooked by the F-word and its various iterations that appear in “Eleanor & Park.”

Book Also Challenged

The Parents Action League reviewers filed a formal challenge for the school district to pull its 70 copies of “Eleanor & Park” from school library shelves. The group also called for the librarians who chose “Eleanor & Park” for the district’s voluntary summer reading program to be punished.

Read the Complete Column by Erin Grace

See Also: Anoka Library Board Minutes (September 16, 2013)
Here’s where we learn that the program will not be held.

See Also: Anoka County Library Blurb About Book from “Great Reads–Teen Romance” List

Tip and Thanks: Matt R. Weaver

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.