September 22, 2018

Iowa: “Drive to Ban Library Books With LGBTQ Content Erupts In Orange City”

UPDATED POST March 21, 2018 Orange City Library Considers New Book Classification System After Outcry Over LGBTQ Materials (via Sioux City Journal)

Amid a call from some community members to segregate library materials containing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning — or LBGTQ — themes, the Orange City Public Library’s Board of Trustees plans to experiment with a new way of classifying books.

The new method, which is used in some other Iowa libraries, would group books by subjects and subcategories rather than solely in alphabetical order by author’s name.

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Amid a call from some community members to segregate library materials containing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning — or LBGTQ — themes, the Orange City Public Library’s Board of Trustees plans to experiment with a new way of classifying books.

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The proposed grouping system would follow the Book Industry Standards and Communications, or BISAC, subject headings outlined by the Book Industry Study Group.

Read the Complete Article


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From the Des Moines Register:

More than 300 people have signed a petition to either ban or label and group materials related to homosexual and transgender content in the Orange City Public Library.

Rev. Sacha Walicord of Grace Reformed Presbyterian Church rose before an overflow crowd of more than 100 at the Orange City Public Library Board of Trustees meeting Tuesday and said that LBGTQ books and other library content are “pushing an agenda” that is counter to those in the faith community.

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The controversy erupted in one of Iowa’s most conservative Republican counties in northwest Iowa after somebody filed a statement of concern to the library about a book on its shelves that featured LGBTQ content. Library director Amanda Vazquez said the complaint was rescinded after the person discovered it had kindled a firestorm.
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The meeting Tuesday was held to gather public comment and no action was taken. The library board will consider public input and review its collection development policies, said board president Jared Weber. The board can decide to weed out books in the collection, which is picked by the library director and her staff.

Read the Complete Article, View Complete Petition Flyer (approx. 1000 words)

See Also: Petition Asks Orange City, IA Public Library to Segregate LGBTQ Books (via The Sioux City Journal)

The board took no action Tuesday but plans to have its policy committee review the public input and compare its current collection development policy to other libraries to see if changes are warranted.

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The board next month will also take up an individual challenge brought against library’s inclusion of the children’s book “Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” which features a boy whose classmates don’t understand why he enjoys wearing a dress. That challenge was not discussed Tuesday.

The original petition calling for the new measures was started by Terry Chi, an assistant professor of psychology at Northwestern College, and gathered more than 340 signatures in nine days.

Chi’s petition calls for the library to label and separate the materials dealing primarily with LGBTQ issues, provide a content rating service to help patrons make informed decisions and to halt new acquisition of such materials until a public discussion can be held.

Gary Price 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.

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