Canada: “Vancouver Librarians Caught in the Middle of the Culture War”
The Vancouver Public Library is not immune from the culture war.
According to a list for the period of January 2022 to June 2023, released under freedom of information law, library users filed 17 challenges to books and one CD.
After review, none was removed from the shelves.
“We see complaints on both sides of the political spectrum,” chief librarian and CEO Christina de Castell said in an interview. “People concerned about racism, concerned about antisemitism, and in older books in VPL’s collection. Then we see a little bit of vandalism happening of books that are promoting inclusion, and particularly around gender identity.”
It wasn’t just books. Displays about Pride Month and Indigenous History Month were vandalized or tampered. In August 2022, a sign was stolen from the “You gotta have PRIDE” display and one of the featured books, “Pride: Celebrating Diversity and Community” by Robin Stevenson, was found in the stacks with many pages torn out.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.