9/15/2022 12:13:00 PM Library board denies reconsideration of contested book
The East Central Regional Library Board adopted the recommendation of its reconsideration committee Monday this week and a contested book will remain where it is. The ECRL received a request from a Chisago County resident at its August meeting, to relocate the non-fiction title It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris. (Press story Aug. 11 edition) The Board sent the issue to the reconsideration committee for deeper review and advice.
East Central Regional Library Executive Director Carla Lydon told the Press, “Members of the public have used the public comment portion (e mails and in meetings) to speak in favor and against the book remaining in the ECRL’s collection. After lengthy research and discussion the reconsideration committee brought their recommendation....in accordance with ECRL policy and based on legal advice concerning First Amendment issues the reconsideration committee recommended and the ECRL Board passed the motion that the book in question remain in the juvenile non-fiction section.”
It’s Perfectly Normal is a sexual education title written, according to the publisher, for ages 10 and up. This is the first time in many years that Lydon could recall a book title controversy in the system.
Lydon quoted the library system’s policy that the system does not endorse particular beliefs or views...and that materials are selected on the basis of content as a whole and without regard to the personal history of the author. The policy states, “Selection of materials will not be inhibited by the possibility that materials may come into the possession of minors. Monitoring the reading or viewing of children is solely the responsiblity of their parents or legal guardians.” (Full policy is at ecrlib.org/policies)