Over 20 books challenged at Thomas County Public Library

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WALB) – More than 20 books at the Thomas County Public Library have been challenged and brought back for publication review.

Some of these books are in the youth and youth section.

Books such as “The Other Boy” and “The Perks of Being Wallflower” are just two of the books that are questionable. Community members say that the content of the books is inappropriate for young readers.

Books like "The other boy" and MG Hennessey are part of the other books in question.
Books like “The Other Boy” by MG Hennessey are part of the other books in question.(WALB)

Problems began to appear in September. Other popular titles under review are “The Kite Runner”, “All the Boys Are Not Blue” and “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl”. Many of these books include race and sexuality as topics.

“In my 10 years as a librarian, I have never had a single issue,” said Holly Phillips, director of the Thomas County Public Library System.

Phillips said some of the comments he received about the books were that they “promote child sexism,” “the Bible calls queer an abomination” and that the text was “varied” and included profanity.

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Currently, 12 books have been reviewed by the library and either moved to the adult section or left in the youth and youth section.

“When someone fills out a form asking us to reconsider something, the first thing we do is get our library staff committee together and come up with what we want to see,” Phillips said. “We can agree with the manager and say this should be in the adult section, not exactly age appropriate or we can decide not, we believe it should be where it is.”

The public is allowed to appeal the decision of the library board. After hearing the dispute, the board makes a final decision. Currently, two books have appealed and are awaiting final review.

Phillips said the library oversees all of the community’s shared resources.

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The library system has heard arguments from both sides of the debate.
The library system has heard arguments from both sides of the debate.(WALB)

“Some of the complaints that we’ve been receiving, I believe, are just a reflection of what’s going on in our community. And even though these stories are hard for some people to talk about, think about, (or) read, these stories happen regardless. And we just feel like every voice and every thought deserves to be heard,” he said. .

Some people like Robert Gilmore bring his children to the library almost every week. He said the contents of their library should reflect the community of Thomas County.

“A public library is a community, so it has to show that. If it doesn’t show that, there are holes that can be put in a child’s education if they don’t know about different people from different communities,” said Gilmore.

Gilmore added that parents should be aware of what their children should or should not read.

He said: “It is also up to the parents to see what is in the books that are being read.

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Gladys Dodson, a resident of Thomasville, said it would allow the library to get more books in the youth and young adult sections.

“I don’t think it would be a bad thing to publish books that shouldn’t be there.” That LGBTQ, of course, I don’t want that kind of thing in our library to destroy,” he said.

Regular library goer Frank Wilson said the books in the library reflect our freedom of speech.

“I also believe in the right to read, so I think it’s a legal right that everyone has to come here to the library. I think it’s not controversial if you know what they’re bringing,” Wilson said.

On November 21 the library board will meet to decide if some of the books will be permanently removed from the library or just moved to another section.

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