ANDOVER, Kan. (AP) — Members of the Andover Public Library board are considering a request to move books that include transgender characters out of the children’s section.
Andover resident Marci Laffen said in a written request that the books “George,” ”Lily and Dunkin,” and “I am Jazz” should be moved to the library’s adult section, or at least to the young adult section. She cited the “sexual content” of the books, along with issues such as bullying, rebelling against police and refusing to take medications.
Library board member Blake Cooper said that Laffen’s written request referred to the books as part of a “sexual revolution agenda, indoctrination of children.”
“I am Jazz,” a picture book biography of a transgender child, is classified as juvenile nonfiction at the library. It had been shelved with other picture books in the children’s section, but is now in the nonfiction books section on “institutions pertaining to relations of the sexes.”
“George” and “Lily and Dunkin” are both classified as juvenile fiction at the library. The books are about transgender children, one in fourth grade and one in eighth grade.
Library board members will decide where each of the books will be shelved on Feb. 13.
About 55 people attended a board meeting last week to discuss the issue.
Brenda Way, a transgender woman, said a child who wants to check out of one of the books “has something that makes them want to connect with that book.”
“That child has a question,” Way said. “Why are we saying that a child who is 7, 8 or 9 years old and has questions and wants to pick up that book should be denied finding that book in their section?”
Donna Lippoldt, executive director of the Culture Shield Network, said she supported moving the books to a higher level because she doesn’t believe libraries should teach sex education. She said just one experience being exposed to a confusing child can scar a child for life.
“(The books) will still be accessible, but maybe not just haphazardly found by children that would be confused,” she said.