Alabama Public Library Service set to create a list of potentially inappropriate books

The Alabama Public Library Service will create a list of potentially inappropriate books. (WBRC)
Published: Sep. 14, 2023 at 10:55 AM EDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC/Gray News) - The Alabama Public Library Service board voted Wednesday to create a new policy to address books some say should not be in children’s sections, WBRC reports.

The move aims to address concerns from parents and allows them to weigh in on what books should be on the list.

The Alabama Public Library Service will compile a list of books believed to be unsuitable for children, based on forms that parents submit. The library service will give that list to libraries.

Board member and Alabama Republican Party Chair John Wahl says the board does not determine any of the books that go in the libraries. He says the new policy ensures libraries remain a safe place for kids.

“Since the beginning of time, we have protected children. As a society, we have protected children from inappropriate material and we see that in movies and video game ratings across the board. There is material that is inappropriate for children, and we should take that into account with libraries,” Wahl said.

Lauren Boone with Read Freely Alabama says protecting children is not what the new policy is about.

“It sounds so pretty when you say it’s protecting the children when really, that’s what is being marketed as. But underneath it’s anti-LGBTQ+,” Boone said.

While the library service will create the list of books, it will still be up to each library to decide if they need to keep the book, move it to another section or remove it altogether.