#minorsextrafficking | Library board tables request to move, reclassify or remove 30 books

The Abilene Public Library Board on Monday tabled taking action on a list of of contested library materials received by the board, while a group of residents showed up again to complain about what they perceive as sexually-related materials that could be accessed by minors.

The books in question were submitted through Sept. 30, board president Clint Buck said, reading a prepared statement from the review committee that consists of Buck and library board members Denise Moore and Joe Specht.

From six people, the library received 30 “reconsideration” requests in the time period, Buck said. Four requests duplicated those of another petitioner, dropping the total to 26 titles, Buck said.

The six petitioners “collectively read in their entirety six” of the 26 books, he said.

“As a result, petitioners were, by and large, unable to articulate any contextual understanding for the sentences and or snippets they relied on in their respective reconsideration requests,” Buck said. “The members of the special review committee endeavored to consider each title in its entirety.”

The review committee specifically focused attention on 14 physical books owned by the Abilene Public Library.

Books contested by readers are pulled from the shelves of the library system, pending final action by Abilene’s city manager.

The committee conducted five meetings to meet with four individual petitioners, Buck said.

Petitioners’ requests for the titles varied, from removing a book from the shelves of the library system altogether, to reclassifying a book from young adult fiction to adult fiction, to creating a “specially segregated section for books specifically identified,” Buck said.

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