Stop Funding The Library, Says Wyoming County Commissioner
In Campbell County, Wyoming, a commissioner spoke out against the Campbell County Public Library calling for defunding.
Commissioner Del Shelstad made the comment during a meeting between the Campbell County Commissioners and the Campbell County Public Library Monday afternoon.
He expressed frustration that not much has happened since the beginning of July when some residents brought up the issues they had with books being in inappropriate sections of the library. (The Sheridan Press).
When I first read this headline I thought it was due to budget reasons. But that's not it at all. The commissioner has other reasons for wanting to take taxpayer money away from the county's library.
Some of the books at the library are considered controversial. The process to challenge books is taking longer than it should.
Since Aug. 9, the country library has received 35 forms for reconsideration of books.
“This is creating some division in this community; we need to take some action on this,” said Susan Sisti.
Commissioner Rusty Bell wondered if the staff at the library was going to ask the country for more money to deal with the review process.
That's when Shelstad jumped in commenting that the library shouldn’t come asking for more money because in his opinion, “We shouldn’t fund you at all.”
The public in the room was split on the comment. There was applause and booing at the same time.
“If that means closing it, then we close it,” Shelstad elaborated.
One book in question is ---
“This Book Is Gay,” which some think is not appropriate for the kids' section of the library.
Some lines in the book that have raised objections are, “how to give a handy,” and “porn is fine and fun.”
“It doesn’t take anything but common sense to figure out that’s not appropriate,” he said, adding that it doesn’t make him a bad person for wanting books like this to be moved.
Special thanks to The Sheridan Press for a full accounting of this meeting, which you can read at this link.
So here is the question we must ponder.
Is it censorship to ask that some books, deemed to be inappropriate for a certain age group by the community, be moved to the adult section or not allowed in the library at all?
Should there be some standards? Does anything go? You might agree to that until you have kids at the library who are looking at a dominatrix magazine.
So at some point, we have to agree to draw a line. The question is, where do we draw that line? This is going to be a hot issue and what might be acceptable for one community might get rejected by another.
When it comes to liberal vs. conservative, both have argued for removing certain books from both libraries and book stores, and even online book retailers like Amazon. So neither side can claim that they are "anti-censorship."
I'm of the opinion that the threat to defund the Campbell County library was really a threat to get the library moving on the issue and quit stalling.