HUNTSVILLE — The Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Board held a meeting on Tuesday evening where the groups Moms for Liberty and Read Freely Alabama were given 10 minutes each to present their case concerning certain books in the library's kids and teens section. Members of the community were also given a shorter opportunity to speak.
Moms for Liberty advocated for moving sexually explicit books and those concerning LGBTQ+ and abortion to the adult section of the library, arguing it is the parent's right to determine if their child should read that material.
"It's just like if you go to Publix and you send a kid or a young adult through the checkout line to buy beer, it's going to alert someone to check their ID," Callan said. "There needs to be some kind of alert so a child can't go the adult section and get one of these books."
Read Freely Alabama advocated for the books to remain, saying that moving books is a form of censorship. They believed that by moving the books, children might be harmed and unable to learn about their bodies and LGBTQ+ feelings that children and teens may have and may not feel comfortable or have the ability to discuss openly.
"If they're not where they're supposed to be, then what's happening there is people are losing access to them," Dr. Marisa Allison with Read Freely Alabama said.
Moms for Liberty member Carrissa Callan spoke on behalf of the group and shared what they believe the library should be doing to safeguard children and teens from harmful and sexually explicit material.
Callan made clear that the group is not advocating for the removal of any books but that books containing material unsuitable for children should be placed in the library's adult section and not allowed to be checked out by minors. Callan also compared this issue to how the movie industry handles explicit material and how movie theaters require an adult to be present for a minor to see an R-rated film.
Moms for Liberty shared images and passages with 1819 News regarding a few of the books they found in the library's kids and teen section. The images, book names, chapter names and passages depicted realistic drawings of pre-pubescent children, teens performing sexual acts on themselves and with others, passages discussing abortion, kinks, straight and homosexual sexual acts, and a comic book that a nine-year-old was allowed to check out, describing a pre-pubescent girl on a journey through wanting to change her gender and fantasizing about have male sexual organs.
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