A group of concerned moms in Prattville is struggling to get several LGBTQ+ books aimed at children removed from the toddler and children's section of the Prattville library.
Several mothers have been searching through over 80 books for children on gender, sex, sexual orientation pronouns and other LGBTQ issues, such as detailing same-sex love stories. After undertaking to read all 80 books, the mothers presented Prattville library officials with at least seven for review, with more expected to come.
The books include "The Pronoun Book," "Drew LeClair Gets a Clue," "Moonflower," "Alice Austen Lived Here," "Yes! No! A First Conversation about Consent," "Being You," and "A Language of Seabirds," all of which have been criticized for their content and messaging.
Nearly all of the books found in the Prattville library are featured on the "Rainbow Book List" from the American Library Association (ALA).
The Rainbow Book List is created by the Rainbow Book List Committee of the Rainbow Round Table of the ALA. Originally a joint project between the Rainbow Round Table (formerly Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table) and the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the Rainbow Book List presents an annual bibliography of books with "significant and authentic LGBQTIA+ content," which it recommends for people from birth through 18 years old.
"So far, we've found about 80 books for all age children from toddler, some are advertised as toddler books, all the way up to high school, but they call them young adults, which they consider to be 17," one mother said, requesting anonymity.
"If you think the pronoun book is bad. There are two different transitioning stories for children marketed for ages three to seven called 'If You're a Kid Like Gavin' and Calvin.'"
"If You're a Kid Like Gavin" is a story written about a young female activist who must fight against a teacher who refuses to let the author use the male bathroom.
"Calvin" is a children's story about a girl who says she has been a boy since she can remember. It details the story of her family and school embracing her new identity and name.
For many of those mothers, the public library is instrumental for homeschooling and extra-curricular activities, leaving many concerned with the library's content.
"Us mommas that are homeschooling our kids, we're in the library a lot; I mean, that's part of what we do is take our kids to the library," She continued.
After compiling a list of books, the women presented the list to the head of the library for review. The library has a form used for people to file books for review. The library is supposed to convene a board to review the books and determine whether to keep a book. According to the mother, the process has proven arduous, not yet yielding results despite going through the library's review process.
"I told her from a biblical perspective why this was wrong," the mother continued. "I told her from a scientific perspective how this was wrong. And she looked at me and said, 'Well, some parents don't think this is wrong.' I was so shocked. I said, 'Who in Prattville, Alabama wants this stuff in the library? I told her that she would be hard-pressed to find people in this town supporting these types of books for kids."
"I am not for censorship, but I don't think that applies to children. These are not age-appropriate conversations to be having apart from a parent's consent."
One mother said she asked the library if the books could be labeled "LGBTQ" instead of simply "fiction" and "non-fiction," even suggesting a gender identity section of the library to avoid books being read accidentally. All of the suggestions reportedly fell on deaf ears.
As of April 17, the library has passed the 15-day deadline to review the books. And mothers say they have received scant details on if and when the library will make a determination on the books.
However, if the library continues to "drag their feet," at least one of the mothers intends to bring the issue before the city council.
"The city needs to know," she said. "I have a feeling if the people of this town knew, they would not be okay with all this."
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