The Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) has officially provided an online form where Alabama residents can submit book titles they believe may contain sexually explicit or obscene materials.

After the APLS board voted in September to create a process by which residents can submit books for review, the form is now available on the APLS website, where residents can submit books for review.

The form contains the following disclaimer:

“Alabama parents or guardians concerned about the appropriateness of specific library resources for children may submit individual titles to APLS for review. Any information you voluntarily provide to APLS will be used solely to add the title to the state’s list of children’s books challenged by parents and/or caregivers. APLS does not have the authority to remove books from Alabama’s public library shelves. This list is designed to guide public librarians in their decisions regarding the addition of books to their collections.”

For months, residents in counties and municipalities across the state have raised concerns over their library's content, specifically sexually explicit and LGBTQ+ material meant for minors.

Residents and lawmakers, including Gov. Kay Ivey, have petitioned the APLS board to address the issue in several ways.

State Reps. Susan DuBose (R-Hoover), Ben Harrison (R-Elkmont), Mark Gidley (R-Gadsden) and Jerry Starnes (R-Pike Road) have attended past board meetings. Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) and House Majority Leader Scott Stadthagen (R-Hartselle) sent official letters from their office to the board

During an APLS board meeting in September, the group unanimously agreed to a policy proposed by APLS board member and Alabama GOP chair John Wahl that would allow residents to submit books for review.

Related: State library board's Wahl praises Ivey for proposed rules addressing sexually explicit books — 'Libraries should be a safe place for our kids'

The form will allow APLS to collate a list of books that may contain sexually explicit material to be available to local libraries. The list would not dictate what books a library may use. Instead, Wahl said it would provide guidance. The list will be provided to librarians, and any Alabama resident can submit a title for consideration.

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