The list of potentially inappropriate books compiled by the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS) shows 83 books, including LGBTQ content, religious stories and works by prominent conservatives.
State librarians will use the list to make decisions regarding book purchasing and placement in their local libraries.
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. In September, the board 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.
The board initially said the list of challenged books would only be available to library employees as a reference guide, not to the general public. After APLS made the form available online, several residents objected to the list's privacy, leading a group to retain legal counsel to pursue the issue.
The APLS relented, and the list was made public as of January 18.
During the debate over the list last year, many speculated the list would become irrelevant since opposing sides would merely file challenges on any books that promote the other side's view instead of staying focused on the sexually explicit content that prompted the list in the first place.
Apparently, those concerns were not unwarranted since the list includes seemingly innocuous works, such as a series of Amish romance novels written by an Amish woman.
Sixteen books on the list related to LGBTQ+ issues, such as "When Aidan Became a Brother" and "Calvin," both stories about adolescent girls who come out as transgender. Others include "Being You: A First Conversation About Gender," "Bye Bye Binary," "A Comic About Gender" and "Red, A Crayon's Story."
Several religious and religiously based books also made the list, including the popular "Left Behind" series and several Christian books that touch on sex, sexuality and consent.
Others include children's books by conservative authors, such as Dr. Ben Carson's "Why America Matters" and the "Rush Revere" historical series by the late commentator Rush Limbaugh.
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