PRATTVILLE — Tensions flared at a Tuesday Prattville City Council meeting, which led to an interruption from council president Lora Lee Boone, asking a resident not to describe the content of one of the books in the library.
In the ongoing saga regarding books containing explicit materials listed for minors in the Prattville-Autauga Library, residents have approached the Prattville City Council multiple times, petitioning for the books to be removed or moved to a different section of the library.
For months, residents have attended the Autauga County Commission and Prattville City Council, often reading excerpts from the books in question.
In April, 1819 News reported on several mothers expressing concern with LGBTQ+ children's books in the Autauga-Prattville Public Library, available for any child to grab at will.
The mothers took five initial books to the library board, but the board delivered minimal changes in classification to three of the books, a decision that was less-than satiating for those opposed. The then-library director has since stepped down and been replaced.
After a closer look, residents came up with even more books, rated for minors, that contain sexually explicit topics.
Last week, 1819 News reported that the City Council had adopted a new policy that banned the reading of books and any written material that was not on the agenda.
On Tuesday, Hannah Rees, a leader of the growing movement, brought over a dozen "pornographic" books to the podium and began to describe their content.
When describing one of the books, being sure not to read from the books as the policy required, Rees was interrupted by Boone, who asked Reese not to use language describing books or risk forfeiting her time at the mic.
[Explicit language warning]
"This first book is called 'Camp,'" Rees said. And it is a story about two young males. It is in the 13 to 17-year-old age group in our library. And, in this book, there is an older teen that is teaching a less sexually experienced teen about how to give a blow job…"
"Mrs. Rees, I must ask that you not use such terms," Boone interrupted.
"You said we couldn't read materials," Rees retorted.
"I have also asked you not use terms that are above PG because this is being streamed," Boone continued. "We'll ask that you sit if you do that again."
Despite the kerfuffle, several residents continued to express concerns over the books' inclusions. Two regulars spoke in favor of keeping the books where they are.
Prattville Mayor Bill Gillespie announced that the library board had placed a hold on ordering more books for the immediate future as all parties involved continue navigating the novel waters.
Some present who opposed the books said the temporary embargo is a mild victory but does nothing to affect the books already on the shelf.
Rees, who spoke at an earlier county commission meeting, said that many of the books had been ordered by the library after concern about their inclusion was first addressed by residents.
Members of the City Council and library board have continually asserted they are working behind the scenes to make sure any actions they take are legal.
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