West Bend librarians Michael Tyree and Kristin Pekoll will be speaking at the American Library Association national conference in Chicago on Monday, July 13, about the recent book challenge that sought to remove two books from library and all books in the young adult "Out of the Closet" collection from the young adult section of the library. The challengers had argued that the books, which featured positive depictions of LGBT people, were sexually explicit and inappropriate for young adults--a charge disputed by library board members and several authors of the books in question.*
The West Bend librarians will be joined by the current chair of the West Bend library board and Mary Reilly-Kliss, who was one of several board members ousted by council members who supported the book challenge. Maria Hanrahan, organizer of West Bend Parents for Free Speech and a former Queery guest, will also participate in the presentation.
For more history on the West Bend controversy, click "West Bend" in the "Labels" sidebar on the right side of this Web page, or click here.
*The challengers later told the media that they wanted to add some non-LGBT-related books to the challenge and subtract some of the LGBT ones, but they have not, as of this writing, submitted a revision of their challenge or a new challenge to the library. Challenges are official procedures that involve filling out paperwork and submitting it to the library for consideration and possible action.