Glen Ridge Public Library votes to keep 6 LGBTQ+ books after request to remove them

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Thursday, February 9, 2023
NJ library votes to keep 6 LGBTQ+ books
The Glen Ridge Public Library trustee board voted unanimously to keep six LGBTQ+ books after a group sought to remove them from the library. CeFaan Kim has the story.

GLEN RIDGE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A New Jersey library trustee board voted unanimously Wednesday night to keep six LGBTQ+ books after a group sought to remove them from the library.

Public library directors don't usually get rousing ovations, and public library trustee meetings usually don't have much energy, or interest, but it was standing room only at Glen Ridge High School for the 7:30 p.m. public hearing.

Last Fall, the Glen Ridge Public Library received a request to remove six books from the library amid a culture war that has swept the nation. The request came from eight residents in five households.

It was the first book removal request of its kind in the past five years.

The six books include:

1. "All Boys Aren't Blue" by George M. Johnson

2. "Here and Queer" by Rowan Ellis

3. "This Book is Gay" by Juno Dawson

4. "It's Not the Stork" and "It's Perfectly Normal" by Robie H. Harris

5. "You Know, Sex" by Cory Silverberg

But, hundreds of residents came out Wednesday to support the library and their decision to include the books.

"No Glenn Ridge resident should limit what other community members and other parent's children read," Robin Fields said. "What people read is a decision that they should make for themselves and their families."

In a unanimous decision by nine board members, they voted for the books to stay.

Library officials have maintained that these books are educational and should stay on shelves.

Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. released the following statement:

"I strongly support the Glen Ridge Library Director's decision to keep LGBTQ-themed books on the shelves of the Glen Ridge Public Library. Having access to and reading an LGBTQ-themed book has the power to promote understanding and respect. Recently, there have been far too many local episodes that are dividing our community. Let's learn from our differences, overcome these obstacles and come together as one united Essex County."

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