The Rumford Public Library put up a display this month showcasing books that frequently bring challenges in schools and libraries across the U.S. — a banned books display.
But three local pastors who saw the setup took issue with the subject matter of some the books and called for them to be banned from the banned books display.
> The display coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the freedom to read, highlighting books that often draw challenges in schools and libraries. Half of the books on this year’s American Library Association Top 10 Banned Books list tell stories of LGBTQ characters. Books representing a wide variety of experiences and voices allow readers, particularly children, to find connection, safely explore unfamiliar ideas, and broaden their understanding of the world.
The Sun Journal reported Monday that the library’s board of trustees determined, after a public hearing on the issue, that the display will remain and it will be unchanged.
> Prior to the meeting, library Director Tamara Butler said she had not acted to take down the display herself because “if anyone reads the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read, we are not to avoid controversial subjects.
> “Those books are perfectly appropriate for a banned book display. We did it before, and other libraries do it. The display is to remind people of the freedom to read, lack of censorship … that’s the reason for it,” she said.