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North Shelby Library Board fires back at “misinformation” by Rep. Susan Dubose, others

The library board said the “community” did not take issue with the library’s pride month display, and said librarians aren’t indoctrinating children.


As library challenges have cropped up across the state, no political leader has been beating the drum for action at the state level like Rep. Susan Dubose, R-Hoover, who has pointed to a pride display at the North Shelby Library in June as inappropriate.

After Dubose called the library out again during comments at a meeting of the Alabama Public Library Service executive board, the North Shelby Library board has released a statement combatting what they said is misinformation from Dubose and others.

“One of the frequent comments states that the ‘community’ came to the NSL June board meeting to request the pride display be removed from the Children’s Department,” the board said in its statement. “There were many members of the community at the meeting, but there was no ‘community’ consensus on the display. The sentiments of those
present were divided regarding the display. In fact, more people signed up to speak in favor of keeping the display than in favor of removing it.

“Of the more than 8,600 people who visited the library in June, only about 1 percent expressed an opinion about the display. The library received 76 supportive written comments and 39 negative written comments. Additionally, the number of visitors to the library in June 2023 increased by more than 3,000 from the previous year and the Summer Reading Program registration and attendance also increased over the previous

The board also addressed comments that “the board would not consider or address requests to remove the display in the Children’s Department.”

“This is false,” the board stated. “The Board DID consider the motion made to change
library policy. This change would have included the requirement for the Board to review 
(program), display, or exhibit that takes place at the library. The board voted to keep the existing library policies.”

Dubose has also referred to the display as “huge.” The NSL board gave its exact measurements.

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“The display was a set of bookshelves in the Children’s Department which were approximately 4’ x 6’ with an 8.5” x 11” sign that said ‘Take Pride in Reading.’ She also stated that every book on the shelves contained transgender subject matter, which is also false,” the board said.

The board also took issue with public statements that librarians are working to indoctrinate children, which have been said about numerous public libraries across the state in recent months.

“Other recent public statements that accuse librarians of indoctrinating children are simply untrue and unfounded,” the board said. “A statement made by Representative Dubose on a recent radio interview referred to a library in her district where she said she would be “afraid to ask a librarian to help her child find a book” or let her child run loose. The NSL Board agrees with the last portion of her statement because it would be against the NSL
Unattended Child policy to let a child ‘run loose.’ Parents and/or legal guardians are always fully responsible for their minor children/charges and are expected to always comply with library policies.”

Given the “misinformation and erroneous comments detailed here, which are not all inclusive,” the library is inviting people to come by the library and see what’s really going on.

“We do not think you will find the room or our librarians scary,” the board said. “You won’t experience any staff engaging in any kind of ‘indoctrination’ of children, or anyone else. This same invitation applies to our Mt. Laurel branch.”

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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