Multiple news outlets this week have reported that the Foley Public Library has moved 11 challenged books out of the young adult and children’s sections.
Former library director John Jackson had resisted efforts to move books, but recently resigned to take a job opportunity in Wyoming.
David Thompson, executive director of leisure services for the City of Foley, apparently took charge of the process in Jackson’s absence.
Multiple efforts to reach Thompson for comment on this article were unsuccessful.
However, Thompson spoke with 1819 News about the book relocations and apparently sent in a document detailing what books were moved and what “objectionable content” caused them to be reviewed.
According to a report from WKRG, the library reviewed eight of 24 challenged books—three were apparently removed completely due to lack of circulation and 13 had been checked out since the controversy began and were never returned.
The document apparently provided to 1819 however lists 10 books of which 9 were relocated—the other remained in the adult section.
Only one of those books was in the “children’s section,” but the book had been specifically called out by Gov. Kay Ivey in a public letter to state librarian Nancy Pack.
The book, “Who are you? A kid’s guide to gender identity,” is aimed at 5- to 8-year-old readers and describes a wide variety of potential ways that gender might be expressed differently among kids.
One of the books moved was “Say the right thing: How to talk about identity, diversity and justice” by David Glasgow and Kenji Yoshino.
On the document purportedly provided by the city, the “objectionable content” in the book is detailed: “critical race theory, gender equity in the workplace, allowing LGBTQ in classrooms.”
One book, “My love mix-up,” is found objectionable because of “romantic relationship between two boys.”
“Girls like girls” by singer Haley Kiyoko was challenged because it has “often been called a Queer and Feminist book, Girl on girl relationship.”
One of the most challenged books in the country, the graphic memoir “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe, has also apparently been removed from the library completely due to one page that depicts a sex act.
“Thumbing through the whole book, you wouldn’t see it, but when you know what you’re looking for, it took me five minutes to find the picture,” Thompson told 1819 . “But once we found it, there’s 100 percent no way we should ever have explicit sexual act in a book in the library, and that one was, we immediately pulled it, and it has been removed from our library.”
Several of the books moved deal with sex education, including “S.E.X.,” “This book is gay” and “100 questions you’d never ask your parents.”
The remaining two books “Man O’War” and “Summer of Salt” both deal with LGBTQ characters or stories.