The list of books recently moved at the Foley Public Library all come back to just one challenger in the city.
David Thompson, executive director of leisure services for the city of Foley, told APR the issue there began when a resident came into the library and got a library card to check out a list of books.
Thompson did not name the resident, but it is clear that it is Stephanie Williams, a resident who spoke out about the books at Foley City Council meetings.
In an August letter to Foley mayor Ralph Hellmich and the Foley City Council, Williams makes her contention with the books clear.
“These particular titles are only 14 of the available titles in the Children’s section search under lgbtq as a search filter,” Williams wrote in the letter. She writes that some titles are self-explanatory as to content such as “Two Boys Kissing.”
The nine books moved from young adult to adult are the exact nine books mentioned in Williams’ letter.
In her letter, Williams criticizes “My Love Mix-up” because it “must be read from back to front and consists of pencil drawings and incomprehensible word salads.” It is a manga about two high school boys who fall in love after a miscommunication.
APR has not read the book but could find no instance of explicit content in the book online.
“Say the Right Thing” is a book about how to talk about diversity and inclusion.
On a document from the city, it listed “objectionable content” in the book as including “gender equity in the workplace.”
Thompson clarified that those “objectionable content” sections were written by the city, not by Williams, from sources such as BookLooks.
Online reviews of Summer of Salt say sex is not explicitly described.
Other books moved do contain sexually explicit scenes or passages—three of the books are sexual education books.
In her letter, Williams said she had yet to read “The Lesbiana’s guide to Catholic school,” but said the title alone offended her.
Thompson said Williams is ultimately a citizen of Foley and the city will always be responsive to citizens requests.
He did lament the recent focus on these books, however, and said it has had negative impacts on the library.
“It’s a little disappointing, to be honest with you; librarians feel like they’re under attack,” Thompson said. “People are rethinking wanting to work in the library—not just Foley or our sister cities. The library staff that we have is amazing and do great things for so many people.”