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APLS “blacklist” has just one book so far

The rest of the challenges have been farcical, Pack said, with fictitious addresses such as “Censorship, Alabama.”

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After some fervor from both sides seeming to make the Alabama Public Library Service “blacklist” public, Director Nancy Pack told APR Thursday that only one title has been successfully submitted.

That book is “Tilly” by Christian fiction author Frank Peretti, which tells a story of a woman visited in her dreams by her aborted child Tilly.

The book is in the adult section.

The rest of the challenges have been farcical, Pack said, with fictitious addresses such as “Censorship, Alabama,” or fake titles such as “Burn them all.”

And some have been invalidated because they are from out-of-state: Pack said one challenger from Maryland submitted the Bible 31 times.

Others say they haven’t read the book, invalidating the complaint.

The submission form has been available since Dec. 14 but apparently hasn’t gotten any real interest yet.

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Former state senator Bryan Taylor, running as a Republican for chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has said he is pursuing a lawsuit pro bono to force a decision that the list is public record.

In a statement Tuesday, Taylor said the APLS gone on record that it will “guard the list from the public.”

Alabama author Tim Lockette also published an open letter to document his request for the list under the Alabama Open Records Act.

Pack called Lockette Thursday to relay the one title on the list.

While the list is currently only the one book, there have been numerous book challenges across the state over the past year and Clean Up Alabama hosts a list of at least 100 books on their site that they consider inappropriate for minors. 

ALGOP Chairman John Wahl, who serves on the APLS executive board, recommended the creation of the list as a response to challenges by Clean Up Alabama, Moms for Liberty and other residents.

The agency isn’t making judgment calls on the content of the books—if the book exists and it is submitted by an Alabama citizen who has read the book, it will be added to the list. 

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Pack said she doesn’t know of any librarians that have shown much interest in the list, and said the better course of action to raise concerns about books is through complainant’s local libraries.

Some book challengers, however, have expressed frustration with their local library boards’ decisions on moving books, prompting them to seek solutions at the state level.

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

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