Alabama Public Library Service set to create a list of potentially inappropriate books

Published: Sep. 13, 2023 at 10:08 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - An update on a proposal to address a controversy over some books in Alabama libraries.

The issue, whether certain subjects, such as sex and gender are appropriate topics in books that are found in the children’s section.

Wednesday, the Alabama Public Library Service Board voted to create a new policy to address books that some deem inappropriate.

The APLS will now develop a list of books they believe unsuitable for display, and parents will also be able to weigh in.

I spoke with board member and the Alabama Republican Party’s Chair John Wahl. He says, under the new policy, you will also have an opportunity to point out books you deem inappropriate for your child. Wahl says the APLS will then share the entire list with libraries across the state.

Wahl stressed that the state board does not determine any of the books that go inside local libraries. Opponents say stories about diversity deserve a spot on the shelves.

Still, Wahl says he proposed today’s new policy in an effort to ensure libraries remain a safe place for kids.

“Since the beginning of time we have protected children. As a society we have protected children from inappropriate material and we see that in movie, and video game ratings across the board. There is material that is inappropriate for children and we should take that into account with libraries,” said Wahl.

“It sounds so pretty. When you say it’s protecting the children, when really, that’s what is being marketed as. But underneath it’s anti LGBTQ plus,” said Read Freely Alabama’s Lauren Boone.

Again, while the APLS will create a list of potentially inappropriate material or books, it is still up to the libraries on whether or not they need to move the book to another section, or out of the library all together.

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