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West Chicago library votes to keep LGBT book
by Matt Simonette
2017-08-29

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The West Chicago Public Library Board of Trustees voted 6-1 Aug. 28 to retain the children's book This Day in June—both in the library and in its current location—after some patrons asked that the book be removed.

Numerous community members attended the meeting, a video of which was posted to Facebook by the journalism collective Truth Against the Machine, to call for retaining the book, both at the library and in its children's collection. This Day in June, published in 2014, is a picture book depicting an LGBT Pride celebration.

At the meeting, Michaela Jaros, the parent who said she filed the initial complaint, said during public comments that the book was too readily available to her toddler-aged children.

"The library is failing to respect a wide range of opinions of styles of child-rearing," Jaros said. "… My trust is lost in West Chicago Public Library to respect my personal discretion in choosing when and how I introduce these controversial topics to my children."

But another parent later challenged that idea, noting, "If your kids are small, you should be with them as a parent, picking out their books. I did it with my kids."

Daniel Lopez, who said they are transgender in the public comments, later added, "I'm a transgender person, and I will say one thing: This book is showing acceptance. This book is not anything having to do with sexual content. If you're seeing that, you're seeing it through your own eyes. … Our LGBT 'agenda' is to be treated as equally as everybody else."

Trustee David Reynolds called the book "beautiful," but suggested that the book should at least be moved from the children's section.

"The library should not be introducing our children to a moral or political point of view," he said.

But other board members emphasized that a vote "for" the book was a vote of confidence in the library director and other staff to whom the board and the community turn for selecting materials that best inform and represent library patrons.

"It's clear tonight that there are many people here tonight who would like to have the opportunity to check that book out, and I don't want to start taking that from parents that would like to have that opportunity," said Trustee Patricia Weninger.

Truth Against the Machine's video is available on its Facebook page: bit.ly/2x0wthY .


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