Bloomington Public Library book display faces parents’ backlash and concern

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) – A book display at the Bloomington Public Library has turned some parents’ heads for all the wrong reasons.

The placement of the books is what prompted parents to contact library staff and then contact WMBD. A Bloomington parent contacted the station, fearing that books containing sexually explicit and gory material could have been easily retrieved and viewed by his seven-year-old son.

The books are part of a display that library staff say changes monthly and is designed to showcase content for both children and adults who frequent the library, with different themes changing throughout. the year.

This month’s exhibit featured graphic novels prominently on the second floor between the kids’ area and the adult area.

While some books featured superheroes, others featured images of topless women, sexual situations, and images of gore and violence. Concerned parents said the call was too close and they were “mortified” by the children who could have easily accessed the documents.

The placement of these books “for adults only” has caused concern among parents in Bloomington.

Bloomington Public Library Executive Director Jeanne Hamilton said the library has content for all ages and backgrounds. She said it is at the discretion of parents what their child can or cannot verify, and that there is no specific policy in place.

“In our policy it says that all cases are at the discretion of parents / guardians of minors,” Hamilton said. “We don’t limit the material based on age group because we know that each person and each child has different levels of what is suitable for them. “

Hamilton said the display was going to be changed tomorrow and said she and library staff were taking the comments into account.

“We recognize that it is close to the kids’ area so this is something we will try not to highlight in the future,” Hamilton said. “The display wasn’t meant to do that at all, it was just meant to display the graphic novel genre in general.”

Hamilton also said that graphic novels range from superheroes to more complex stories of social issues and that in some cases graphic novels turn reluctant readers into more avid readers.

Parents who contacted WMBD wished to remain anonymous and declined an on-camera interview, but told WMBD they weren’t trying to ‘ban’ books, they just wanted special attention. what their child is exposed to.

Next month’s posting is cookbooks.


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