COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – People are raising concerns at Columbia County Board of Commissioners’ meetings about some children’s books at the county library.
At a recent county commission meeting, one woman asked that children’s picture books with LGBTQ+ images be moved to the adult section in the library.
She described the images in the books as propaganda.
Library patrons we spoke to disagree.
“My six-year-old son holds hands with his best friend all the time, it’s purely innocent,” said Greta Vega. “They’re just friends, they wanna play and have fun. They have no idea there’s a stigma.”
Vega thinks the books should stay where they are.
“I think kids need to know that there’s people different from them out there,” she said. “Not everybody’s the same, and that’s a good thing. We don’t need to be an authoritarian government that decides, ‘okay, I’m not going to let your children read this book because I don’t like it.’”
Under the American Library Association’s Bill of Rights, books and other materials cannot be excluded because of background, origin, or views expressed.
“We have had ongoing discussions, and our goal is to make sure that all taxpayers and all readers are represented at the library,” said Marlena Bergeron, a Columbia County Library Board Member.
At the Columbia County Library, parents can get their children a library card at any age, but children under 12-years-old must be supervised at all times.
“We have things that might not be for everybody, but we hopefully have something for anybody who walks in,” Bergeron said. “And we want parents to make choices that they think are appropriate for their kids.”
Bergeron wants the library to be an inclusive place for people of all backgrounds.
“Our board is very diverse,” she said. “We all have different backgrounds, experiences. Some of us have lived in different areas, but we know that our library serves everybody. And so we want to make sure that every percentage of the community has a place and feels welcome.”
If you want to make your voice heard on this issue, you can do so at the next Columbia County Library Board meetings on May 23rd at 11 and 11:30 am. You can also find more information on what the library offers here.