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Hamilton County library reviews policy to relocate some children’s books

FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) — It was a contentious Hamilton East Public Library Board Meeting as the seven-person body discussed how to implement its New Collection Development policy, which requires selected children’s books that meet certain criteria to be moved to the adult section.

As it stands, the policy requires books that deal with profanity, nudity, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and violence to be moved if they are deemed to be not age-appropriate in their respective children’s and teen sections.

The board, which represents libraries in Fishers and Noblesville, directed its library staff to review nonfiction children’s books and graphic novels in the teen zone.

Six people spoke a Thursday night board meeting, and none favored relocating children’s books to the adult section.

Shelley Bergman, a parent not in favor of relocating books, supported “letting the librarians do their job that they were educated to do and putting the books in the correct places in the library. Like most parents, we review what content our children are reading and watching before they watch it.”

Her daughter, Sophia Bergman, said before she spoke to the board, “I am going to talk about children’s rights and that they should have the right to choose the children’s book in the children’s section instead of having to go all the way to the quiet adult section.”

The nationally acclaimed children’s book called “Why?” by actor Taye Diggs deals with themes of racial injustice. The book will be a part of a larger review process. The board continues to consider the details.

Some board members on Thursday night also floated the idea of relocating children’s books to a parents’ and teachers’ section within the children’s section.

Library staff says a full review of children’s books could take a considerable amount of hours and additional staff.