Keep All Religious and Political Bias Out of Library System

I would rather not see ideological literature in any public sphere

By Jennifer Boehm

I’m a political centrist, generally leaning neither right nor left, but trying to stay in the realm of common sense and common decency. As pertains to the matter of the public library, it’s obvious that a conservative-majority board would rather choose an inexperienced and under-qualified librarian from the Bible Belt and show them the ropes than to select a candidate with more experience and education that would be less easily influenced. And I wish the library board would just come out and say so. I hope they hire the underdog, and I hope she keeps all religious and political bias out of the library system.

As a parent, I don’t think sexual preference and gender orientation are age-appropriate topics for a children’s book available in a public library, any more than religious or political topics are. In my opinion, sexual, religious, and political content are not age-appropriate in any public sphere. When children begin to ask questions about these kinds of topics, it’s not the role of public sources to provide answers, let alone biased answers. There can be no question of the bias intrinsic to some of the children’s literature offered by the public library. My 5-year-old brought home a book one day with a rainbow heart on it, which discussed sexual orientation on every page. She’s 5, all she was interested in was the pretty book cover. I plan to study medicine, and when my young ones ask me about the facts of life, I pull out my anatomy textbooks. Public sources of knowledge, especially those directed at children, should be neutral and factual. I would rather not see ideological literature in any public sphere, whether it’s Christian, Muslim, LBGTQ+, or otherwise. Ideology is something that should be kept private. I think everyone can agree on that.

Jennifer Boehm