Library board votes to move section of parenting books

The decision comes after months of debate
Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 6:37 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - A now-controversial shelf of books is being relocated inside Greenville County libraries.

Historically, the parenting and early childhood (PEC) collection has been located by the children’s section at the Hughes Main Library. Now, the collection will be incorporated into the adult non-fiction section.

It’s a decision that comes after a months-long debate, which was sparked by a call from the Greenville County Republican Party to remove certain books they deemed inappropriate from the children’s section.

But most of the books the GOP mentioned weren’t actually in the children’s section. The books, some of which provide guidance to parents navigating complicated topics like race, sex education and LGBTQ issues, were located next to it.

Chairman Allan Hill said they were likely placed there so they’d be easy for parents to access.

“Somebody well meaning caused there to be a misunderstanding that the books, that were really for adults, were located where children could get a hold of them if they wanted to,” Hill said.

Books with LGBTQ topics often became the focus of the debate during the public comment portion of meetings, with opponents sometimes calling the books inappropriate or pornographic.

Susan Ward, the president of PFLAG Greenville, spoke out at today’s meeting. Her group provides support to LGBTQ families.

Ward said she hopes the library stays inclusive moving forward.

“Anything that removes representation of different members of the community from publicly accessible library books is dangerous for people in community,” Ward said.

Hill said a board sub-committee is still reviewing a list of 24 books that some people have questioned the appropriateness of.