Only small group of parents utilizing new law to help ban books in Utah school libraries
SALT LAKE CITY (KUTV) — In the last legislative session, proponents of Utah House Bill 374 argued passionately that Utah school libraries were inundated with unsuitable reading materials.
Parents, most of them associated with the group Utah Parents United, were at nearly every hearing for the bill that would codify in law, the banning of inappropriate material on Utah school shelves.
The bill has been law for several months now, and Crisis In The Classroom wanted to find out how many books have been removed or restricted from Utah school library shelves, and who has complained about them.
Using public records requests and a report from the Utah State Board of Education, we discovered that a little more than three dozen parents across the state have lodged complaints.
In one school district, Granite, a West Valley City couple was behind nearly every complaint filed with the district. Of the 205 filings, Nick and Hailey Foster were behind 199 of them.
Dec 6, 2022
Charlotte Maloney: Librarians lead the fight against censorship
Access to diverse literature can make children more understanding, accepting and loving of everyone.
Feb 10, 2022
The Salt Lake Tribune
Statement on Censorship of Pride Display at Orem Public Library
The Utah Library Association became aware of a censorship issue at Orem Public Library through social media posts on May 29 which stated that the Orem City Council is forbidding the library from doing any displays in the children’s area related to Pride Month in Utah. The library director has indicated that in spite of the positive reception and thankful comments from parents last year, there will not be a Pride display in the Children’s wing this year, and instead there will be a single display in another location in the Library away from the children’s area.
In the interest of serving all members of the community, library staff have wide latitude to create or not create displays, and to decide where to locate them. However, it is unacceptable, and a possible infringement of citizen’s first amendment rights, when politicians intervene and direct staff to eliminate planned displays or have them moved to a less frequented area of the library because those politicians do not like the topic or viewpoint being expressed. Moving a children’s book display to the adult section where materials may not be age appropriate for children is problematic because it actually increases the likelihood of exposing children to material that is unsuitable for their age and makes the materials less accessible for families and harder to discover.
Jun 15, 2022
Utah Library Association