The Advocate July/Aug 2022
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Burn LGBTQ+ Books for Children, Group of Mothers Demands Local Library

Angry Mothers Demand Library Burn LGBTQ+ Books for Children

A librarian in Connecticut recently faced down a group of angry mothers who demanded the burning of LGBTQ+ books for children.

The incident took place June 22 at the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry. A group of women claiming to be mothers removed a number of unnamed books from a Pride display in the children’s section of the library, brought them to librarian Margaret Khan, and demanded they be burned, according to the local Journal Inquirer.

Town Manager John Elsesser said that while police were not called this time, that would not be the case next time. Other town officials echoed their support of Khan in facing down the threat.

“The hostile incident at our public library is part of a disturbing trend across the country,” Coventry Town Council Chairwoman Lisa Thomas told the Journal Inquirer. “I stand by our library and their mission to serve each individual in our community.”

Khan told the paper that the women used hateful language while demanding the burning of the books in question. She said she informed the women they could file a request for reconsideration of the books, which would require the patron to specify the objectionable and inappropriate content of the book in question.

The Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry, CT

The Booth & Dimock Memorial Library

Libraries have become a more frequent target of right-wing protesters in recent months. Late last month a gunman intimidated patrons attending a Drag Queen Story Time at the Washoe County Library in Sparks, Nevada. Wearing the militia's colors of yellow and black, the local Proud Boys had earlier protested at the library with placards that read, “Stop sexualizing children!” Shame on you for trading your kids just to look ‘woke.’” and “Woke is broke.” And a Drag Queen Story Hour was loudly protested by the Proud Boys at the Pine Valley Library in Wilmington, N.C., some say with help from the police although police deny the claim.

Related: 18 LGBTQ+ Books That Are Banned In Schools in 2022

Regardless of the protests, Thomas said the library will continue to serve the entire local community.

“If an adult does not want their child to have access to certain reading materials or other resources, it is up to that adult to guide their child’s choices,” she told the Journal Inquirer. “Our library is a critical resource to our community to provide information, programming, and other supports. Public libraries embrace the needs of all people in the community.”

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