Lincolnwood Public Library declines to remove books with LGBTQ content from children's collection

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Lincolnwood library won't remove LGBTQ books from children's shelves
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Lincolnwood Public Library declined to remove a book with LGBTQ+ content from its children's collection, saying it would be censorship.

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (WLS) -- A standing room-only crowd gathered at the Lincolnwood Village Hall Monday for a heated debate about a book with LGBTQ+ content on the public library's children's collection.

The monthly library board meeting was moved from the library to the village hall to accommodate a large turnout after last month's meeting got heated and ended early with police being called.

Once again, library board members and the public came face to face.

"The library has decided that they, not you the parent, knows what is best for your child," said Bryan Johnson, Lincolnwood resident.

"Gay people and drag queens have a right to exist and be themselves and have books written about them," said Jen Mierisch, Lincolnwood resident.

At the board meeting, some attendees voice objections to certain titles with LGBTQ+ themes that are part of the library's children's collection. At least one formal challenge was filed against a book called "The Hips On The Drag Queen Go Swish, Swish, Swish."

The nursery rhyme book features characters in drag, and was read aloud during a library-sponsored story time over the summer.

"I'm not here to ask for a ban on any books," said resident Rahila Siddiqui. "I'm here to fight for my right to choose when my elementary school children should be exposed to complicated topics like drag queens."

"If parents prefer their children not read a book, that's their decision. But that does not give them the right to impose their short-sighted beliefs on anyone else's children," said Susan Ginsburg, Lincolnwood resident.

After reviewing the book, library officials declined to remove it from the children's department. The library director told ABC7 such action would constitute censorship, adding, "Our goal is to respect everyone in our community and what they want to read."

"When you're at Macy's and you don't like a purple shirt, you can't demand that they take it away. Just don't buy it," said Judy Abelson, Lincolnwood resident.

Library officials said they also declined a patron's request to remove another book that some consider anti-transgender. That patron has now dropped that formal challenge on censorship grounds.