If you follow me on Twitter, you might’ve seen me post about my (small, inclusive, non-offensive) Pride Month display (pictured below) that I put up in the library that was taken down.
I couldn’t care less about the work I put into the display. What I care about are the teens who didn’t get to see the display before it got taken down, who didn’t get to find a book that they could find themselves in, who didn’t get to see that at least one librarian cares about them in this state. I’m sad because none of the teens who could’ve benefited from this display were asked what they thought about it. I’m sad because before the display was taken down, FOUR of the books in the display were checked out, which means at least one teen saw that display and thought, “Wow. This is for me,” but no other teens were given that option.
I can’t say much about the display or why it was taken down, unfortunately. There was a much longer post here, but all I’m going to say no is that the display was taken down. Kayla, the young adult librarian at one of the other libraries in our system, also had to take her display down (pictured below).
What Kayla had to say:
What you’re saying is, “The kids who need these books, this visibility, and this support are not as important as the people who might get upset about it.”
What I just got told, by the people who refer to us all as a family, is that I can only be proud of myself if other people don’t have to see it. What I just got told, by the people who are supposed to uphold the idea of freedom of information for the public, who are supposed to serve the community as best they possibly can, is that some parts of that community matter more than others.
Good to know.
Kayla and I are not giving up and we will continue to find a way to continue to support our LGBTQIAP+ youth and ALL youth in our communities.
So while all of this was happening, someone asked me on Twitter so share a list of the books I put in my display so he could add them to his TBR. I wanted to share them with all of you, so here’s the list of books I had in my display plus a few I wanted to include but were already checked out. I hope that you’ll find at least one of them that will benefit you.
Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
Ask the Passengers by A.S. King
The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo
The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Two Boys Kissing and Every Day by David Levithan (honestly, everything by David Levithan)
In Real Life by Joey Graceffa
Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Binge by Tyler Oakley
Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
A Work in Progress by Connor Franta
Breakthrough: How One Teen Innovator Is Changing the World by Jack Andraka
More Than This by Patrick Ness
Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin
The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
Other books that I wanted in my display but they are already checked out (which is even better):
There are so many other books I wanted to include. I would also recommend checking out Dahlia Adler’s LGBTQ Reads website for more recommendations!
If you are interested in hearing about what happens with this situation, I’ll be tweeting updates, so follow me @StefaniSloma.