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Corpus Christi community voice concerns about book censorship

Library Subcommittee Meeting
Posted at 8:51 PM, Jul 02, 2024

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx — On Tuesday, dozens of people packed out the Corpus Christi Library Subcommittee meeting as the topic on book censorship filled the room.

During public comment, many community members voiced their concerns about the potential ban on certain books, while others supported the need for the subcommittee.

“I would love to see myself in books and stories and I want to make sure that youth can find themselves in books as well," Director of Coastal Bend Pride Center Robert Kymes said.

Others mentioned that they believed parents should choose what their children are exposed to, rather than the children's decision.

The city’s Library Board created the subcommittee nearly a month ago to provide advice for the library collection development policy.

The conversation to ban certain books in public libraries and minimize the need for librarians has grown across Texas.

However, in Corpus Christi, many community members believe that without a variety of topics in libraries, people, especially children, will not learn about certain cultures, diverse groups, religions or feel properly represented.

“We need resources that our minority children, teens and adults read and see themselves represented," one community member said during the meeting. "We need to ensure that the offerings that are available on our shelves meet the wide range of all our citizens.”

In particular, some people posted their concerns on social media about banning books of the LGBTQIA community, minority history, diversity, equity or inclusion.

Their referencing focused on pioneers like Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Sylvia Rivera and more.

“I am part of the LGBTQIA community and I believe that without any real knowledge of what it’s like in being a LGBTIA person or a minority person, that having availability of books at libraries will change a child who is exposed to it," Tom Tagliabue, who is against the ban on books, said.

Teenagers were in attendance and emphasized the need to keep books that drive representation.

“There are so many self-help books that I have checked out in the library just to help me, like I said in the meeting, to help guide my emotions," teenager, Kat Dutton, said. As a trans teen, I want the library to stay a safe space.”

Some even believe the board’s subcommittee should be eliminated completely. But there are others who also think that content within libraries should be monitored, particularly when certain literature is over sexualized.

“We have to protect the kids," Carol Nash, a supporter of the Corpus Christi Library Board subcommittee said. "Let the children be children. But do we really need to involve sex in everything because that’s basically what it is. They want to have books that are more like them [the LGBTQIA community], but what about the children that are confused and need something to help them look at the other side to see if this is really what they want. It seems like they only want the one side.”

Ultimately, the Corpus Christi Library Board Subcommittee did not move forward in their decision-making.

Another meeting will be held in August.

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