A library in Temple, Texas is evaluating its display policy after it was criticized by an activist organization for highlighting LGBT-themed books during June 2017’s celebration of Pride Month. Concerned Christian Citizens (CCC) protested the inclusion of LGBT information in library displays and demanded that the library give equal representation to anti-LGBT materials. Together with the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, NCAC has sent a letter to the Temple Library Board offering support and guidance in their development of new display policies.
When organizing book displays, libraries should seek to represent diverse viewpoints that reflect the community they serve. However, no single display can possibly contain all viewpoints on a particular issue; nor is there any requirement that it should. Currently, libraries are working to be more inclusive of an array of voices through multilingual books, visual art displays and performances reflecting their community’s culture. In addition to inviting outside organizations to create displays, libraries are free to independently organize displays that promote underrepresented voices or that celebrate the achievements of marginalized social and political groups. Thus, a display celebrating Black History Month need not include books representing racist views; a display celebrating Women’s History Month need not include books about the achievements of men; and likewise, a display celebrating LGBT Pride Month need not include books arguing the immorality of non-heterosexual orientations.
The full letter can be read below.