Rural Iowa town’s public library facing calls for LGBTQ book ban


There’s a battle brewing in rural Iowa over some LGBTQ-inclusive books some people consider inappropriate. Efforts to ban books are a story that’s becoming familiar across the country. But here in Logan Iowa, one local author is at the center of that scrutiny.The complaint brought before the town’s library board feels personal for some. Kailee Coleman first and foremost was looking to teach tolerance when she penned and published her children’s book, “And That’s Their Family.”“I’m so proud of the book that I wrote,” Coleman said.But a few people in Logan want to see her book, a children’s biography about the gay rights activist, and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk banned from the public library.”I was surprised because the book is a book of facts, it’s just family structures that exist in our world,” Coleman said.A letter addressed to the library’s board asks not to put, “Books that portray homosexuality and LGBTQ in a positive manner in the children’s section,” nor put them on display.KETV NewsWatch 7 made several attempts to reach the authors of this letter, to no avail.”Diversity and inclusivity and representation are fundamental to my philosophy as a librarian,” Logan Library Director Kate Simmons said.She’s preparing to handle book ban discussions by doing what librarians do best.”The board members and I have all researched and read and reread and reread the ALA documents,” Simmons said.That’s the American Library Association. “The reality is that libraries are in the forefront of the battle to protect the first amendment,” she said.Libraries may be famously quiet, but Simmons is willing to raise her voice in favor of LGBTQ representation – and she’s an open book about why.”I am a member of the LGBTQIA community, and I did not come to this public library for a period of about 10 years because I did not feel represented,” she said.”Representation is so important.”Simmons hopes the community’s next chapter is marked by goodwill.”I think kindness and acceptance are going to have to come into play here,” she said.Monday’s board meeting has been moved to city hall so there’s more space for public dialogue.

There’s a battle brewing in rural Iowa over some LGBTQ-inclusive books some people consider inappropriate.

Efforts to ban books are a story that’s becoming familiar across the country. But here in Logan Iowa, one local author is at the center of that scrutiny.

The complaint brought before the town’s library board feels personal for some.

Kailee Coleman first and foremost was looking to teach tolerance when she penned and published her children’s book, “And That’s Their Family.”

“I’m so proud of the book that I wrote,” Coleman said.

But a few people in Logan want to see her book, a children’s biography about the gay rights activist, and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, Harvey Milk banned from the public library.

“I was surprised because the book is a book of facts, it’s just family structures that exist in our world,” Coleman said.

A letter addressed to the library’s board asks not to put, “Books that portray homosexuality and LGBTQ in a positive manner in the children’s section,” nor put them on display.

KETV NewsWatch 7 made several attempts to reach the authors of this letter, to no avail.

“Diversity and inclusivity and representation are fundamental to my philosophy as a librarian,” Logan Library Director Kate Simmons said.

She’s preparing to handle book ban discussions by doing what librarians do best.

“The board members and I have all researched and read and reread and reread the ALA documents,” Simmons said.

That’s the American Library Association.

“The reality is that libraries are in the forefront of the battle to protect the first amendment,” she said.

Libraries may be famously quiet, but Simmons is willing to raise her voice in favor of LGBTQ representation – and she’s an open book about why.

“I am a member of the LGBTQIA community, and I did not come to this public library for a period of about 10 years because I did not feel represented,” she said.

“Representation is so important.”

Simmons hopes the community’s next chapter is marked by goodwill.

“I think kindness and acceptance are going to have to come into play here,” she said.

Monday’s board meeting has been moved to city hall so there’s more space for public dialogue.



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