Kafer: Should Colorado book banners be shielded from naming and shaming?

The Denver Post: What do “Twas the Night Before Pride” by Joanna McClintick and “A Child’s Garden of Verses” by the 19th Century poet Robert Louis Stevenson have in common? Their presence in an Arapahoe County library children’s collection was challenged last year.

The former is a celebratory picture-book history of the gay pride movement intended for children 4 to 8 years old contested for age appropriateness. The latter contains a poem written from the vantage point of a naive English child who muses about children around the world yearning to trade places. The prose winks with irony, for it is the British child who appears captivated by the exotic life of “foreign children.” Nonetheless, someone found the cultural comparisons insensitive.

As a member of the media and an Arapahoe County resident, do I have a right to know the names of the people who challenged these library books? Is there ever a compelling reason to have a book removed or moved from the library? How do we balance rights to privacy, access, and input at our public libraries?

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