Members of the Victoria Public Library advisory board voted to keep all 21 contested books during a specially called meeting Wednesday evening. 

Only one board member, Crystal Thornton, objected to some of the books. She said she was basing her decisions on the number of times a book has been checked out, voting against books to be kept that have been out less than a third of the year. 

In September, a group of 12 residents requested the library advisory board to review the 21 books after a request to the library director to have the books removed or moved to a designated area in the library was denied. Most of the 21 books belong in the children's or young adult's sections of the library, and all but one portray or discuss LGBTQ issues and relationships.

The group had originally submitted 43 formal citizen request forms for reevaluation of library material this summer, but only 21 books were mentioned in the appeals to the advisory board. 

A public hearing was held in November, during which residents filled the meeting chambers to have their voices heard.

Comments during the meeting were mixed. Some expressed concerns that books, which they consider pornographic, could be easily found by children in the library. Others merely had objections to any books that portray LGBTQ relationships and people as normal. 

But others thanked the library for maintaining and growing such a diverse collection of books and argued that having queer representation in a public library is important. 

Ultimately, the advisory board made no decision during that meeting, saying they needed more time to review the material and deliberate on a possible solution. 

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Cat writes about Victoria's city and county government. Questions, tips, or ideas? Let me know cdelaura@vicad.com or (361) 580-6511

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Cat DeLaura is the local government reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She was born in Texas, but grew up in Virginia. She came back to Texas to get her masters in Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin.

(7) comments

Mary Ann Wenske

Looks like pornography wins the day. These are books for youth, not adults. According to a previous Advocate article, at least one of these books promoted and demonstrated how to have oral sex. Children are bombarded with over-sexualized messages today, and yes, now in the Victoria Library. How sad. Another place to either avoid, or in the very least, tell your kid that the public library now promotes books encouraging early sexualization and guard yourself, avoid them, and tell the adults in the library this is a supreme lowering of standards to promote oral sex to children. Shame on them.

Vanessa Hicks-Callaway

We need a library board that will spend the limited dollars they have on books for our children that they need to make them academically and economically competitive on a global scale in the 21st century like more STEM books. We need our children to be exposed to books that will challenge what is in their heads and not what is between their legs. Did I go too far? Not according to the Victoria Public Library. Another domino has fallen. Wake up Victoria.

Rick Dockery

Good luck finding literature. I've had to interlibrary loan several classical literature books of the top 100 books of all time. Our tax dollars fund the library, yet the board is not voted in.

Mike Gomez

Rick,I recently downloaded some books online through the VPL .They team up with other libraries to provide a huge supply of choices….I for one am grateful for the facility we have downtown.

Rick Dockery

My wife, kids, and grandkids do that. I'm old school, I like the feel of a book. I can find older books super cheap on thrift books.

LEONARD SADDLER

I wouldn’t waste time or charcoal on two rosters trying to make a hen. Looks like we have a wasted library board. IMO.

George Schwarz Staff
George Schwarz

So, how final is this decision? Could this come up again?

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