MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Alabama Governor Kay Ivey called out the Foley Public Library in a recent letter written to the Alabama Public Library Service director.
Gov. Ivey’s letter to Nancy C. Pack addresses her concern regarding what she called “inappropriate, sexually suggestive materials” placed in public libraries with children and teenagers as the intended audience.
Recently, some Foley residents have voiced their concerns regarding a handful of books in the young adult section that, according to those residents, have “sexual content.” Gov. Ivey addressed one book in particular that is at the library.
“According to reports, the children’s section of the Foley Public Library has featured a book called Who are You?: The Kid’s Guide to Gender Identity, which is marketed to five to eight-year-olds for ‘understanding and celebrating the gender diversity that surrounds us,” read Gov. Ivey’s letter.
Gov. Ivey said she has received multiple complaints from parents; however, she said parents aren’t saying the books should be pulled from libraries. Parents have allegedly told Gov. Ivey that they believe the books should be “placed in appropriate locations.” She goes on to say, “if our children and youth are going to encounter these books at all, it should be because of a considered family decision, not the whims of a local library.
The Foley library requires that children 15 and younger have parental approval before checking books out. The American Library Association’s website says “Like adults, children and teens have the right to find the information they choose.”
The City of Foley announced in March that they were working on plans for a new $20 million library in Foley. The director of the library, John Jackson, said the new library will make more room for literacy classes, computer instruction, meeting spaces, resume preparation services and more. He expects the library to be complete sometime in 2025.