ORANGE CITY, Iowa – A northwest Iowa library is shifting how it categorizes books after some residents pressed for segregating materials containing LGBTQ themes.
The Orange City Public Library's board decided Tuesday to experiment with grouping books by subject and subcategory rather than alphabetical order by an author's name.
The library's board president, Jared Weber, said the changes may start with a trial run on a few subjects over the summer and expand to the rest of the library if patrons like the new system.
The move comes a month after some community members circulated a petition calling on the library to label and separate materials involving LGBTQ issues, the Sioux City Journal reported .
The petition, which received more than 340 signatures, also asked the library to seek public input before acquiring new materials on LGBTQ topics. The library board will vote next month on revising the library's policy to require an additional check on acquisitions.
The board unanimously voted Tuesday to keep the children's book "Morris Mickelwhite and the Tangerine Dress" by Christine Baldacchino, which features a boy whose peers don't understand why he enjoys wearing a dress.
Resident Kurt Korver brought forward the book to the library board, saying it advances a transgender agenda. He said Orange City residents aren't "racists, bigots or homophobes" but rather "generous, caring people who generally pity those who have gender dysphoria."
Korver accused the materials of trying to "indoctrinate" local youth.
Board member Mabel Mantel said banning the book is counterproductive, and that it's parents' responsibility to monitor their children's reading.
"You have to set the parameters and you have to make the decisions and you have to enforce them," she said. "Not us. Not the library board that meets one hour a month."
Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com