We Do Not Book Discriminate

We Do Not Book Discriminate

Friday, December 7th by Paula Patterson

As children’s librarians in a public library, we get the pleasure of providing books for all types of families and individuals.  There are always those books that rise to the top of popularity.  Some of the most popular ones right now are the Elephant & Piggie books, Dogman books, and all of Erin Hunter’s books.  I doubt horse books, fairy books, and Scooby-Doo will ever go away.  What about the books that are somewhat controversial? 
It is not uncommon to get feedback from parents that certain books are not appropriate.  Maybe they are warning us about a certain topic that they think we need a heads up on.  Some examples would be the books with conversations on suicide, boys wearing dresses, and children who have been traumatized in some way.  Here’s what we have to say to that.  If there are certain topics that you do not want in your home, preview the books and do not check them out.  Not all families and homes look alike.  You, as the parent, have that right to decide what you feel is appropriate for your family. 
Our job is to help all types of people and families find something that they are looking for here.  Personally, we use children’s books in our home as a resource to help us with difficult conversations.  In today’s world, I personally want my children to feel comfortable talking to me about friends, puberty, school, depression/anxiety, suicide, peer pressure, or a friend who has been abused.  Sadly, the list goes on.  I want the children coming into the library who are in foster care to find a book that can help them through their journey.  I want the boy who likes to wear dresses to read a book about self-love.  I hope that my children can read a book and see life through a different perspective.
Keep reading.  Keep trying new books.  Is there something specific that we can help you find or get here in our own library?  We love to hear from you. 
Paula Patterson
Youth Services Librarian