Northern Idaho Libraries Respond to Concerns About ‘Inappropriate’ Books | Idaho News

KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — Some Kootenai County residents are expressing concern about books they deem too inappropriate to have in libraries.

This problem has arisen throughout northern Idaho. The Boundary County library superintendent and the Coeur d’Alene library supervisor say they quit because of it.

Panhandle Patriots president and founder Viper says some of the books libraries have in Kootenai County are sexually graphic.

“I’ll tell you the difference. Around the time someone put this stuff on my daughter — I’m a bird of a different feather — they would never do it again,” Viper said.

“This is terrible. Anyone who has reached the age of maturity and the age of consent – if they want to read this material, so be it. But this material in there is pure child pornography and simple,” Viper said.

The Panhandle Patriots have created a document that contains several graphic books that they say are on library shelves.

KHQ North Idaho reporter John Webb stopped by the Hayden and Coeur d’Alene library to see if those books, featured in the document, were there.

Of the 13 books found in the pamphlet, four belonged to either the Coeur d’Alene library or the Hayden library. A memoir titled Gender Queer is currently in the Liberty Lake Library. Most of the brochure are in the adult sections, with a couple in the young adults. None were in the children’s section.

KHQ’s John Webb spoke to Coeur d’Alene library director Michael Priest and he said that last year they had to formally review two books that some patrons called inappropriate.

“Yes, that was their main concern, that it was inappropriate materials in a children’s library, based on LGBTQ themes. It was something that was certainly on their minds,” Priest said.

The two books Priest talks about are Prince and Knight and The Hips on the Drag Queen.

A committee reviewed both books and declared them to be appropriate. The boss appealed later, asking the board to take a look. They eventually deemed it appropriate to display.

Priest says that for his library, it’s important that the whole community is reflected in his collection.

“We have families who certainly want to see materials of this nature in our library. It reflects them, and I think that’s important,” Priest said.

Hayden Community Library Network Manager Roxanne Kalenborn says it is ultimately up to the parent to keep track of what their child reads.

“Our policy says it’s not up to us to decide what a child reads. A child needs permission from their parents to get a card and it is the parent’s role to know what the child reads and borrows from the library,” Kalenborn said.

Anyone can submit a request for review to the library and we are told it will go through a committee to determine if a book should be in a library.

Colin L. Johnson