League City Library Starts To Take Books Off Shelves

League City Library Starts To Take Books Off Shelves

Anna Lucia Arguello, Staff Writer

I’ve never approved of censorship in any form. Public libraries are meant to be safe havens, places where people can learn about the world using reliable information. Books expose us to experiences and viewpoints we never would have considered before, and there’s no telling how powerful that can be for some people. It’s certainly been influential in my life. Knowing this, one can imagine my disappointment in learning that the League City Council passed a set of book restrictions, as well as measures for parents to challenge children’s books and potentially take them off the shelves. 

This isn’t the first case of banned books in Texas, and it certainly won’t be the last. School districts and public libraries alike have been passing similar restrictions on controversial and age-inappropriate content. Such content includes mentions of pedophilia, rape, and any other book labelled “obscene” for children under the age of ten, which sounds fine. The only problem is any mention of LGBTQ+ topics and characters are also considered age inappropriate, effectively lumping them in with horrendous abusers. Supporters of these restrictions argue that they were passed by the will of the public. It’s a good thing that our voices are being heard and policies are being applied accordingly. After all, parents should have the right to instill whatever values they wish into their children, a feat that becomes significantly harder with access to contradicting information.  

However, dissidents are quick to point out that these restrictions are not the wish of every parent. Some want their children to learn all they can about the world as it is and the variety of people who inhabit it. They believe their children will benefit from knowing about these identities, and that exposure to these concepts help foster respect and empathy. According to them, their wishes aren’t being included. Furthermore, many are quick to criticize the broad language of the ban. Many topics could be considered “obscene”. Anything from foul language to sever racism could be described using the same word. How are librarians supposed to discern between offending subject matter and prejudice?  

This isn’t about just our library. This restriction is only part of a larger trend, one telling children what they can and can’t read. There is a fine line between protection and censorship, one I fear is being crossed. Parents can set rules for their own children. If they don’t want their children reading certain books, I can disagree with them, but it’s still their right. But when they decide that these restrictions should apply to every child is when I start to see a problem.