FISHERS, Ind. — The leader of the Hamilton County Public Library Board announced that a discussion will be taking place soon as the board continues to find itself at the center of controversy after removing “The Fault in Our Stars” and other books from the Young Adult section.
“The Board will lead a discussion regarding the book review process and the operational plan to ensure we have the best outcome in the days ahead,” said Laura Alerding, the Hamilton East Public Library Board president, in an email that was sent to FOX59 Friday night.
No timeline on when the public discussion on the policy will take place was provided.
The Hamilton East Public Library has been at the forefront of national headlines this week as “The Fault in Our Stars “Author John Green criticized the board’s Collection Development Policy on Wednesday, a policy that moved his book and several others from the Young Adult section into the Adult section.
The full policy can be found here.
“This is ludicrous,” Green said on social media after learning of the decision. “It is about teenagers and I wrote it for teenagers. Teenagers are not harmed by reading TFIOS. This is such an embarrassment…”
The policy has also drawn criticism from the Indiana Library Federation as its Advocacy Co-Chair Chad Heck said he hopes “the library board reconsiders this policy and keeps those books together and really encourages parents to be involved in the reading lives of their kids.”
The policy focuses on removing any materials deemed to be inappropriate for youth, middle school and high school sections. Any books containing sexual content are not permitted to be shelved in those sections.
The library has been in the process of reviewing its materials for any sexual content that might be accessible to teens in particular, as noted in the latest board meeting agenda.
The review process is estimated to cost as much as $300,000 as the library has needed to bolster staffing to read through materials currently housed in the Young Adult section to determine if they are age-appropriate.
The library has moved 1,385 titles to the Adult section so far but still needs to review nearly 75% of the materials currently housed in the library.
Alerding’s full statement can be read below:
Over the past several months, the Hamilton East Public Library Board of Trustees has taken great strides to protect our most vulnerable patrons, our children, from content that was not age appropriate. While parents or guardians have the responsibility to determine what is appropriate for their own children, our Collection Development Policy ensures that families are no longer confronted with age- inappropriate content in the children’s section.
Due to the events of this week, the Board will lead a discussion regarding the book review process and the operational plan to ensure we have the best outcome in the days ahead.
There will be no further comment at this time. The Board will plan to discuss this further
at its upcoming board meeting.