This letter is in response to the St. Tammany Parish Library’s youth access program.
A few concerned parents/patrons may use this new program to implement parental controls on their own children’s library cards, and I hope that this is the end of the squabble because no other parent/patron has the right to limit my children’s access. I only hope many children’s parents are too disengaged to actually implement these controls, so these children can have access to whatever they wish to read. Any parent who actually does this probably believes their children don’t know how to defeat whatever other parental controls they’ve set up in life.
Suppressing access to information is despicable. It’s a shame in this cultural explosion of queer representation, where today’s kids might get to envision themselves in characters who are written as multidimensional, there are insecure patrons concerned these books are available at all.
Gay and trans kids exist and deserve to read about themselves. LGBTQ+ elders would have been grateful to have this contemporary level of equitable representation in library books. Truly, if anyone is upset about their child checking out LGBTQ+ library books, the child will probably be out of that parent’s life one way or another soon anyway. Help your own child, or at least get out of their way and let them educate themselves.
STPL, do not allow displaced political hostility to direct collection management. The public library is the only access to this topic for many young patrons living in homophobic and transphobic households.
If my own parents had supported some ban on Judy Blume’s books when I was a child, I would have sought out and found her books a lot quicker than I did. Don’t concern yourself with what someone else is checking out from the library; just be glad they’re reading because we need less willful ignorance in our world.
JOLENE DOPP GARCIA
full-time mom, wife