Wellington library access issue sparks conversation on responsibility

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The Wellington town board recently voted to, in essence, ban all book bans in the town’s public library.

This came after resident Christine Gaiter asked the Board of Trustees in August to remove 19 books from the shelves of the public library and put them where children would not be able to access them without permission from an adult.

Instead of deciding to remove or restrict books, the board later approved, by 5-2, a resolution stipulating that the board cannot “censor, suppress, remove, monitor or place age restrictions on ideas or information in our public library.”

So we put a question to our Coloradoan Conversations community: Should Wellington’s ban on book bans be a model for other Colorado libraries?

The conversation on that question and comments on the Coloradoan’s reporting about the issue explored a few of these underlying concerns:

Wellington residents wait in line to address the town's board of trustees and share their support for or against a resolution to prevent the board from restricting materials in the library.

How does a community decide what is harmful?

Gaiter’s request was in response to sexual content in the books, such as “Fifty Shades of Gray,” “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and “The Bluest Eye.”

“My issue is that these books go into too much graphic detail of a sexual act,” she said. “They are not appropriate for children. The library should be a safe place for families and kids.”

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