SUMNER COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Sumner County librarians are preparing for the book ban fight to come to them.
They’re talking about what should happen when someone claims a book is obscene or pornographic.
When it comes to book challenges in Middle Tennessee, we’ve seen our fair share from multiple school districts to the Rutherford County Public Library.
“We don’t want to do anything where we put material in children’s hands where we could harm them physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually,” said Jackie Wilber, chairman of the Sumner County Library Trustee Board.
On Wednesday, Sumner’s County’s Library Board spoke about how it’ll handle book challenges to stay in compliance with Tennessee’s obscenity law.
“We want to be prepared for when someone does challenge it to say, ‘We appreciate your challenge,’” Wilber said.
However, when it comes to book challenges, those who oppose it say it’s a distraction and getting out of hand.
“It can’t be overstated how concerned we are in the eroding of the trust of the librarians, both in the public library and the school system,” Hilary Lounder said.
In Sumner County, every book is read by a public librarian before being placed on the appropriate shelf.
“We should treat them like the professionals they are. Every once in a while, you may find a book that you don’t believe should be there, but put it back on the shelf and find something else,” Lounder said.
However, Wilber said librarians need to be prepared for potential challenges as they are becoming more and more frequent across Middle Tennessee.
“I just think we are becoming more aware of how these children are exposed to things that maybe we didn’t understand before,” Wilber said.
On Wednesday, the library board did not make any final decisions on a collection development policy. The board is looking at how other libraries are handling the issue, including Clarksville.
The board’s chairman told News 2 she does not know of any book challenges within the Sumner County Public Library System so far.