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The following is presented as part of The Columbian’s Opinion content, which offers a point of view in order to provoke thought and debate of civic issues. Opinions represent the viewpoint of the author. Unsigned editorials represent the consensus opinion of The Columbian’s editorial board, which operates independently of the news department.

Letter: Protect local libraries

By Teresa Torres, Vancouver
Published: August 23, 2023, 6:00am

I was reading The Columbian editorial on the move to close the library in Dayton. (“Close library? Plan reflects disturbing trend,” In Our View, Aug. 15). Some residents there are attempting to permanently close the library as they feel the library is giving minors access to materials with sexual content.

Did you read the editorial and think that could never happen here? Think again. Attend any Fort Vancouver Regional Library board meeting. You will hear the same rhetoric from people claiming the library is “not safe” for children; that librarians are purposely displaying material to “sexualize children.” OK, you think, our library will never ban books. Look at the library board. One member, right before being appointed to the board, was attempting to remove a book she objected to. When the board meeting was held in her town, most of the public comments were from members of her church all purporting that the library is harmful to minors.

Read the back of the library card. “Parents and guardians are responsible for the selection choices of their own minor children.” Don’t like a book, then don’t check it out but do not prevent others from reading any book they want whether it is about sex, politics or religion.

We encourage readers to express their views about public issues. Letters to the editor are subject to editing for brevity and clarity. Limit letters to 200 words (100 words if endorsing or opposing a political candidate or ballot measure) and allow 30 days between submissions. Send Us a Letter