Another Skirmish in the Book Wars

Botetourt County resident demonstrates her opposition to proposed restricted access to library by juveniles. Photo credit: Cardinal News

by Dick Hall-Sizemore

After hearing from residents in two meetings demanding that LGBTQ+ material be removed from the county library, the Botetourt County Board of Supervisors has come up with a suggestion that, indeed, would put parents in charge, but would create great inconvenience for everybody involved.

As reported by Cardinal News, the Board of Supervisors has recommended that the local library board adopt a policy requiring that all persons under 18 be accompanied by a parent or guardian while visiting a library branch. There would be an exception for 16- and 17-year olds who had written permission from their parents on file with the library.

The result would be a great inconvenience for parents of kids younger than 16 who are not worried about the materials in the library. Likely, those kids would end up reading less.

A better solution would be for those parents who do not want their children exposed to LGBTQ+ material to take on some responsibility themselves. Prohibit their children from going to the library or, as an alternative, accompany them to the library.

Fortunately, the Board of Supervisors has little authority over the library. As the county attorney noted, public libraries are overseen by the Library of Virginia. It seems that the Board of Supervisors may have been doing a little posturing.