Librarians, booksellers in Minot share concerns over proposed book bans

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:01 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – Some legislation introduced at this year’s session has created concern for those who work in libraries and bookstores.

Senate Bill 2123 and House Bill 1205 have generated some confusion for those who work around books.

Minot Public Library Director Janet Anderson said that included under the list of sexually explicit material is sexual identity or gender identity.

”There are certain things in there like gender identity where it says you can’t have any materials with it,” said Anderson.

Lindsey Bertsch, the marketing and events coordinator at Main Street Books, said it’s laughable.

”It’s incredibly vague and implies to me they don’t know what that term means,” said Bertsch.

House Bill 1205 states that public libraries must remove books that are classified as sexually explicit material.

”When you leave it to someone’s opinion, that gets messy because, in theory, we may not be able to carry books about breastfeeding because there are many people who don’t agree with that,” said Anderson.

Another policy in the proposal is if an individual has issues with a book, they can submit a request to remove it and the library would have to do so.

”There’s no room for negotiation; no room for reconsideration,” said Anderson.

Anderson said she’s gotten feedback from pastors who are worried the ban would reach Bibles because of its portrayal of nudity.

Senate Bill 2123 said if a book contains written or visual depictions of nudity, that person will be subjected to a class B misdemeanor in any establishment minors are welcomed.

”I don’t think they realize just how many books have written descriptions of a nude person,” said Bertsch.

The Minot Public library has the whole downstairs floor dedicated to children’s books and follows a sorting process for different genres and age groups.

The legislation is still in its early stages.

Related content:

ND lawmakers considering book ban