Minot ‘read-in’ protests book banning legislation

Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 8:29 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) – Earlier this week, some citizens protesting legislation that would ban certain books held a ‘read-in’ at the Veterans Memorial Library in Bismarck.

A similar demonstration was held Saturday at the Minot Public Library.

As it currently stands in Senate Bill 2360, any written or visual depiction of sexually explicit content inappropriate for minors shouldn’t be available in public libraries and businesses.

Christine Cherry, a member of the Minot Public Library board, said with the way the bill is written that would include such content in movies, TV shows and video games carried anywhere in the libraries and businesses.

“It would have a detrimental effect on our independent bookstores especially, so that is why we shelve our books the way that we do. We have a children’s section which is downstairs,” said Cherry.

Cherry said the ‘read-in’ is an easy way to show support without submitting testimony to state lawmakers.

Courtney Stevens, who regularly visits the library about once a week with her daughter, said she believes it’s important for her as an adult to read what she’s interested in without government interference.

“I think it comes down to a level of trust and I think our librarians do a very good job of that, discerning what should and shouldn’t be upstairs or downstairs,” said Stevens.

Stevens said some of the young adult books that could be on the chopping block include conversations that are important for youth.

The ‘read-in’ was not organized directly by the library itself, but by Cherry.

The next date for the bills in the Senate and the House are not set yet.

Related content:

Citizens hold ‘read-in’ in protest of book-banning bills

Patrons of Bismarck library plan read-in

Minot-area parents, teens react to book banning bills going before ND lawmakers

Librarians, booksellers in Minot share concerns over proposed book bans