Library Board to Decide Monday Whether LGBTQ Teen Book Stays in Lafayette Public Libraries | New


Whether a book about growing up LGBTQ will remain in the teenage section or in some part of the Lafayette Parish public library system can be decided on Monday by the very conservative Lafayette Parish Library Control Board.

Michael Lunsford, executive director of the conservative Citizens for a New Louisiana group, filed a complaint in October for “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson.

Described as a publication on health and special studies on the sexuality and growth of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer, “This Book is Gay” is on a list of publications that Lunsford said he received from MassResistance, a anti-LGBTQ group that has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Teen LGBTQ, sex education book in the parish library of Lafayette contested as pornography

Lunsford has filed a lawsuit against the book, which he says contains pornography.

In accordance with the library system’s collection development policy, a committee was appointed, consisting of two library staff and one board member, Stephanie Armbruster, a curator who, before being appointed to the board of directors, protested against the 2018 library hosting of Drag Queen Story Time, where men dressed as women read to children.

“The review committee is an ad hoc committee that conducts its activities behind closed doors,” says the collection development policy. Once the committee has made a decision, the library manager sends a letter to the complainant informing them of the decision. If the person is not satisfied with the decision, they can appeal to the library board.

This call is heard at the library meeting that begins at 5:15 p.m. Monday at the main library in downtown Lafayette. Anyone can address the board by filling out a speaker card before the meeting. Speakers are limited to three minutes.

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“The decision of the library board will be final,” the policy says.

Vacancies on the board of directors of the Lafayette parish library are an opportunity to add to the trend on the right

Lunsford and Citizens for a New Louisiana influenced who the parish council chooses to serve on the library board.

The new chair of the library board since November 1 is Robert Judge, who, like Armbruster, protested Drag Queen Story Time before being chosen by the parish council in February to take a seat on the board of administration. He was selected from seven candidates, including university professors. He has twice attempted to restrict the library system’s mission statement to suppress recreation and cultural enrichment, which would most likely eliminate offers such as loaning fishing rods and sewing machines.

Landon Boudreaux, member of the executive committee of the Republican parish of Lafayette, also sits on the library’s board of directors. Lunsford, who works in downtown Lafayette but is not a resident of the parish, is on the executive committee of the Republican Parish of St. Martin.

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