Letters to the Editor

Newport-Mesa Uncensored helps to censor books at Newport Beach Library

On Monday night (April 15) the Newport Beach Library Board heard two appeals regarding books located in its children’s section of the city’s libraries. The staff and Library Services Director Melissa Hartson had previously determined the two books which were appealed by four patrons were in compliance with the Collection Development Policy. The two books appealed were Melissa by Alex Gino (ages 9-11) and Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack (ages 3-8).

The patron appeals, three for Melissa and one for Prince and Knight were heard first, followed by public comments. Forty-five people spoke regarding Melissa of which half expressed concerns regarding the age appropriateness of the subject matter which includes gender transition/medical treatment options. The Library Board shared concerns as well and in a narrow majority voted 3-2 to have the book re-located to the library’s teen section.

One patron appealed the Prince and Knight regarding its promotion of a homosexual relationship. Approximately 15 people offered public comments. Chairman Watkins said, “The book is less controversial.” The board voted unanimously to retain the book in the children’s section.

Many of the attendees remarked that this is just the tip of the iceberg as there are numerous books in the public library and the school district libraries that are borderline pornographic/vulgar.

Newport-Mesa Uncensored has been investigating this issue for more than two years. The Newport Beach Library Board will be hearing additional Patron Book Appeals on May 20 and June 17.

Bill Dunlap

Newport Beach


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