Parents in Warren County, Virginia, are demanding the removal of books they describe as pornographic from the children’s section of the Samuels Library.
Some 250 people attended the June 6 meeting of the Warren County Board of Supervisors, with many attending to protest the books. The books in question include explicit descriptions and/or drawings of sexual acts, including a number that advocate homosexuality.
Many parents spoke out against the books during the public comment portion of the meeting. “This is not literature. This is smut,” one father said after reading an excerpt from one of the books.
In response, the Board of Supervisors announced the following week that it will restrict 75% of the Samuels Library funding until September, while it negotiates with the library about what to do with the books.
“The meeting was a notable success, indicative of the power of community action and the importance of standing up for the safety of our children,” according to a press release from Clean Up Samuels, a grassroots group that is protesting the books.
“From what we can tell,” the group said in a June 14 press release, “it’s not looking like the books will be removed entirely. Rather, the board is negotiating to move them to the adult’s section, and to place restrictions on who can access the adult’s section without an adult. We thank the Board of Supervisors for their votes and willingness to listen seriously to our concerns. We sincerely appreciate all the hard work they are doing for our community. With that said, our demands remain the same.”
Those demands, according to the Clean Up Samuels website, are:
- Immediate removal, not relocation, of pornographic books from the children’s section of the library
- Redefinition of library policies, including the severing of all ties with the American Library Association
- Change of leadership at the Samuels Library
The group states that the current leadership at the library has supported the presence of the books and has resisted when members of the public have asked that the books be removed.
“We call for [the library leadership’s] removal and replacement with individuals who prioritize the well-being and innocence of children,” the group says. “No adult who jeopardizes the innocence of children should be permitted to work around them or within our library.”
Clean Up Samuels’ website includes a link to summaries and disturbing quotes from many of the books.
Photo: Suad Kamardeen/Unsplash