Group opposes Ida Rupp Public Library levy, calls for content restrictions

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 7:42 PM EDT
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PORT CLINTON, Ohio (WTVG) - A community group is calling for voters to reject the Ida Rupp Public Libraries’ levy this November.

The group is called “Clean Up Ida Rupp” and they’re advocating for content restrictions across the teen and children’s sections. The library district’s Executive Director, Lindsay Faust, disagrees with the group’s proposal.

“We don’t believe in censoring things based on one person or one group’s personal beliefs,” Faust said. “We also are big proponents of protecting the first amendment.”

The group has a list of books they want removed from the young adult section and placed in the adult section. According to their website, they’re also asking for those books to be labeled as “harmful to children and juveniles,” and for the library to require parental consent for minors to check out those titles.

Additionally, they want books dealing with gender and sexual orientation labeled with stickers as containing “gender ideology,” among other policy changes.

A spokesperson for the group declined an interview, but the website details its concerns, saying “... a library card for a child should not lead to a future porn addict nor identity confusion without parental consent.”

Faust says she’s seen this debate play out nationally and at other libraries she’s worked at, but never expected it to come to Ida Rupp.

“It’s disheartening to know that there’s a group of people who essentially want to defund the library and take away services from their fellow community members,” Faust said.

She said the library hosts a variety of material from diverse viewpoints and each patron can make their choice on what to read.

“We feel that if you don’t want to read a particular book on our shelves, we don’t ask you to check that out. It’s within your right not to take that item,” Faust said.

Faust says the levy is the library’s main funding source and has passed with around 70% approval in the past. If the levy doesn’t pass this election, the library will remain open, but she admits they’ll have to scale back their services.

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