‘Gender Queer’ back in Wake County Public Libraries as revisions being made to book removal process

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Wake County Public Libraries is working to revise its process for permanently removing books from its collection.

This comes after WCPL removed the novel “Gender Queer” in mid-December. The book, which explores gender identity, was written by Maia Kobabe and was published in 2019.

“The library system created this process in 2005, and since then, national best practices have changed,” said Wake County Public Libraries Director Mike Wasilick. “We recognized it was time to modernize our procedures and ensure they’re inclusive, open and supportive of a public library that welcomes all.”

During a work session on Monday, WCPL and the Wake County Board of Commissioners discussed the removal process.

A group described by WCPL as “a diverse cross-section of library staff” is looking at how library systems in San Diego, Seattle, Austin and Boston handle the removal process.

The group is also reviewing the American Library Association’s latest recommendations.

“Once the revision is complete, it must be approved by library administration, the Community Services Department and the Wake County Manager’s Office. The Wake County Library Commission and the Wake County Board of Commissioners will also review it,” a news release from the county said.

The graphic novel “Lawn Boy” will remain on WCPL shelves. The graphic novel was reviewed at the same time as “Gender Queer” but its status did not change.

Both will be re-evaluated once a new system for removal is in place.

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