‘This was an attempt at censorship and it’s dangerous’

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Letter to the Editor iconAs regular visitors to the Westborough Library, we were appalled to witness the actions of one resident, at the town meeting where she voted against funding the library, due to her opinions about book content and demands to have it removed from the children’s section. 

Defund the library because we don’t like a book?

After the meeting with the Library Trustees, it became apparent this was never about relocating to another section. This was an attempt at censorship and it’s dangerous.

 “We need to Talk About Vaginas” written for children 10-14, is meant to educate about anatomy and experiences during puberty. This is not a book written for teenagers. 

As parents, it’s our responsibility to determine what our children can and cannot read, not another adult’s. If we don’t want our children to read a certain book we can simply have them pick something else. You don’t remove that choice from another parent.

For women, the relocation/removal of this particular book is deeply concerning. The underlying message is that girls should be ashamed of their bodies. Girls are taught to cover up their bodies because it’s distracting to boys. As a society we continue to perpetuate these messages through impactful transgressions such as removing a book from the library because it made “some” people uncomfortable.

If we begin relocating books for discomfort, the next step will be banning them. The argument now is “no one wants to ban books, that’s not what this is” however it’s unclear where to draw that line. This is the beginning of censorship if allowed.

Consider the voices that aren’t as loud as the ones complaining and don’t have the social capital to advocate. More importantly, think of the children that desperately need this book and the library to be a place for safe learning. These voices matter.

Staff of WPL, thank you. We have tremendous respect for how you handle the challenges you are placed in due to the harmful ideologies of a few residents. Those few do NOT represent the majority of this town. 

Respectfully,

Sara McCabe
Brandin Tumeinski
Westborough

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