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Midland County Commissioners discuss revising policies on books at county library

Commissioners and the library director will look at policies regarding kids books on shelves at the library.

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland County Commissioners still haven't turned the page just yet on the policies regarding books for kids in the county library.

The reconsideration policy, which allows people to fill out forms on books they want the library to reconsider taking off shelves, will be revised. 

"So, we’re redoing the reconsideration policy for it to delineate exactly what the timelines are gonna be," said Dianne Anderson, commissioner for Precinct 4. "Then there is another form called policies and forms. We’re trying to get that updated, and we’re also now working on something that classifies the age groups so that youth starts at 17 and up."

Anderson hopes to also classify age groups for kids ages 9 to 17.

"We’re not trying to ban books, we’re trying to get books placed in the section that is more appropriate than a 9-year-old getting to view books that are totally inappropriate," said Anderson. "That’s what a majority of the parents are trying to remove, are books that have sexual language, the drugs, the profanity, inappropriate behaviors. If people want to have that, then put it in the correct section."

Timothy O'Leary is a Midland resident who came to the court and spoke during public comment, expressing how important it is to keep books on the shelves that still represent the whole community.

"These librarians are professionals in the field," said O'Leary. "The question with Midland public libraries is not what do I want to see on the shelves, or what does another individual want to see on the shelves, it’s what can we put on the shelves that's reflective of our community, and the members of our community, and that serves our community, and that’s what these librarians are trained to do. They’re trained to evaluate the literature in a way to be able to curate a good collection for our entire community, and I have the utmost confidence in Midland public libraries to do so."

Along with the librarians, O'Leary said reinforcing representation falls on elected officials also.

"It’s really important that the court keeps in mind that we are still your constituents, and we still deserve representation," said O'Leary. "You are an elected official. It is your job to represent the entirety of the populace, not just your church, not just your worldview, not just your frame of reference, everyone around you."

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