Move over, Tango, Uncle Bobby's here

Filed under: Big Kids, Gay Parenting, That's Entertainment, Religion & Spirituality

For two years straight, And Tango Makes Three was the top most challenged library book, according to the American Library Association. This year, however, another book might just take that dubious honor away. Uncle Bobby's Wedding is a story of a young guinea pig who is worried that her uncle's impending marriage will spell the end of her good times with her uncle. He explains that instead, she'll have two uncles to have fun with.

And therein lies the rub -- Uncle Bobby is marrying his boyfriend Jamie. The first of what will likely be many complaints was filed recently and ended up in the lap of Jamie LaRue, Director of the Douglas County Libraries in Castle Rock, Colorado. LaRue considered the challenge and responded with a well thought out, reasoned answer that he then shared on his website. That's a very good thing, because LaRue came up with exactly the right answers.

In his response, LaRue addresses the challenge that the subject of gay marriage, despite being incidental to the story, is inappropriate for young children. "I think a lot of adults imagine that what defines a children's book is the subject. But that's not the case. Children's books deal with anything and everything," he writes, noting that "what defines a children's book is the treatment, not the topic."

LaRue determines that the book "is a children's book, appropriately categorized and shelved in our children's picture book area." He goes on to explain that "if the library is doing its job, there are lots of books in our collection that people won't agree with; there are certainly many that I object to. Library collections don't imply endorsement; they imply access to the many different ideas of our culture, which is precisely our purpose in public life."

His response is well worth reading, even if only to remember what libraries are all about. It really is, however, a masterpiece of reasoned explanation. Hopefully, it will be widely read by librarians and serve as a precedent when other challenges come up. Kudos to Mr. LaRue for understanding the role and value of libraries and my thanks for standing up for what's right.

via Mombian

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.