Controversy surrounds LGBTQIA+ themed book at Upshur County Public Library


BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — Controversy over a book has caused conflict in the Upshur County Public Library.

Multiple news outlets have reported that an LGBTQIA+ children’s book, “Prince & Knight,” was banned from the Upshur County Public Library, but officials with the library’s board have said that the book is still in circulation.

A search of the library’s online catalog shows the book is in circulation at the library, but is currently checked out by a patron. The catalog shows its due date as Dec. 18.

According to a library board official, the book was requested to be reviewed for acceptability by a library patron, which, according to regular library procedure, any patron can request any book be reviewed by the board for that reason. Until the board meets and discuss the book, the book remains in circulation, available to anyone.

More issues spread when the board did not discuss “Prince & Knight” during their meeting on Nov. 20. But, as per the “Open Governmental Meetings Act” of West Virginia:

“If a citizen or a member of the governing body raises a matter during a meeting which is not on the agenda, the item may not be discussed or voted upon at the meeting.  The item instead must be added to the agenda for a meeting to be held in the future.”

Since the library board’s agenda was already published for the event, they were unable to alter it to include a discussion regarding “Prince & Knight” during that meeting.

The ACLU stepped into the fray, issuing a statement urging the library board to reverse the ban on “Prince & Knight,” however, as the library’s catalog shows, the book is not banned and is still in circulation.

The release from the ACLU goes on to state that the meeting held on Nov. 20 was to determine the book’s fate, but, as mentioned with the Open Governmental Meetings Act, the board was unable to discuss “Knight & Prince” because it was not on the previously published agenda.

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