Dublin public libraries have announced that they will not be removing trans books from the children’s section following complaints from a self-described ‘women’s group’, as reported by the Independent.
In recent weeks, the small local group introducing themselves as the Natural Women’s Council has made attempts to remove books written by trans author and advocate, Juno Dawson, from the age 12-14 sections of Dublin libraries in Rush, Swords, and Tallaght.
The group has also appeared in local bookstores and complained about children’s sections including books with educational LGBTQ+ content, claiming that the books are not age appropriate.
Recognising the importance of including LGBTQ+ storytelling in their children and teen sections, Dublin libraries have confirmed that the books will stay.
The books in question are part of the government-approved Rainbow Reads list which includes a range of LGBTQ+ titles created for teens and children. The stories celebrate diversity and inclusivity by highlighting LGBTQ+ characters.
The list was curated by a working group established by the Local Government Management Agency and created with input from Belong To, HSE Sexual Health and Crisis Prevention, Irish National Teachers’ Organisation LGBTQ+ Group, and TENI.
Rainbow Reads is supported by Children’s Books Ireland and An Post and contains more than 100 LGBTQ+ inclusive stories for young readers including everything from illustrated children’s books to young adult fiction.
A Local Government Management Agency public libraries spokesperson said that the Government’s National LGBTQ+ Inclusion Strategy for 2019-2021 included a call for, “…public libraries to compile an LGBTQ+ reading list and update it on an ongoing basis, [and] these books are part of that list”.
For decades, it was rare to see LGBTQ+ representation in books, but many organisations have advocated for more inclusivity when it comes to books, explaining that stories with queer characters help foster inclusive and welcoming environments.
A European court recently ruled that labelling LGBTQ+ children’s books as “harmful” is a violation of human rights, and promoting one type of family over another is unacceptable.
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