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Marriott Librarian Advocates for LGBTQ+ Book Displays

By Jordan Hanzon

Amidst a recent decision by Washington County Libraries (WCL) to remove LGBTQ+ book displays, Rebekah Cummings, Digital Matters Librarian, is speaking out. Cummings, who also serves as the Utah Library Association (ULA) president, was featured in a Deseret News Op-Ed along side colleague Peter Bromberg, the Executive Director at Salt Lake City Public Library (SLCPL).

According to an article that appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune on July 25th, WCL director Joel Tucker had the LGBTQ displays and buttons banned in his library because he had received complaints from a county commissioner about a previous LGBTQ display. Rebekah Cummings and Peter Bromberg pointed out that displays like those encourage “a vital community conversation that can lead to greater awareness, empathy and understanding of all members of the community.”

Recently, the American Library Association (ALA) released a statement about the ban stating, “We very much believe that the kinds of displays that go on in Pride month … they are part of the human condition and it makes perfect sense for them to be in libraries.” The ALA has their own “Library Bill of Rights”that emphasizes the support of anti-censorship and have created an entire week every year dedicated to the freedom to read. The J. Willard Marriott Library has several plans and activities during that month to show its support for this movement including an open reading of banned books on September 20th at 11AM.

For more info about this story, check out The Library Journal’s coverage.

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