OREM, Utah, June 15, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Orem City Library director says criticism by the Utah Library Association and several LGBTQ+ advocacy groups concerning a library Pride Month book display is based on false information.
A statement released Monday by the ULA and the groups criticized Orem City Council members for censorship.
“The Utah Library Association became aware of a censorship issue at Orem Public Library through social media posts on May 29 which stated that the Orem City Council is forbidding the library from doing any displays in the children’s area related to Pride Month in Utah,” says the statement, originally signed by representatives from Equality Utah, PFLAG Provo/Utah County, and the Utah LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.
“The library director has indicated that in spite of the positive reception and thankful comments from parents last year, there will not be a Pride display in the Children’s wing this year, and instead there will be a single display in another location in the Library away from the children’s area.”
Read the full statement here.
Library director response
Orem Library director Charlene Crozier answered a request for comment sent to Orem City Council members by Gephardt Daily.
“I wish the ULA leadership who drafted the statement would have reached out to me for clarification, because it contains false information,” Crosier wrote.
“It is not an accurate statement to say the Orem City Council has forbidden the Library to have displays in the Children’s area. Orem residents have access to high-quality facilities, an extensive collection, and considerable resources from the significant ongoing support from the City of Orem.
“The Orem Public Library is an organization that serves a large community, and part of that service requires mindfulness of both community needs and concerns. To support members of the LGBTQ+ community and provide information and resources during Pride month, a centralized display of materials is available.”
Crozier wrote that booklists for all ages can be found in the library and online, “and items with a wide representation of LGBTQ+ topics and themes are available for checkout.
“We have a strong collection designed to help any of our patrons find information that they need and want. We also have an excellent and easy-to-use catalog and a friendly and amazing staff who are ready to serve anyone in our community.”
Gephardt Daily has offered the Utah Library Association a chance to respond to Crozier’s letter, and will publish the ULA response if one arrives.