Controversy surrounds children’s books at Ozark-Dale County Library

TROY, Ala. (TROJANVISION) — A Wiregrass library is in the middle of a conflict with city officials about books in the children’s section of the library.

The attempts to ban books is affecting people all around the world, especially in Alabama. So much so that Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has made a statement on the topic.

Currently, the Ozark-Dale County Library is trying to find a resolution with city officials who say two books in the library’s children section are inappropriate for children.

The two books in question are “The Mirror Season” by Anna-Marie McLemore and “Only Mostly Devastated” by Sophie Gonzales.

Adam Kamerer, an Ozark resident and supporter of the Ozark-Dale County Library, told Trojanvision that books in the LGBTQ+ category are being targeted by city officials. Kamerer also said there are text messages to support his statement.

“I did a Freedom of Information Act request with the library to acquire text messages from the mayor, every book this is in every photo he sends has an LGBTQ sticker on it,” Kamerer said.

Ozark Mayor Mark Blankenship says the narrative has been misconstrued.

According to Blankenship, it’s not about books having LGBTQ+ themes and characters in it. Instead, the problem is the graphic content contained in the books.

“It’s the contents of the books, that’s kind of gotten misunderstood along the way, it could have been any other kind of book,” Blankenship told Trojanvision.

Some Ozark locals are concerned about the Ozark-Dale County Library losing its government funding after Blankenship made the threat to take it away.

Blankenship admitted that he did make the threat, but said that as of right now, funding will not be taken away.

“There was some threat of cutting the funding,” Blankenship said. “I think that based on the board’s actions last Wednesday (August 30th), and them agreeing to establish policy and procedures to be able to moves these books into the appropriate places, I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

Kamerer told Trojanvision that he and other Ozark residents want to see the funding increase after all this is over.