Sanibel Library Discussion on Controversial Kid Transgender, LGBTQ Books Postponed

July 26, 2022 Updated 12:56 PM ET

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July 26, 2022 Updated 12:40 P.M. ET

SANIBEL (FLV) – The Sanibel Public Library Board of Commissioners will postpone board discussions regarding the controversial transgender picture books found in the children’s section of the library at their upcoming meeting Thursday.

The discussion was tabled after the library’s executive director, Margaret Mohundro, had a family emergency. At the board’s last meeting, Mohundro was directed to process and review policy and procedures regarding youth collection. Those recommendations and options would then be presented to the board.

The chair of the board, Melanie Congress, said the board would still listen to public comment regarding the LGBTQ+ topics Thursday. Board discussions on the policies will wait until Mohundro returns.

The library board’s agenda says commissioners will set a preliminary millage rate. The Sanibel Public Library has a separate taxing district. The City of Sanibel does not have control over the taxes going to the library.

Florida’s Voice previously reported on parents who were upset to find children’s books about gender transitioning in accessible locations for kids. The books showcased young children choosing whether they wanted to be a boy or girl.

In June, community members packed a Sanibel Public Library Board of Commissioners meeting to speak in support and against the kid gender transitioning books.

One book found in the library labeled “My Own Way” tells students they can be a boy, girl, both, or none of them.

“Boy or girl doesn’t cover everyone. You might be both. You might be none!” the book said. “You are not only a boy or a girl.”

Florida’s Voice previously asked all seven board members through email whether they believed the books are appropriate for the children’s section. Only two responded. 

Board Chair Melanie Congress did not say whether she thought the books were appropriate. Congress referred to her opening statements saying the library is in “unchartered territory” when it comes to navigating the issue. Congress said the board is balancing what is proper, parental rights, and freedom of information.

Commissioner Roy Gibson referred questions to Executive Director Mohundro and said it would be premature to comment before reviewing all relevant Library policies. 

Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith has remained silent on the issue. Florida’s Voice asked her what she thought about kid transgender books being found in the library.

Sanibel Mayor Remains Silent on Kid Transgender Books in Public Library, Residents Want Her Opinion

While Sanibel residents do pay taxes for the library, the Sanibel Public Library is an independent special district and is not affiliated with the City of Sanibel. However, several Sanibel residents still want to know the mayor’s thoughts on the issue.

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