Gender Queer Returns to Wake County Public Libraries as Revisions Made to Book Removal Process

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – Wake County Public Libraries are working to overhaul their process for permanently removing books from their collection.

It comes after WCPL deleted the novel “Gender Queer” in mid-December. The book, which explores gender identity, was written by Maia Kobabe and was released in 2019.

“The library system created this process in 2005, and since then national best practices have changed,” said Mike Wasilick, director of Wake County Public Libraries. “We recognized that it was time to modernize our procedures and ensure that they are inclusive, open and supportive of a public library that welcomes everyone. “

In a working session Monday, WCPL and the Wake County Council of Commissioners discussed the removal process.

A group described by WCPL as “a cross-section of library staff” examines how library systems in San Diego, Seattle, Austin, and Boston handle the deletion process.

The group is also reviewing the latest recommendations from the American Library Association.

“Once the review is complete, it must be approved by the library administration, the community services department, and the Wake County director’s office. The Wake County Library Commission and the Wake County Board of Commissioners will also be considering it, ”a press release from the county said.

The graphic novel “Lawn Boy” will remain on the shelves at WCPL. The graphic novel was reviewed at the same time as “Gender Queer” but its status has not changed.

Both will be reassessed once a new referral system is in place.

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