After a parent checked out the book King and King, about a young prince whose mother urges him to marry and take the throne, and who is presented with a number of princesses but falls in love with and marries another prince, the parent contacted her state representative, Sally Kern, to complain about the book. Kern put together two petitions asking the library to move the book to the adult section and got dozens of legislators to sign one of them and hundreds of area residents to sign the other, then presented the two petitions to the commission governing the library.
Library officials then asked the patron to file a formal reconsideration request stating the specific concerns; the patron submitted a complaint against four books in particular: the picture books King and King, Daddy's Roommate, Heather Has Two Mommies, and The Duke Who Outlawed Jelly Beans and Other Stories.
The library formed a review committee to address the complaint, but before the committee announced its decision, Kern used her House appropriations subcommittee to threaten to withhold $841,000 from Oklahoma libraries if they did not follow the terms of a nonbinding resolution urging public libraries to move all books with homosexual content, regardless of their intendend audience, to the section for adults.
Following this strong-arm tactic, the library's commission voted to move the picture books to a separate section for adults only.
"Oklahoma Lawmakers Seek to Dethrone King and King," American Libraries, April1, 2005.
"Oklahoma House Passes Anti–Gay Lit Resolution," ALA | American Libraries, May 13, 2005.
"Tension Builds Over Library Book Controversy: Board Postpones Decision On 'King And King' Until Next Meeting," koco.com, May 19, 2005.
"Okla. City Postpones Decision on Gay-Themed Kids' Books; Louisiana Also Considers Limits," School Library Journal, May 23, 2005.
"Oklahoma City Restricts Controversial Children’s Books," ALA | American Libraries, September 2, 2005.
"'05 brought controversy, koalas," The Daily Oklahoman, January 1, 2006. [NewsBank]
"Officials To Segregate Controversial Children's Books," koco.com, February 16, 2006.
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