The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia (ACLU-WV) has sent a records request to the Upshur County Public Library regarding the library's decision to restrict access to a children's book that features a same-sex love story.
The requested information includes all records or communications related to the book “Prince & Knight” preserved in electronic or written form, including but not limited to correspondence, data, directives, documents, videotapes, audio tapes, e-mail, text messages, faxes, files, guidance, guidelines, evaluations, instructions, messages sent on social media platforms, analyses, memoranda, agreements, notes, orders, policies, procedures, protocols, reports, rules, technical manuals, or studies.
The records request was made pursuant to the West Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
In November, ACLU-WV wrote to the Upshur County Public Library Board of Directors, urging that it return “Prince & Knight” to shelves. Banning the book or removing it from the children’s section simply because of its LGBTQ+ content is a violation of the First Amendment rights of library patrons. The Library did not respond to that letter.
The US Supreme Court and other federal court cases have made it clear: public libraries may not remove books simply because of an expressed viewpoint. Doing so is patently unconstitutional.
State code requires Upshur County Public Library to respond to ACLU-WV’s records request within five business days.