WALTHAM (CBS) – The battle over books in Waltham continues as LGBT literature comes front and center for those in support and against its messages.
For the second time in two weeks, the “Little Queer Library” in Waltham had all its LGBT literature cleared out, but the curators don’t believe the books are going to their intended readers.
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Katie Cohen and her partner Krysta Petrie opened the ‘Little Library’ in front of their home on Trapelo Road.
Cohen and Petrie have supplied the library themselves since they created it in 2020. The couple decided to gear their books toward LGBT youth after hearing feedback from the community.
“We realized there was really limited ways to get those books,” said Cohen. “They are hard to find, they are often expensive, and a lot of people are looking for that kind of representation. They are looking for themselves on the pages.”
Waltham Police said they are looking into this but stop short of saying anything criminal happened considering the books are free to check out.
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It’s a point that Cohen and Petrie are not buying.
“They only pulled the things that were focused on LGBT people or about LGBT people,” Cohen said. “It really does feel like someone is trying to censor what’s out there.”
“You can only read so many books at a time,” said Petrie, who added that there are other ‘Little Libraries’ in the area too. “We have maybe five or six in a one-mile radius and none of them had these kinds of issues.”
On the same day of the second swiping of books, the Waltham School Committee heard a recommendation from their Library Materials Review Committee on whether two LGBT themed books – ‘Gender Queer: A Memoir’ by Maia Kobabe and “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson – should be pulled from public school shelves.
That committee voted unanimously to keep the books, which some in the community deemed too sexual or pornographic in nature.
Following the first incident, Cohen and Petrie said they had received nearly 200 book donations from the community for the “Little Queer Library.”
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The couple told WBZ News they have no plans of scaling back the library.