Fewer, but library disruptions still happening

Published 10:22 am Thursday, August 31, 2023

By Mike Barnhardt

Enterprise Record

It’s a graphic novel about a 14-year-old boy coming to terms with himself.

But if you want to check out “Flamer” from the Davie County Public Library, you’ll have to wait. It’s no longer on the shelves, apparently removed after a patron complained to at lease one county official.

Again earlier this month, county commissioners were faced with the public wanting to know whether the local library is being censored. The latest came from Deborah Strube, who quoted an Enterprise Record editorial.

“Our concern is that this political, or whatever it is that is running across our country, doesn’t come to Davie County,” she said, noting that taking books off the shelves from public libraries deserve much more consideration than taking them from the shelves of a school library. “Censorship and banning prevents adults from getting a good, well-rounded education.

“Make sure that politics doesn’t invade our library,” she said. “I love Davie County and this particular library is doing an excellent job.”

While commissioners normally do not respond right after speakers during the public comment portion of the meeting, Chair Mark Jones wanted clarification. He called library director, Derrick Wold, to the podium.

Jones asked Wold if any commissioner had asked that a book be removed. Wold said they had not. The editorial did not name a county commissioner from ordering “Flame” be taken from the shelves, it noted a “high ranking” county official.

Jones then asked if the book is accessible through the library. Wold said it is through the NC Cardinal system, an agreement between libraries to share books. That means a patron in Davie County could request the book, and the library could request it be sent here from another library for that patron.

Jones also asked about disruptions such as taking books from or moving books inside of the library, which were mentioned in the editorial, and County Manager Brian Barnett commented.

“This was more of a concern back in the spring,” Barnett said. “Derrick, Sheriff Hartman, and our technology solutions director, John Gallimore, put together … a security plan” that includes more cameras and more deputy patrols on site.

Wold agreed that such incidents were fewer, but are still happening.

“We are able to see people moving books around. We still have peole who are taking books out of the library,” Wold said, adding that reports of the incidents are sent to his supervisors.