MONTROSE, Colo. (KREX) – Trustees of Montrose Public Library are set to hold a third meeting to tackle an effort to ban the books Flamer and Gender Queer.

Montrose isn’t the first community to consider banning these books. According to Pen America, a non-profit, Flamer has been banned in six states. Flamer is a graphic novel written by Mike Curato. The book is about a boy at summer camp bullied because his appearance and mannerisms match some gay stereotypes. Gender Queer is also a graphic novel, this one by Maia Kobabe. It describes Kobabe’s experiences exploring gender and sexuality on eir path to identifying as non-binary. In 2021, American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom said Gender Queer was the most banned book in America.

If you’ve been keeping up with the news around the country you’ve seen these books and others banned in school districts, but what about in public libraries?

We have never banned a book.

Paul Paladino, Director of the Montrose Regional Library District

Paul Paladino is the director of the Montrose Regional Library District and he told KREX the public library shouldn’t control what children read, “We firmly believe that the decision on what a child reads is between the parent and the child.” This means that unlike a school district, a public library doesn’t act for parents but more as a public utility for people of all ages.

Paladino told KREX Gender Queer is shelved in the adult section while Flamer, which is more focused on bullying is in the young adult section. Paladino acknowledged these two books aren’t for everyone.

Tonight’s meeting has wrapped up, KREX will be following this story.