Heather Fletcher, a candidate for the Frederick County Board of Education, checked out all of the books on a display showcasing LGBTQ titles at the Brunswick Public Library in Maryland.
The Frederick News Post reports Fletcher walked out of the library with about 20 books after staff declined her request to move the display of books out of the lobby.
Frederick County Public Libraries spokesperson Samantha Jones told the News-Post that staff at the Brunswick branch reconfigured the display soon after Fletcher had checked out the books.
Jones also said the display aimed to “raise awareness of diverse experience and perspectives.”
In Frederick County, there is no limit on how many books can be checked out from the library simultaneously. Checkout periods can also be renewed up to 10 times.
According to the News-Post, some of the books Fletcher checked out include:
- “How to Survive a Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Scientists Tamed AIDS” by David France
- “We Are Everywhere: Protest, Power, and Pride in the History of Queer Liberation” by Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown
- “Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall” by James Polchin
- “When Your Child is Gay: What You Need to Know” by Wesley C. Davidson and Jonathan L. Tobkes, MD
- “David Bowie Made Me Gay: 100 Years of LGBT Music” by Darryl W. Bullock
- “Love That Story: Observations from a Gorgeously Queer Life” by Jonathan Van Ness
Fletcher told the News-Post that her motive was to make the library a “safe place for children.” She also removed a cup of pins with a variety of gender pronouns printed on them.
The board candidate and mother of young kids said she was concerned the display would lead to age-inappropriate questions from children.
Fletcher says she’ll no longer visit any county libraries, adding “this has nothing to do with the gay community. It has to do with the preservation of innocence,” according to the News-Post.
“We support the rights of all library customers and program participants to form their own opinions of books or collections,” Jones told the News-Post.