A series of internal emails obtained by the Watchman, reveal how a long-time library assistant at the Palmer Public Library has been working behind the scenes with librarians in Anchorage to thwart mounting community concerns about a controversial teen sex guide.

Earlier this year, library assistant Joy Bailey reached out to Mike Robinson of the UAA Consortium Library, asking if he could help the Palmer Library push back against a formal challenge against the book, “Let’s Talk About It.” The book, which has sparked heated controversy in Alaska and around the country, includes graphic advice on how minors can engage in anal sex, find their favorite internet porn stars, create sexy photos of their bodies to share online and explore myriad sexual fantasies and identities.

In a Feb. 10 email to Robinson, Bailey indicated that Palmer’s Library Director Beth Skow advised her to reach out to him for tips on how to deal with challenges to the book.

“Beth is away from the library for the next several days,” Bailey wrote to Robinson. “She suggested I reach out to you about a book challenge that is unfolding here in Palmer. The book is ‘Let’s talk about it: the teen’s guide to sex, relationships, and being human.’ by Erika Moen. This graphic novel style book has favorable reviews and is marketed for teens 14 and up. We chose to add it to our adult non-fiction collection because the material has adult themes.”

Bailey then complained about several Alaska Watchman articles that highlighted the fact that “Let’s Talk About It” is stocked in numerous local libraries.

“A local blogger who writes on the Alaska Watchman has written three recent posts on this book, noting which libraries own copies,” Bailey complained. “He has fired up certain community members in Palmer, including some of our city council members. No one has approached the library about this book – yet. Outraged community members are going straight to council on Tuesday evening instead.”

Bailey then told Robinson that she was concerned city council members might intervene despite the fact that Palmer’s library policy does not address the role of the city council in book challenge/reconsideration requests.

“Hi Joy, I’m sorry you’re facing this. The Watchman is super annoying about riling up reactionaries.”

Rebecca Moorman, head of Technical Services for the UAA/APU Consortium Library

“We do have a recently updated policy regarding material reconsideration requests,” Bailey wrote. “Our reconsideration policy involves our city council in no way whatsoever. As such, we are confused about how this is unfolding. We are concerned about council members being vocally on board with the book’s removal despite our policy not including them in the reconsideration process. Someone is going to approach us about this very soon and we would like to be as prepared as possible. Do you have any guidance?”

Robinson wrote back the same day.

“First off, let me say I am sorry to hear that you are facing these issues in your library,” Robinson replied. “I’ve cc’d Rebecca Moorman who is current chair of the AkLA Intellectual Freedom Committee. She is a great resource and can put you in contact with ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom.”

Robinson said he had read the Watchman article about the book as well book reviews. He then offered tips on how Palmer librarians could work behind the scenes to defend the book.

“Like you said, it has received decent reviews, but it is a graphic novel about sex education for teens and some people are really worked up about these issues,” he observed. “I think it’s important to get the message out that the library has policies in place to reconsider materials. It’s really important that the community/city council/mayor know this.”

Robinson then went on to disparage the Watchman for reporting on the issue.

“This challenge is particularly difficult because it’s pretty obvious the blogger wants to stir up controversy,” he asserted. “If you have supporters in the community, you should let them know what’s going on. They can show up at council meetings and provide voices to counter this one point of view. It sounds very similar to what has been happening at Anchorage School District Board meetings, so I have also cc’d Lisa Sam who is Coordinator for libraries in ASD.”

On Feb. 11, Rebecca Moorman, head of Technical Services for the UAA/APU Consortium Library, joined the email thread.

“Hi Joy, I’m sorry you’re facing this. The Watchman is super annoying about riling up reactionaries,” she wrote. “I agree with all of Mike’s suggestions. The Office for Intellectual Freedom at ALA is a great resource, with challenge support, information on how to respond to challenges, plus a lot more. They’re busy but they’re very responsive, and they want to help libraries navigate this disturbing trend.”


A few days after this email thread, the Palmer Library’s roof collapsed on Feb. 15 due to heavy snow accumulation. The book controversy took a bit of a back seat as the library focused on relocating to its new location.

Late last month, however, the Palmer City Council directed the city attorney to work with the library to review and update the process by which citizens can challenge controversial books.

“It isn’t very transparent. People are having a hard time with the process in general,” said Deputy Mayor Pamela Melin. “There’s no checks and balances or measures to be transparent with the public or the city manager or the council in order to see what books are most in question. We did ask for that to be reviewed and that is still ongoing. It’s a work in progress.”

She added that the issue remains a priority for the city.

“With the way we’re headed, with very explicit books being out there and being pushed, it is a heavy concern,” Melin said.

As of June 15, “Let’s Talk About It,” is still available through the Palmer Library.


— Click here to contact members of the Palmer City Council.

— Click here to contact Palmer Library Director Beth Skow.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Emails show Alaska librarians plotting to keep explicit teen sex book in Palmer library

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    Restricting a book to age appropriate areas of the library is not banning the book. What is wrong with these people? The book in question has highly sordid and questionable content that no child should be exposed to. It should only be available at the very earliest to older teens, and adults. No books with explicit sexual instruction should be anywhere near the children’s section. If a parent feels it is a topic they would like to introduce to their grade school age child that is their prerogative and they can check out the book. It is beyond stunning to me that any sane or logical librarian would deem such content remotely appropriate for a child and only bolsters the fact that this is spiritual warfare against a spirit of darkness and these librarians are completely blinded to evil and empowered by their own pride and stubbornness.

    Thank you Joel for this information. We must be every vigilant and willing to take action and stand firm in truth.

  • Boris says:

    Unfortunately it doesn’t appear many are willing to stand up for what right unless they are behind a keyboard. I say that because I handed lots of flyers prior the all drag crap at Black Birch Books, had them hanging in stores, stoud on street corner and made sure parents in my are were aware. I got 5 people to go, 2 adults & 3 young adults (19/20), about 25 people total were there in protest. Men need relocate their balls & prioritize what’s important because this is gona keep happening!

  • Boris says:

    Alaskawatcman, keep up the good work! I have been sharing it & letting parents ect no about your work and where to find you. Thanks again.

  • Tamra Nygaard says:

    There are things in that book I wish I didn’t know. The people who are pushing this on kids need to be put on notice that if they make pornography available to minors, they are breaking Alaska state law. Who will be the first parent to call the cops and file a legal complaint? My kid is not young enough for me to do so.

    • Lucinda says:

      Tamra, as to your first sentence, TS Eliot said this: “”Humankind cannot bear very much reality.”

  • Clark says:

    Sounds like they are doing exactly what they should be to push back against this campaign of hate and misinformation. I’m glad they have the integrity and bravery to fight for our teens access to information. Its imperative that kids who are old enough to start having sex have information about how tonprotect themselves.

    The book isn’t marketed to children and the library isn’t ‘pushing’ a book simply because it has it on the shelf. These irate conservatives have done more to promote the book than the entire school system combined.

  • Jen says:

    See. This is what I am taking about how Palmer families must regularly attend churches who have a pastor teaching God’s Word equipping the attendees how to disciple. as well as having family circle time using age appropriate books and lessons to help your kids know the Bible characters and the victories and losses of God’s people. There are many good books and devotions for children all ages to read aloud together. Children under 11 like bible picture stories while the 12 and older wouldn’t mind the parent helping them go through a teen devotion book and topical books. All the leftist democrat Palmer community have to do is sit and wait until the opposition ages older, retires, or dies hoping they didn’t effectively teach God’s Word to their adult children and children. This goes for Kenai, Soldotna, Fairbanks, and Nenana. These places can lose their community in one generation if it doesn’t teach today’s children of their community God’s commands and His ways and who we are in His eyes. He loves us so much.Our God finished the battle against sin and death for us so we can be with Him. Nothing we had done before repentance can separate us from him.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    Joel Thank You
    If they’re talking about you it’s working good job. Remember everyone we need to stand together against this evil.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    How come we keep making regular disbursements made out to the name Mike Dunleavy when we practically don’t have a governor? If he was one he would fire all the nympho minded librarians!

  • Charlotte says:

    Thank you again and again, Joel. Also, many thanks to the person who turned over the juicy emails from these criminals for all eyes to read.
    So…reporting on Satan’s so-called educators illegally filling Alaska school libraries with pornography for purposes of grooming is “super annoying”, and you, Joel, are “riling up reactionaries”? This is what they call us?? The people are finally awake to what these criminals are doing.
    What are their names again? JOY BAILEY, MIKE ROBINSON, BETH SKOW, REBECCA MOORMAN (she’s confused about how anyone would dare to object to pornography being forced on an innocent child), and LISA SAM.
    Now, they’ve brought in a city “attorney” to clarify things, which are now more confusing. They’re all working together, pro corruption. Who’s paying them to destroy the future…
    Some years ago, I drove past kids walking home after school and noticed how openly sexual they were at such a young age. Now I know WHY. Aren’t you so proud of yourselves, JOY, MIKE, BETH, REBECCA, and LISA? What a great contribution you are all making to humankind.
    Parents, please find an alternative resource for your child’s education! If the school is empty, who will read the trashy books? You don’t need an advanced degree to teach your child. There’s plenty of teaching materials and guidance available today, made possible by trailblazers who, years ago, saw the impossibility of their children learning reading writing and arithmetic in a public school.
    The Palmer roof collapse was not a coincidence. Open your eyes, Baal worshippers.
    Thank you again, Joel. Great work!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I just heard today that a Republican California Senator is urging parents to round up their children and flee from California because of the latest “laws” passed that could put parents in jail if they speak out against their children being transgendered or something. Whew. Parents do need to find alternative resources if this continues!

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      On my third post, my comment was flagged for moderation. What drives that flagging system?

    • Wilbur says:

      Wow, Charlotte! What a weird world view you have. Sexual education is not pornography. Librarians and Libraries do not push anything on anyone. If you don’t like a book, you don’t have to read it. Problem solved. This is America, a Democracy, and nobody gets to choose what other people’s kids read. Keep your own kids sheltered and stuck in the Bible if you want to, but you don’t get to make that decision for others. And although a roof collapse could be considered an “Act of God,” it was snow, not Satan, that brought down the library roof.

      • B says:

        Wilbur your statement that “ America is a democracy “ is patently incorrect. The United States of America is a Constitutional Republic. There is a big difference between the two. I suggest you go the library and study up.

      • Marseedotes says:

        Republic Wilbur. America is a REBUBLIC not a democracy. Another lie being perpetrated on us. Being spewed in our mainstream news and by the sitting president and those around him. If you learn anything today, learn this. Go look it up and see the differences. There is a reason the left is using the term democracy.

      • Wilbur says:

        B and Marseedotes, you are incorrect. The United States government is a federal republic and a representative democracy with three separate branches of government. A Representative democracy, also known as indirect democracy, is a type of democracy where elected people represent a group of people. Um … that is exactly the system under which we live. Why are you afraid of DEMOCRACY?

  • jon says:

    Teens have sex, there’s no doubt about that. They also know if they are LGBTQ. A little information would help them, not hurt them.

    • Charlotte says:

      “A little information”? Take a moment to pick up any one of these illegal (in the State of Alaska) books and ask yourself if a child needs “a little information” of that type.

      • Clark says:

        There is nothing illegal about a sex education book marketed for the protection of teens who are or will soon be engaging in sex.

        You should stop slandering them with flatly untrue accusations. Its not pornography, its education.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Clark, you should stop spreading lies that the “sex education” books are for the protection of teens. Teens have done quite well on their own experimenting without needing books to show them how to do things and to introduce them to things that they would not have otherwise even thought about. Please stop slandering people who are telling truths.

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    While we’re at it we might as well give the school nurse fentanyl to hand out. What the hell anything goes right!!!? Stupid SH**!

  • Billy says:

    How did you get these supposed internal emails?