Two weeks after narrowly voting to keep a graphic teen sex book in the youth section of the local library, the Ketchikan City Council voted 4-3 to override the head librarian and move the book to the adult section.

In their July 6 vote the majority of the city council designated the book, “Let’s Talk About It,” as “pervasively vulgar” and “educationally unsuitable for minors,” due to the fact that the book encourages kids to explore sexual fantasies online and pay for internet porn, while including explicit images and references to various sexual acts.

The book has dominated school board, city council and borough assembly meetings across Alaska and much of the nation due to the fact that it encourages minors to engage in anal sex and masturbation, find internet porn stars and create their own sexy images to share via texting.

In voting to relocate the book to the adult section of the Ketchikan Public Library, the city council reversed its decision on June 22, in which a narrow majority voted to keep the book in the youth section.

Earlier this year, Ketchikan residents had asked the library to remove or relocate the book to the adult section, but were rebuffed by Library Director Pat Tully, who believes the book is completely appropriate for minors.

While the Library Advisory Board voted 6-1, earlier this year, to keep the book in the youth section, the city council’s July 6 vote overrides this decision.

Councilwoman Abby Bradberry was the swing vote on July 6. After joining the majority to keep the book in place in June, she called for a reconsideration, and ultimately sided with her colleagues who wanted the book relocated so that unsuspecting minors do not stumble across it unwittingly in the youth section.

Other members who voted to relocate the book included Riley Gass, Jai Mahtani and Lallette Kistler. Those who voted to keep the book readily avialaible in the youth section were council members Mark Flora, Janalee Gage and Jack Finnegan.

Over the course of two council meetings, community members opposed to the book pointed out that it disparages parental guidance and mocks chastity and virginity as outdated virtues. Others said they no longer trust the local library with their children, especially when librarians seem intent on exposing youth to material that is arguably pornographic and potentially in violation of state laws prohibiting the distribution of indecent material to minors.

Several community members have pointed out that the book isn’t even scientifically accurate, as it claims a man can have a vagina and a woman can have a penis.

While the Library Advisory Board voted 6-1, earlier this year, to keep the book in the youth section, the city council’s July 6 vote overrides this decision.

Prior to the city council’s July 6 reconsideration vote, City Attorney Mitch Seaver claimed the city might not have the legal authority to relocate the book. He suggested that prior court president appears to restrict even moving an objectionable book to another area of the library because it may violate constitutional and parental rights for kids and their parents who want unfettered access such material.

“Why are we so afraid of being sued? Aren’t our kids worth fighting for?” he said. “Friends we are at a crossroads.”

According to Seaver’s reading, the only people who might have solid legal authority over book placement are the librarians themselves. While that argument may have swayed the majority of council members on June 22, it failed just two weeks later.

Multiple public testifiers noted that other communities have removed controversial books without incident.

Ketchikan Borough Mayor Rodney Dial offered testimony during the public comment session on July 6. Speaking only as a resident, he said the city should avoid causing social division and vote to relocate a book that is “clearly mature” and unsuitable for minors.

“Why are we so afraid of being sued? Aren’t our kids worth fighting for?” he said. “Friends we are at a crossroads.”

In calling for a reconsideration vote, Councilwoman Bradberry thanked the city attorney for weighing in but said she thought his personal reading of court precedent was “very one sided,” and not particularly relevant to the situation Ketchikan was facing.

Ketchikan did not vote to ban the book, she emphasized, but only to move it to the adult section, which is still accessible to children.

“We are not removing the book,” Bradberry said. “Anyone can access it. Technically a four-year-old can access it.”

While Councilman Mahtani said he’d prefer that the book be removed from the library altogether, he said relocating it was a compromise he could live with.

“We’ve reached the proper decision,” he said following the vote.

In fact, many local and state governments have already removed or relocated objectionable books. According to the American Library Association there were 1,269 demands to censor library books and resources in 2022, the highest number of such efforts since the ALA began keeping records more than two decades ago. In response, schools, city councils and even state legislatures have acted to restrict access to certain highly offensive books, mostly dealing with various sexual themes.

In the wake of the Ketchikan controversy, the Library Advisory Board is now reviewing its book collection policy. Additionally, the city has established a new protocol which allows the city council to have final say on all challenged books.


— The Library Advisory Board will have its quarterly meeting on Wednesday, July 12 at 6 p.m. in the library’s large meeting room. According to the agenda for that night, the Library Board is scheduled to review its collection development policy, book placement procedures and library meeting room policy. It will also discuss the public’s perception of the library and its policies, practices and programming. The public is invited to attend and offer comments during this meeting. For more information, click here.

— The Library Advisory Board has an opening for a member-at-large to serve a three-year term, expiring in March 2026. Those interested in serving can review city code detailing the role, powers and duties of a Library Advisory Board Member by clicking here. To apply to serve on the board, applicants must fill out the Application for Appointment, along with a resume or letter stating your interest, and return to the City Clerk’s office at 334 Front Street or by email at Applications are due by July 17.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

Ketchikan City council deems teen sex book ‘pervasively vulgar’ and ‘unsuitable’ for library’s youth section

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.


  • Lucinda says:

    Major snowflakes

    • StopTheMadnesz says:

      Gold, in fact.
      Snowflakes melt when they encounter heat, but gold is refined.
      Way to go, Ketchikan City Council!

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Amen! Thank you Ketchikan City Council for standing up to protect the children!

  • Elizabeth Henry says:

    A city council with courage to do the right thing. It is astounding any adult can think it is ok to rob children of their innocence by forcing upon them stuff they do not ever really even need to know, let alone be assaulted by in childhood! How anyone can think it is ok to have such a book in the children’s section is really mind boggling. So sad that that many people are so deceived, blind and guided by darkness.

  • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

    I’m sure they were simply bullied into compliance after getting hate mail, obscene phone calls, and death threats …. which seems to be par for the course these days.

    • micah6v8 says:

      Look how much this handle wants to groom kids. And surely worse if they could.

    • Aunt Sally says:

      AIDS is nature’s way of reminding you and everyone else that you’re disgusting and that your behavior is horribly wrong, Chuck.

      • Chuck Anziulewicz says:

        Maybe you should tell that to all the women who died of AIDS, or who gave birth to babies with HIV.

      • Aunt Sally says:

        Don’t you try to get away with skewing the facts here to meet your sick narrative, Chuck. The actual numbers of legitimate AIDS victims is infinitesimally small in comparison to the numbers of you voluntary biohazards and you trying to drag the legitimate victims into the discussion as if there’s some equivalence between you sodomites and junkies and the babies who’d contracted it through no fault of their own is beyond shameful.

  • Me says:

    Why don’t we have a pornography section in all our public libraries? Weird how this one book becomes the exception – and pretending that it is acceptable for adults to have access to pornography at tax payer expense is somehow OK is even more insulting. Also pretending that children can’t access the adults’ section is just more subterfuge. This council, like the public at large, are cowards and pretending otherwise is destroying our country.

  • John J Otness says:

    Salute First City…. stop the grooming let um grow up without the constant push from the predators,

  • Jen says:

    A democrat would just take the book they dislike and throw it away in a library trash can hoping it’s concealed enough for the Housekeeping to take it out. Libraries always get missing books for some reason when the computer shows a book is in the library and not in its location. Usually being misplaced and shelves in a wrong place or thrown away.

  • Friend of Humanity says:

    ‘MAGADONIA – NEW Intellectual Froglegs’ at

  • DaveMaxwell says:

    No mention of a governor’s involvement or opinion, why? Because we don’t have a person of conscience with courage or conviction in that office!