Democratic State Sen. Löki Tobin, of Anchorage, is outraged by the ongoing effort of Alaskan parents to challenge and ultimately remove sex-saturated books from school and public libraries.
In a Sept. 29 email the Anchorage-based legislator said she is “dismayed” by Alaskans who oppose books that librarians peddle to the wider community. Tobin called the controversy “alarming” and claimed it threatens to undermine constitutional rights.
Tobin’s assessment, however, fails to acknowledge that most book challenges specifically deal with sexually-charged material targeting children and youth.
The most egregious books instruct minors in how to engage in anal sex, find internet porn and create their own images for sexting to others. These titles have sparked outrage across the nation, with concerned parents battling progressive librarians and library boards that adamantly defend the book as “educational.”
Tobin believes these concerns are misplaced and ultimately bigoted.
“The idea of banning books is beyond repugnant to me and something I find to be fundamentally anti-Alaskan,” Tobin lamented. “I kind of thought that Alaska was above book banning but, unfortunately, there are recent and ongoing efforts to remove books from library shelves across the state.”
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Tobin shared a particular disdain for the Mat-Su Borough School District, which recently formed a citizens’ library committee to review controversial books and make recommendations on whether they should be removed from schools.
Tobin says such efforts in Alaska and across the nation are “unforgivable,” especially because many of the books deal with LGBTQ themes.
“On Tuesday morning, I was dismayed to read that librarians in public schools in Charlotte County, Florida were directed to remove every book with LGBTQ+ characters and themes,” she said. “Such a move is discriminatory and should not be tolerated. I think the efforts at censorship we are seeing across the country are misguided, politically motivated, and often bigoted.”