Artist: Michael Willhoite and Leslea Neuman
Confronting Bodies: Mercer County Library
Date of Action: 8/23/93
Specific Location: Lawrence, New Jersey
Description of Artwork: Two children's books about gay parenting.
Description of Incident: Lawrence resident Keith Smith wanted "Daddy's Roommate," the controversial children's picture book about gay parenting by Michail Willhoite. He got what he wanted by complaining to the Mercer County Library Commission and by writing to County Executive Rober Prunetti. His complaints eventually prompted the library commission to move the book, along with "Heather Has Two Mommies," by Leslea Newman, out of the children's section and into the parenting section. Smith is treasurer of the Lawrence Republican Club, but Prunetti said politics was not involved. "A lot of people are affiliated with Democrats or Republicans," he said. " What difference does it make?" Either way, the move angered librarians and many parents. In March, a library system review committtee had recommended that the books remain in the children's section. That decision was reversed by the commission after Prunetti said he simply passed the missive on to the county counsel, who advised the commission to review Smith's complaint.
Results of Incident: The books remain in the parenting section of the library.
Source: Office for Intellectual Freedom, American Library Association
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