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Montgomery County directs citizen board to review, and potentially remove, library books

books (WWBT)

Montgomery County officials adopted a new policy on Tuesday empowering a citizen committee to review, and potentially remove, library materials at the request of the public.

County Judge Mark Keough, the policy’s author, said the process will prevent children from accessing inappropriate books, while critics argued the new guidelines strip librarians from the reconsideration process and will target books featuring LGBTQ+ characters.

The local library policy adopted by the county north of Houston comes amidst the spread of book bans in school districts across Texas and a newly passed state law that requires book vendors to rate the explicitness of materials sold to schools. In January, an appellate court partially blocked the law after booksellers sued the state for violating their free speech protections.

“Nowhere are we talking about banning any books,” Commissioner Robert Walker said on Tuesday during a commissioners court meeting. “The whole goal of this mission … was to put these books in a place where the adults would have to get them for their kids, not where the kids can ..."