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Gathering of protesters opposing new Hamilton East library rules



Noblesville, Indiana – In order to voice their opposition to the new “Collection Development Policy” and to support librarians, a small group of protesters assembled in front of the Hamilton East Public Library branch in Noblesville.

Before a book is placed in the children’s or teen’s sections, the policy stipulates that strict consideration must be given to nudity, alcohol and drug use, profanity, violence, and sexual content. Books that don’t fit the criteria will be included in the area for adults.

The teen area will need to have some 18,000 items reviewed, according to library employees, who anticipate this will take 8,000 hours over the course of the following year.

Kara Hwang, a resident of Fishers who opposes the new “Collection Development Policy,” claims that because books are being relocated from the children’s and teen area into the adult department, they may be mixed up with books that have the same topics that the board was attempting to shield kids from.

“It seems like the solution is worse than the problem because kids are going to be perusing books that are actually written and intended for adults,” Hwang said.

For the library, protesters claim that this is a waste of time and resources. In order to comply with this new policy, the staff is proposing the addition of three full-time permanent employees as well as more part-timers. They also asked for five to eight temporary, part-time employees to assist with the initial inspection of the books.

Over the course of the two phases, the Operational Response Plan predicts that this will cost over $335,000.

In opposition to the rule is 32-year veteran librarian Cathy Sutton, a Noblesville resident.

“They’re spending a ridiculous amount of money. They don’t realize how much work and effort they’re making and they’re not listening to their highly trained librarians who are saying how much work they are creating for these people,” Sutton said.

Sutton claims that libraries shelve books using tools like publisher and book reviewer suggestions.

“The librarians here know what they are doing,” Sutton said. “When they place a book in the children’s section or the teen section, that is based on years and years of dealing with these kinds of books.”

The group worries that these modifications will reduce funding for programming and new books in the library.

The library board will meet on Thursday at 6:15 p.m. at 1 Library Plaza in Noblesville. That is off Cumberland Road, commonly known as State Roads 32 and 38, just north of Conner Street.

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