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Noblesville school leaders replace member of library board as it faces reshelving pushback



Noblesville, Indiana – Next month, the president of the Hamilton East Library Board will no longer serve, as the Noblesville School Board voted Tuesday night to replace her with a veteran educator.

Laura Alerding is the board president of the Hamilton East Library, which has locations in Noblesville and Fishers. The library board’s reshelving of titles for young adults in the adult section has generated controversy. Alerding had supported the Collection Development Policy of the library district.

Before a book can be placed in the children’s or teen sections, it must adhere to strict guidelines regarding nudity, alcohol and substance use, language, violence, and sexual content. The library district estimated in April that it would spend up to $300,000 to examine all teen section titles.

Bill Kenley, who has taught English for more than 20 years at Noblesville Schools, was appointed to the library board by the school board on Tuesday evening.

The Noblesville School Board voted 3 to 2 to appoint Kenley following 75 minutes of public comment on the library’s reshelving policy. Alerding and Misti Ray, one of the five members of the school board, voted against Kenley’s appointment.

Alerding is a Noblesville School Board member who was appointed to the library board until August 26. After being elected in November 2020 and commencing her term in January 2021, she will continue to serve on the Noblesville School Board.

She is the only individual elected to a governing body among the seven-member library board.

Alerding had noted recent criticism from “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, whose book was among those transferred to the adult section of the library. After a mistake was made in implementing the Collection Development Policy, she stated in a weekend announcement that the book should be returned promptly to the teen section.

“At the next public board meeting, the Board of Trustees will discuss in greater detail what went awry with the review procedure. “No additional comments at this time,” concluded Alerding’s message on Sunday.

According to the Hamilton East website, monthly library board meetings are held on the fourth Thursday at 6:15 p.m.

In a related matter, the Hamilton Southeastern School Board advertised a special meeting to remove a board member in the Hamilton County Reporter on August 30 at 7:00 a.m. However, the meeting is not listed on the website of the Hamilton Southeastern School Board.

Andre Miksha, a member of the Hamilton East Library Board appointed by the Hamilton Southeastern School Board, stated that the school district’s authorities in Fishers wish to remove him from his position because he opposed the Collection Development Policy.