Leesburg FL

A case with interesting similarities and differences to that of West Bend is taking place in Leesburg, FL, where some citizens are now challenging 40-odd books in the Young Adult section of the Leesburg Public Library.

Two parents began a campaign  against Maureen Johnson's The Bermudez Triangle and Cecily Ziegesar's Only in Your Dreams, a part of her Gossip Girls series.  Their initial request was for a warning label on "explicit" books for teens, and for re-shelving.  On 28 September, 2009, the city commission voted in a compromise.  There will be no labels, but the Young Adult collection will be split along intended age-range lines, into Young Adult and High School (High School meaning older teens).  It will be quite a lot of effort to do this.

The original book challengers are not satisfied with this compromise, as they want to separate books that "indecent" from books that are "decent" in any collection for sub-adults.  They have stated they will continue the fight, although it is not presently clear what their next step will be, or even could be.

After an apparent stalemate was reached in Leesburg, some of the challengers took their complaint to the County Commission of Lake County (the county containing Leesburg).  Initial opinions of the commissioners were mixed, but the issue appears to have been shelved indefinitely.  In a November 13th memo to the commission (available via open records request),  the county attorney advised the commissioners that re-shelving challenged books (moving them out of the children's section) would likely amount to a violation of the First Amendment.  The county attorney cited the Sund v. City of Wichita Falls case, among others.


Background information:

City of Leesburg, FL [Click Here].
Leesburg Public Library [Click Here].
Lake County Florida [Click Here].
Lake County Library System [Click Here]. 
ACLU of Florida [Click Here].
Florida Library Association [Click Here]. 


An Open Letter to the Lake County Commissioners: [Click Here].


News Coverage:

Fox News Video, 15 Jun 2009, [Click here].

WTFV story, 19 Jun 2009, with book excerpts [click here].

Orlando Sentinel, 28 Sep 2009: Preliminary to the commission decision [click here].

Orlando Sentinel, 28 Sep 2009: After the commission's vote [Click here].

DailyCommercial.com, 29 Sep 2009: Article on the commission decision [click here].

MyFoxOrlando, 29 Sep 2009: [click here].

A list of the challenged books on Central Florida News 13, 30 Sep 2009  [Click here].

Orlando Sentinel, Commentary, 02 October 2009 [Click here].

Orlando Sentinel, 03 October 2009 [Click here].

DailyCommercial.com, 21 Oct 2009 [Click here].

Orlando Sentinel, 24 Oct 2009 [Click here].


Last updated 2 Jan 2010

The Challenged Books:

The following is a list of the 43 challenged books, as listed in the Central Florida News 13 Story as of 30 Sep 2009 (see above).  All the titles are linked to Barnes and Noble.com synopses.

Books are grouped by author.  Those authors with multiple books challenged in Leesburg are listed first.  The remaining challenged works -- one per author -- are listed by author's last name.

You really can't judge a book by its cover, I guess.  But looking over this list, I'd be embarrassed to be making a public stink about any of it.


 

Sixteen Works by author Cecily von Ziegesar (grouped by series: Gossip Girl, It Girl, then the Carlyles)

 

Gossip Girl (Gossip Girl Series #1)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

You Know You Love Me (Gossip Girl Series #2)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

I Like It Like That (Gossip Girl Series #5)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

You're the One That I Want (Gossip Girl Series #6)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Nobody Does It Better (Gossip Girl Series #7)

 
B&N Age: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Nothing Can Keep Us Together (Gossip Girl Series #8)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Only in Your Dreams (Gossip Girl Series #9)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

Would I Lie to You (Gossip Girl Series #10)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

 

Don't You Forget About Me (Gossip Girl Series #11)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

It Girl (It Girl Series #1)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Notorious (It Girl Series #2)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Reckless (It Girl Series #3)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Unforgettable (It Girl Series #4)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

 

Lucky (It Girl Series #5)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

 

Tempted (It Girl Series #6)

 
B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

The Carlyles (Gossip Girl: The Carlyles Series #1)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

Four works by John Green

 

An Abundance of Katherines


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 
 

Looking for Alaska


B&N Age Range: 12 and Up

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction 
 

Paper Towns


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Books on Disc

 

 Four works by Phyllis Naylor

 

Alice in the Know


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Library Catalog
 

Alice on Her Way


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Almost Alice (Alice Series)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction

 

Dangerously Alice

B&N Age Range: Young Adult


Not Listed in Leesburg Library Catalog

 

 Three works by Zoey Dean

 

Hollywood Royalty (A-List: Hollywood Royalty Series #1)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog

 

Blonde Ambition (The A-List Series #3)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog

 

How to Teach Filthy Rich Girls

 
B&N Age Range: None Stated

Leesburg Library Classification: ADULT FICTION

 

Two Works by Robin Wasserman

 

Lust (Seven Deadly Sins Series #1)


B&N Age Range: None Stated

Not listed in Leesburg Library Catalog

 

Envy (Seven Deadly Sins Series #2)


B&N Age: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Library Catalog

 

The remaining books are one per author, sorted alphabetically by author's name, surname first.

 

Black, Holly: Tithe (Modern Tale of Faerie Series #1)

B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog
 

Divine, L: Lady J


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburb Public Library Catalog
 

Draper, Sharon: November Blues


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog
 

Freymann-Weyr, Garret: My Heartbeat


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog
 

Harrison, Lisa: Invasion of the Boy Snatchers  (Clique Series #4)


B&N Age Range: 12 and Up

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Hyde, Catherine: Becoming Chloe


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Jahn-Clough, Lisa: Me, Penelope

B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog


 

Johnson, Maureen: The Bermudez Triangle

B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Klein, Lisa: Two Girls of Gettysburg


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Not Listed in the Leesburg Public Library Catalog
 
 

Levitin, Sonia: Escape from Egypt

B&N Age Range: 12 and Up

Not Listed in Leesburg Public Library Catalog
 

O'Connell, Jenny: The Book of Luke


B&N Age Range: None Stated

Not Listed in Leesburg Library Catalog
 

Rennison, Louise: Startled by his Furry Shorts (Confesions of Georgia Nicolson Series #7)


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Smith, Emily Wing: The Way He Lived


B&N Age Range: Young Adult

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fiction
 

Sones, Sonya: One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies


B&N Age Range: 12 and Up

Leesburg Library Classification: Young Adult Fication