Library director to speak at Monday event

Courtesy photo Huron Public Library Children’s Librarian Danyelle Brotherton and HPL Director Angela Bailey will speak about book challenges, censorship, and legislation Monday at The Hangar.

HURON — Angela Bailey, director of the Huron Public Library, and Danyelle Brotherton, children’s librarian, will speak about how public libraries across the nation have found themselves at the heart of a growing debate surrounding book challenges. and calls for book bans. Book challenges have increased 90% in the United States in the past two years.

The event, hosted by the Beadle County Democrats, will take place at 6 p.m., Monday, Oct. 23, in the Hangar Restaurant in the Crossroads.

Dinner service will be available for anyone wishing to order off the menu. The public is invited to attend the presentation.  

“This surge in challenges over the past two years appears to reflect a broader cultural shift,” said Bailey, “where discussions around freedom of expression, censorship, and the boundaries of acceptable content have taken center stage. Librarians have always believed that people have the right to read whatever they want, and other people have no right to tell them they can’t. If you don’t think a book is appropriate, don’t read it.”

They will also address the strain this issue has placed on library directors across the state and nationally.

Librarians who are entrusted with the vital task of curating diverse and inclusive collections are now facing increasing scrutiny as select titles and themes come under fire.

“As a result, many librarians find themselves advocating for intellectual freedom as well as prompting a crucial dialogue within the community,” Bailey said.

Although this has not been a concern in Huron, it is something the Huron Public Library Board of Directors has discussed. And Bailey and Brotherton will share the procedure already in place concerning book challenges at HPL. They will also discuss past and future legislation being brought before our state lawmakers because any legislation which could lead to censorship is a concern.

Bailey obtained her master’s degree from Indiana University in Library Science and Information Science in 2013. She moved to Huron shortly afterward to work at the Huron Public Library and was appointed director almost two years ago.

Brotherton was born and raised in the Huron area. She has been working in libraries since 2015.

“I have a passion for children’s literature and a belief in the importance of building the foundation for reading at an early age,” she said.