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Nampa librarian tells school board fewer books is not the answer after book ban

An open book with a red bookmark that says Eat Sleep Read.
Rediscovered Books

At the headquarters of the Nampa School District Monday evening, Nancy Finney, a veteran librarian at Nampa High School, reminded the district’s school board members of the lives that the board’s book ban is impacting.

"If you think that we don't have kids that have not been physically mentally abused, you're wrong. If you don't think you've had kids that have been bullied or raped, you're wrong.”

Finney addressed the Nampa School District Board of Trustees, in the wake of the board’s May 9 decision to permanently ban 22 books from school libraries. Monday's meeting was a work session and included some limited input from school librarians and the public.

Finney said fewer books and less information is not a good place to start.

“Some of these books can give our kids some coping skills and how to deal with this because when you're a victim, the first thing you feel is ‘I'm the only one that this has ever happened to and I don't know how to deal with it.’ And so, you're embarrassed. You're not going to go talk to anyone, but maybe you can find some answers in a book.”

Three of the banned books are on the suggested reading list for AP English, something universities keep a close eye on.

No significant change came from the meeting, but the board indicated that they may want to “fine-tune” the process for challenging books.

Meanwhile, Rediscovered Books is holding what it calls “a Banned Books Giveaway” event Wednesday evening at the Flying M Coffee Garage in Nampa. That is when more than 1,200 books are expected to be given away.

Anyone with a Nampa student ID card will be able to receive up to three books. Staff and teachers will also be given some books.

Find reporter George Prentice on Twitter @georgepren

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