Donations Abound in Iowa Library

After a book burning, in which a man burned rented LGBT-themed books in protest of a Pride event, hundreds of books have been donated to the Orange City Public Library, according to Des Moines Register.

Paul Dorr, the man who rented out and burned LGBT-themed books did so in protest of Orange City Pride, as he believes that LGBTQ people are immoral. Dorr does not plan on paying for or replacing the books, which could land him with a fine between $65 to $625 and 30 days in jail if convicted of the charge of fifth-degree theft. 

Dorr is hardly the first person to burn books and he won't be the last, unfortunately. Book burning and other forms of book censorship have historically been used to silence voices, with LGBT voices being frequently shut down. According to the American Library Association, in 2017, four out of the top ten challenged books contained LGBT themes, in 2016, five out of ten, and in 2015 three out of ten.

However, attitudes towards LGBT themes in literature may be changing, as multiple GoFundMe pages have been created to offset the loss of the books. Along with the GoFundMe pages, Justin Scott, the Iowa state director for American Atheists, set up a Facebook fundraiser in response to Dorr's book burning. The fundraiser raised over $1,000 within days. The Orange City Public Library told Scott to consider giving a portion of the funds to other local libraries and LGBT organizations. 

James Peron, president of Moorfield Storey Institute, said ghat he had shipped twenty LGBT-themed books to the library and he is planning on shipping more.

It's nice to know that the residents of Sioux County, one of the most conservative counties in Iowa, recognize that LGBT voices deserve to be heard and that there will be consequences to every action, and in this case, the good outweighed the bad. 

h/t: Des Moines Register, American Library Association

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