Pella set to vote on providing city council oversight of library board

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Referendum seeks to give citizens input on policies to protect unsuspecting eyes from sexually explicit material, by having elected officials provide oversight of the otherwise independent library. The citizen referendum is coming up for a vote on November 7.

Residents seek to gain a voice in a process that was largely ignored by the independent library board by the Pella Public Library. It started when parents began to discover sexually explicit materials
shelved in areas of the library that were freely accessible to minors of all ages. One book was asked to be reviewed only to be met with resistance from the library board of trustees.

Jon Neifert, a parent in the community, said a public library should be a great resource for parents, not a place that causes concern regarding children stubmling upon sexually explicit material inappropriate for kids.

Other explicit books have parents concerned, including books targeted to children with detailed descriptions of sexual activity and books with graphic depictions of sexual organs and all forms of sexual activity.

Passing the referendum will not change the diversity of materials available in the Pella Public Library.

“No books will be banned, discarded, or rejected because of this referendum,” Neifert said. “It merely gives oversight to how materials are handled for the protection of our children. The primary responsibility of raising a child lies with the parent, rather than the library or even the city council. Passing this referendum will give parents a voice in policies determining how these materials will be handled and where they are placed, to make the library safe for children and their parents.”


  1. Indianola Independent School District Voters. What is happening in Pella is only a small part of the battle for decency. Read the Iowa Standard letter on the anti-conservative smear campaign in Indianola to defeat school board candidates who resist sexually explicit material in K-12 schools and support school vouchers. Vote for Patti Alexander and Bob Keller. Do not vote for Labertew and Christensen, who are on the wrong side of this issue. Read the letter here:


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