Liberty Hill ISD parents and community members can review library books before they are purchased through the district’s new library services website.

The gist

The district launched a library services website allowing community members to provide feedback on books the district would like to purchase. The website also details how library books are selected and challenged in the district. LHISD Chief of Schools Travis Motal unveiled the website at a Nov. 13 board of trustees meeting.

The library services website includes:
  • A breakdown of the book selection process
  • A list of books that are proposed to be purchased and a form to give feedback
  • The status of books that have undergone the reconsideration process
  • Answers to frequently asked questions
  • Contact information for campus librarians
The details

The district will now publish any books proposed to be purchased for sixth grade students or students age 12 and above on the website, Motal said. Community members may then submit their feedback through an online form over the course of 10 business days to be reviewed by a committee of librarians, and campus and district staff.

Parents and community members are encouraged to bring their concerns about current books to campus librarians or principals, Motal said. Complaints are reviewed either internally by a reconsideration committee of district staff or formally by a reconsideration committee of district, instructional and library staff; secondary-level students; and parents, according to board policy.

Parents may also request their child not be allowed to check out specific library materials, Motal said.

The background

The website comes after the district implemented a new policy in July to align with a state law banning sexually explicit or pervasively vulgar material in public school libraries. This fall, an internal reconsideration committee decided to remove 10 books from Liberty Hill High School for including sexually explicit material, Motal said.

Quote of note

“We’ve had a lot of conversations on what not only is age appropriate and content appropriate but what’s appropriate for a public school," Superintendent Steven Snell said. “We’re not a public library. We’re not or the internet. We’re a public school library, and our books need to reflect our community and their needs and interests. Even though it is subjective, I think we’re going to err on the side of caution.”

Stay tuned

The district is working to allow parents to approve which level of books their children check out, Motal said. District officials will provide an update to the board in the spring as LHISD has over 100,000 library books, some of which have not yet been assigned a level, he said.