Libraries face scrutiny as book protests increase across nation


Daniel Spear

More than 13,000 diverse books sit on the shelves in the Kingwood Park library.

Daniel Spear, Staff Writer

A national debate is occurring and hitting close to home as more and more books are banned in school districts

Humble ISD, unlike other districts around the country, does not outright ban books, according to Kingwood Park librarian Jessica Castille. But the district does have a challenge policy, in which a parent, student or even a staff member can challenge a book and express their concern. Then, a board of teachers and parents will review the book and determine if it fits the needs of the students on that campus.

“Let’s say there’s a book on an elementary campus that the material in the book seems like it may be for younger kids but the students in the book are middle school age,” Castille said, “So that may not be a book that necessarily needs to be on a elementary campus it’s not saying that their removing it completely from a library or the district its just them saying maybe it isn’t appropriate for this age group.” 

Kingwood Park’s school library is home to over 13,000 hard copy books. From fiction books such as mystery and romance to the nonfiction section, the books in the library are diverse. 

“The main goal is to provide (the students) with credible, reliable resources and to encourage them to spend more time reading novels of their choice,” Castille said. 

Castille said Kingwood Park itself has had several books challenged in the past because of particular scenes, authors or words used in the text. Each one has gone through the protocol established by the district.

The library opens 25 minutes before the first bell each day and is open throughout flex hour for students.

“I enjoy interacting with the students and helping them find information regarding their research and offering them a place to come to check out books and visit.” Castille said.