Illinois mayor appoints failed censor to town library board

Peter writes, "Is a public library's board of trustees any place for a would-be book censor? The town of Downers Grove, Illinois is about to find out."

Downers Grove South High School to attempt to force the removal of James W. Bennett’s Blue Star Rapture from the approved reading list. In a joint statement, the two called the book "vile" and said that “it violates conservative DuPage County community standards.” Following the recommendation of the district’s ad hoc Instructional Materials Reconsideration Committee, however, the School Board voted unanimously to retain the novel.

The incident seems to have been forgotten until last week, when his nomination to the Library Board came to light in the days before the Village Council’s vote and Kathleen DiCola, a trustee who is stepping down after 20 years of service, reminded the community. In an open letter, DiCola asked residents to speak out:

Library trustees grounded in our First Amendment rights have protected the freedom to read for all the citizens of Downers Grove. Ask the council not to appoint Art Jaros – who attempted to ban books, putting his personal ideology above others’ First Amendment rights — to an irrevocable, 6-year term on our library board.


Mayor Appoints Would-Be Censor to Library Board [Sarah Hoffman/NCAC]