Indiana Library Shifts John Green’s Novels: A Concerning Change?

John Green, the renowned author of “The Fault in Our Stars,” has taken a public stance against a decision by the Hamilton East Public Library Board of Trustees. This decision involves relocating his famous novel from the Young Adult section to a different area in libraries in Fisher and Noblesville, Indiana. A decision rooted in a newly adopted policy regarding “age-appropriate” content, as reported by USA Today.

In an impassioned response, Green, 45, an Indianapolis native, expressed his dismay on social media.

But Green’s criticism didn’t stop there, according to People. He further voiced his disappointment by declaring, “I only have a small voice in these decisions, of course, but you won’t catch me alive or dead in Fishers, Indiana until these ridiculous policies are revoked.”

According to a statement given to USA Today, Hamilton East Public Library defended the move as “based on criteria included in the Board-approved Hamilton East Public Library Collection Development Policy.” This policy, updated in April after a meeting of the library’s board, has a newly defined list of “Grossly Offensive Terms” and “Crimes Involving Violence,” as per WISH-TV’s report.

Not only has Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” been affected, but his other work “Looking For Alaska” is also to be moved to the general fiction section, as stated by NBC News. The updated policy emphasizes ensuring age-appropriate content, leading to potential shifts in where books are placed within the library system.

The amended policy declares that “for children and teens, the Library will work to ensure that collections are age appropriate in topic and placement of materials… Patrons should understand some children’s books may reside in the general collection and may not be found in children’s areas. All titles can be found in the HEPL online catalog.”

The relocation of Green’s works has ignited a debate about censorship, age-appropriate content, and who gets to make these determinations. Readers and fans of John Green are watching closely to see how this situation develops, and whether the Hamilton East Public Library’s decision will spark a larger conversation about how libraries categorize literature. The question remains: Is this a single instance, or a sign of a changing trend in how we approach books meant for young readers?

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