From Darkness To Light

1 Aug 2023

Durango Public Library bans book called “The Real Anthony Fauci”

Posted by Adam Howell


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Durango Public Library staff have rejected multiple suggestions from members of the public to accept as a donation or to purchase a book titled “The Real Anthony Fauci” that’s written by presidential candidate Robert Kennedy.

Durango Public Library

Library Director Luke Alvey-Henderson.

Alarmingly, the decision of the library staff appears to violate both the Library Bill of Rights and the Selection Criteria portion of their Collection Development policy.

In response to questions about what standards were used or ignored before refusing to purchase this specific title, the library staff don’t have to explain their decision-making process or reasoning, said Luke Alvey-Henderson, the Director of Durango Public Library. Here’s what he told my friend Christine:

“While it may be frustrating, we do not give specific reasons for why an item is or is not included in our collection,” said Alvey-Henderson. “As I said before we purchase over a 1,000 items every month and consider thousands more. We do not explain purchase or non-purchase of specific items.”

Christine and I both requested the library to either purchase “The Real Anthony Fauci,” or to allow us to donate the book free of charge. Our requests were not approved.

While Durango Public Library adds over 1,000 items every month, space on the shelves is another reason for not purchasing a title such as “The Real Anthony Fauci,” said Alvey-Henderson.

“As to donations, they follow the same policy as purchases for inclusion. It’s not just cost, but also space we have to consider,” said Alvey-Henderson.

To clarify, Alvey-Henderson rejected Christine’s skepticism that the title was being rejected based on the author’s viewpoints.

“I and all our selectors take that responsibility very seriously, so I can assure you we make no efforts to censor material based on author or viewpoint.

Unfortunately, we do not give specific reason for why a book is or isn’t selected. We add over 1,000 items every month and consider far more.  I can understand this can be a frustrating position, but it is impossible to give specific reasons for all titles purchased or not purchased.

I hope you will continue to enjoy our library,” said Alvey-Henderson.

Alvey-Henderson would not release the names of the staff who are responsible for vetting the titles that the library is willing to purchase and allot space for on the shelves, at the request of the public.

“We have a team of different selectors, so when fully staffed 7 different people consider titles,” he said.

Alvey-Henderson claims that the book is not banned at the library, even though the staff have refused to purchase the book or allow the public to donate a copy.

To the contrary, the book can be accessed 24/7 by anyone on Hoopla using a library card, he said. Additionally, people are able to check out the book using the Interlibrary Loan system, he said. I have not yet verified these claims.

Durango Public Library has banned "The Real Anthony Fauci."

Here’s a copy of the denial that they sent me, along with the specifics of the title that I requested:

Gmail - Suggest a Title for Purchase



Here’s a copy of the Selection Criteria and American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights in the Collection Development policy of the Library:

Collection Development Policy 8-18

Furthermore, library staff have created a cost-prohibitive process of obtaining the records of titles that staff have refused to purchase for the public after a suggestion was submitted to them on the City of Durango web page.

Here’s the first invoice of $2,955 dollars that they gave me for about 8 months worth of denials:

Invoice_INV23-R000206-1 (1)

To further refine my search and see how much cheaper the request would be, I requested all of the denials in a specified month:

R000206-072323_Message_History

Of course their request for me to pay $298.75 was also a barrier to the information.

Director Luke Alvey-Henderson referred my questions to Assistant Director Donna Arment. Then, Assistant Director Donna Arment refused to reply to questions for this story. Her email address is donna.arment@durangogov.org

Alvey-Henderson’s email address is luke.alvey-henderson@durangogov.org

Even though banned books week isn’t until October 1-7 of 2023, I am soliciting your help with this call to action against this apparent book ban that appears to be organized by staff at the library. Please consider signing the petition below, which will send off an email to the Library Director Luke Alvey-Henderson.

Petition to end book ban of 'The Real Anthony Fauci' at Durango Public Library

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Adam Howell is a writer who believes in free press and the importance of the constitution. He can be reached by clicking on this link to the contact page.


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