10-year-old creates library offering free LGBTQ books

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — A 10-year-old Louisiana girl is responding to discussions about banning books in public libraries by creating her own tiny library box decorated with a rainbow an a LGBTQ flag.

Cora Newton had been thinking about building a tiny library in Lafayette for a while, but decided to go with the Little Queer Library theme after attending a Lafayette Public Library Board of Control meeting a few months ago, where the board discussed banning a book called “This Book is Gay.”

“I think there should be all kinds of books in the library. There are a lot of people that are LGBTQ. I think people would like to see books they’re like, too,” Cora told The Advocate.

The library board did not ban “This Book is Gay,” but did decide to move all books currently in the teen nonfiction section to the adult nonfiction section. Library Director Danny Gillane also told library managers to stop displaying books about LGBTQ topics right before the beginning of June’s Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQ history and culture.

The free libraries like the one Cora is building provide books in small, weatherproof boxes. People are encouraged to take a book or leave a book.

Cora’s Little Queer Library received its first book donation Friday, a copy of “Bye Bye, Binary” by Eric Geron. She is accepting other donations.

She and her mom are still working on a location for the free library. Cora’s mother Kati Salts warned her daughter that a similar Little Queer Library in Waltham, Massachusetts, has been damaged and had book stolen.

“It’s probably going to get vandalized or destroyed,” Salts said.

Cora hopes along with giving people a safe place to share LGBTQ books, her library also changes minds.

“I hope that if the library sees this there will really be no point in banning LGBTQ books and so they won’t actually do it,” she said.