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Library recommends LGBTQ books to 5-year-olds for summer reading

Parents and children received promotions for LGBTQ books for young children as part of reading program

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — REAL News Michiana has learned the St. Joseph County Public Library is pushing LGBTQ books onto children as young as 5-years-old as part of its Summer Reading Program. RNM received screenshots from a concerned parent after they helped update their child’s reading list online showing the library pushing the LGBTQ books onto young children.

“You read on June 30th, the last day of Pride Month!” A message from the library reads on a 5-year-old’s profile. “Check your local library for recommended reading by LBGTQ+ for all ages.”

RNM spoke to the parent of a 7-year-old whose child received the same message as well.

“The library has a responsibility to be neutral and provide reading material on every side of every issue. We have to have an inclusive and equitable selection. If people want to read certain topics, they can request those books and I encourage them to do so.” Marissa Gebhard, Communications Manager for the St. Joseph County Public Library said.

Gebhard tells RNM the message popped up on what’s called the Beanstack app that is used by libraries across the nation for summer reading program documentation.

“Our library system opted in to displaying ‘Special Days, Weeks and Months’ on the Beanstack platform. So that language appears on Beastacks for all libraries that opted-in to displaying “nationally-recognized heritage celebrations in the U.S.'” Gebhard said.

The SJC Public Library’s summer reading program is sponsored by several local businesses including the TCU Foundation, Tire Rack, Gurley Leep, 1st Source Bank, Arkos Design, Express Press, Masterbilt, May Oberfell Lorber, Herrman & Goetz and Walker and Hughes Insurance. RNM reached out to nearly all of the sponsors for comment. As soon as we get a response, we will update this story.


The St. Joseph County Public Library has a history of pushing sexualized books and obscene material onto children.

In March, RNM published a story about a St. Joseph County “Youth Librarian” who has focused in on sharing sexual material with children as part of her job. St. Joseph County Youth Librarian, Erin Donaldson, has pushed for children to secretly attend “rainbow story hour” without parental permission, advocated for children to be given pornography and attacked a group of citizens for criticizing sexualized readings meant for kids.

Donaldson is not shy to express her views regarding the sexualization of children either. Her social media feeds are full of child grooming content. In one post, she promotes a “banned books” section at the main St. Joseph County Library location that contains books for children, including “Gender Queer,” which gives animated depictions on how to have gay sex.

In another social media post, Donaldson appears to suggest she will hide the gender transitioning of children from their parents.

Donaldson also criticized a group of men who protested a “rainbow story hour” event that was hosted at the Virginia Tutt library branch last summer. The men defended a black mother whose children were invited into the reading without her permission. You can read all about that incident here.

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  1. If they have to be inclusive then are they going to start having a pop up that says’ “ check your local library for Christian authors or how about Muslim authors too?”


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