FISHERS, Ind. — “The Fault in Our Stars” might be heading back to the young adult section of Hamilton East Public Library.
Per a statement from HEPL Board President Laura Alerding, the book was removed from the young adult section of the library due to “an error in implementing the Collection Development Policy.”
News of HEPL’s decision to remove “The Fault in Our Stars” from its young adult collection surfaced last week, grabbing national headlines. The book’s author — Indiana native John Green — eventually responded to HEPL’s move via social media.
“This is ludicrous,” Green said after learning of the decision. “It is about teenagers and I wrote it for teenagers. Teenagers are not harmed by reading TFIOS. This is such an embarrassment…”
Green’s book was one of many that was removed from the young adult section of HEPL when the new Collection Development Policy was implemented. The policy was developed to help ensure books in the young adult collection contain “age appropriate” materials.
“The Fault in Our Stars” depicts a teenage cancer patient and teenage cancer survivor falling in love and eventually losing their virginity to each other. The Collection Development Policy was designed to keep books containing sexual content from being placed in the young adult section of HEPL.
“Upon reviewing the page(s) of “The Fault in Our Stars” book that were the basis of the Director’s and review staff’s reason to move the book out of the Teen section, I believe there was an error in implementing the Collection Development Policy and that this book should be moved back to the Teen section immediately,” Alerding wrote in a prepared statement. “The Board of Trustees will discuss further what went wrong with the review process at the next public board meeting.”
Green responded to news of his book being possibly moved back to the Young Adult section on Monday morning with a tweet saying, “Cool. What about my other books and hundreds of other YA titles? Award-winning classics of YA lit by everyone from Nic Stone to Judy Blume continue to be wrong shelved by a ridiculous policy that embarrasses Central Indiana. Change the policy not just for TFIOS, but for all.”
As of Friday, 1,385 titles had been removed from Hamilton Public Library’s young adult collection. The Collection Development Policy is estimated to cost as much as $300,000 because the library has needed to bolster its staffing to read through materials currently housed in the young adult section and make determinations on what content in those books are “age appropriate.”
Hamilton East Public Library has not released any additional information or updates related to its collection development policy or “The Fault in Our Stars.” It is unclear what effect “The Fault in Our Stars” controversy will have on the Collection Development Policy at Hamilton East Public Library. Officials have not confirmed if more books will be removed from or returned to the young adult section of HEPL.
In a separate statement sent to FOX59 and CBS4, Alerding wrote that the HEPL’s next board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 24.