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Circulation at Ashland Public Library amid book controversy

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ASHLAND – Distribution numbers at the Ashland Public Library have increased four months after some patrons began calling a few children’s books pornography.

The period is about 30 percent higher than last summer, librarian Heather Miller said at a board meeting on Thursday.

She said a fairer comparison would be the summer before the pandemic, as circulation increased 11% from 39,775 items in August 2019 to 44,014 items in August 2022.

The Ashland Public Library Board will meet at the library on Thursday, September 8, 2022.Tom E. Pusker/Ashland Times-Gazette

“That’s all the ingredients,” said Miller. “We don’t just measure books. We also have special items.”

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The increase could be attributed to many factors, the director said.

“People are running away,” Miller said. “Maybe so. Press is good press.”

In the spring, some parents began expressing concerns about the new titles in the children’s section of the library.