“Our position on the book is, it should remain in the collection; it is beneath us to adopt the tools of the censors,” she said in an interview. “We need to support intellectual freedom in all its aspects, in order to claim that high ground.” Months after Mr. Boulet requested the letter, Ms. Caldwell-Stone saw him at a conference and apologized.
Mr. Boulet wrote an open letter in the local newspaper stressing that the library welcomes everyone, “not just your or my slice of the community.”
“The presence of an item in the library is not an endorsement of the ideas contained therein,” he added.
A friend of Mr. Boulet’s, a high school teacher, posted a response on social media, and sent it to the library board.
“The ‘All Lives Matter’ stance the Blue Hill library is taking is biased, harmful and manipulative hate speech,” it read. Irate, Mr. Boulet confronted the teacher in person, and the two are no longer friends.
And then by the end of 2021, the furor quieted, and the book remained.
Before the controversy, “I hadn’t really given intellectual freedom as much thought as I should have,” Mr. Boulet said. His conclusion, he said, is that “intellectual freedom or the freedom of speech isn’t there just to protect ideas that we like.”