NCW Libraries is being vigilant after recent efforts to ban books and close libraries. 

A group in Columbia County tried unsuccessfully to close a library after it refused to remove LGBTQ+ books last September. 

NCW Libraries Executive Director Barbara Walters says they're trying to raise awareness about what they consider to be unfair censorship. 

"Some of our libraries, Wenatchee here has a local banned book club, which is quite popular," Walters said. "And we're always putting out information in regard to intellectual freedom, and the work that we do towards that."   

A ballot measure to close the Columbia County library was blocked when a judge prevented the printing of ballots with the measure. The judge said closing the library would be an “irreparable loss” to the community     

Meanwhile, a new law in Washington makes it harder to shut down public libraries. 

The measure passed the legislature with near unanimous support this year. 

Walters says the state legislature has given them some needed protection. 

"We are happy with the new legislation that passed that, kind of, protects county libraries like ourselves against closures because of people wanting to ban material in our libraries." 

The new law does two things. 

It increases the percentage of voter signatures needed to file a petition to dissolve a library district from 10 percent of voters outside of incorporated towns and cities to 25 percent of all eligible voters served by the library district. 

The Columbia County library sits inside the city of Dayton, but the city is not part of the library district. 

The law also makes it harder to shut down city, county, and town libraries by changing the number of signatures required to file a petition to dissolve a library from 100 taxpayers to 25 percent of qualified voters. 

For its part, NCW Libraries has a process in place to review the contents of books if community members find a book to be objectionable. 

NCW Libraries is based in Wenatchee and operates 29 other libraries - including some in unincorporated county areas - across five counties in North Central Washington.  

27 Banned Books In North Dakota

Here are some books that have been banned and/or contested in North Dakota.

Gallery Credit: Andi Ahne

More From KW3