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Investigation uncovers communication about ban of Heritage Month displays at Orem library

The Orem City Library in Utah has been at the center of controversy for months, with allegations of censorship, resignations, and bad blood.

The library has been accused of banning displays celebrating National Heritage Months, including Black History Month.

The ban was allegedly ordered by the library’s director, Char Crozier, who has since retired.

Rita Christensen, who coordinated the displays in the children’s section, claims she was told to discontinue the displays because the library didn’t want attention from the city council.

While there are no written directives from the city council or mayor, 2 News Investigates found evidence of soft pressure from at least one council member on the former library director.

The city council denies ordering the ban, but a video from a September 2021 council meeting shows council member Terry Peterson grilling library staff over an LGBTQ book found on a display.

Bryce Merrell, the director of the city’s Rex Department, has been put in charge of the library and tasked with creating a policy on Heritage Month displays.

Employees, including Christensen, reportedly feel fear and pressure.

The mayor and council members declined to comment on the investigation.

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