Because Librarians Stand Up for Your Right to Read
"Diverse books create a better lens through which all children can see themselves in library collections. And yet these very titles – the ones addressing cultural invisibility and cultivating understanding – are the ones that are most frequently challenged."
—ALA President Patricia "Patty" Wong
This week, the American Library Association (ALA) released its annual State of America's Libraries report to kick off National Library Week. The report provides an in-depth look at the challenges our libraries faced in 2021.
Censorship was one of the top issues. An unprecedented 729 challenges were made to 1,597 books, the majority with Black or LGBTQIA+ characters. Despite the high number of challenges, according to the ALA, recent polling shows that 7 out of 10 voters oppose efforts to remove books from public libraries, including majorities of voters across party lines.
How can you help fight censorship? The State of America's Libraries report offers these suggestions:
- Speak up for the freedom to read and support library staff and educators as we work to address this threat to democracy.
- Vote in local elections and attend school board and city council meetings.
- Contact your state legislators and tell them to vote against censorship bills.
- Report threats to the freedom to read wherever you see them. ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom encourages everyone to report any and all challenges to materials, online resources (including databases), programs, speakers, displays, reading lists, and author visits. No matter is too insignificant.
Alrica Goldstein, Publisher
Keystone Canyon Press