January 26, 2022

Illinois: Evanston Public Library Books About Islam Defaced With Swastikas, Racial Slurs

From Chicagoist:

Someone has drawn swastikas, racial slurs and other offensive language on books about Islam and the Middle East at Evanston Public Library.

Library staff discovered that the books had been defaced while preparing for a lecture series on the Middle East Monday evening. Librarian Lorena Neal wrote about the incident on Facebook, which she says the library has reported to the Evanston Police Department and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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From the Evanston Review:

The vandalized books included copies of the Quran; books introducing and about the Quran, including “The Koran for Dummies;” and conservative commentator Glenn Beck’s book “It Is About Islam: Exposing the Truth About Isis, Al Qaeda, Iran, and the Caliphate.”


Going forward [Evanston Public Library director Karen Danczak] Lyons said the Quran and books about the Quran will continue to be available to anyone perusing the library. Staff does not plan to require patron identification or install other security measures regarding the Quran or other holy books.

“I want to continue open access to all different ideas and information about all different faiths,” Lyons said. “It’s deeply troubling to me that someone, rather than come and listen to other points of view, would rather deface public property and come and spread these hateful messages that they wrote.”

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Direct to Full Text:
“Statement on Defacement of Books at Evanston Public Library” (via EPL Web Site)

Update: Coverage From ABC Chicago 

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.