Stateline: “Librarians Decry GOP Moves to Ban Books in Schools”
Outraged at the parents and politicians who are trying to rid school libraries of books they denounce as inappropriate or even pornographic, a band of Texas school librarians is fighting back.
Shortly after Texas state Rep. Matt Krause called for the state’s school libraries to review a list of 850 books for possible removal, four librarians formed “#FReadom Fighters” to resist what they call “a war on books.”
“We became this little freedom-fighting team,” said Carolyn Foote, a former school librarian in an Austin suburb who is now a library consultant. “We just wanted the voices of librarians and students and authors to be heard.”
The Texas librarians created a website, using it to peddle T-shirts, hoodies and tote bags emblazoned with “I support #FReadom.” They also deluged Texas lawmakers with tweets and emails.
The #FReadom Fighters are part of a larger movement of teachers, students, authors and parents who are resisting efforts in Texas and elsewhere to purge certain books from schools.
School districts in at least 30 other states are embroiled in book debates like the one in Texas. At least two groups that have been at the forefront of attacks on targeted books—Moms for Liberty and No Left Turn in Education—have grown explosively since their creation in the past two years and are poised to play a formidable role for conservatives in this year’s midterm elections.
Book defenders have employed a variety of strategies, including petition drives, protests, newspaper opinion pieces and direct pressure on school board members.
In many places, students have played an active role. “We must not lose sight of what we’re here to do at the end of the day: teach kids,” high school senior Charles Moloney told members of the North Kansas City School District’s board as he and other students spoke out against a parent group’s efforts to remove books.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.