“American Library Association President: Librarians Are Facing Harassment” (Interview with Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada)
The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, is a nonprofit that promotes libraries and public education across the United States. Teen Vogue spoke with the organization’s president, Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada, about the consequences of book bans, the importance of public libraries as community spaces, and how the ALA is fighting back against censorship across the country.
L P-L: The main consequence is that our students, our children, our patrons, and adults don’t have access to certain ideas, or to ideologies that will help them create more empathy and understanding for one another even if we don’t come from similar backgrounds.
There are consequences for library workers as well, as we’re seeing mounting legislation against us. There is a bill in the state of Oklahoma that says a library worker can be fined merely for providing access to information on abortion. Librarians are being doxxed and many of them are facing harassment that they are too afraid to speak out about and report.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) 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.