Radio Program: “Banning in Louisiana: A Look at the Divisive Battle in Our State’s Libraries”
The radio program linked below was first broadcast on January 18, 2022.
Librarians in multiple south Louisiana parishes are responding to what they are seeing as efforts to censor their materials, particularly books that refer to sexuality and LGBTQ identities. However, those who speak out against these so-called “book bans,” often have a price to pay.
In July, Louisiana school librarian Amanda Jones spoke up in support of free speech and uncensored book access at a public library meeting, after which she was relentlessly harassed online. She ultimately took her harassers to court in a lawsuit for damages, but a judge ruled against her.
Despite the setback, Jones continues to advocate for free speech and accessible library materials. She joins us today with Lafayette-based writer, Lynette Mejía, who co-founded Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship.
But with librarians speaking up about what they see as potential book bans and prior restraint, we also wanted to talk with one of the community members advocating for more public scrutiny over these publicly accessible materials. Michael Lunsford, executive director of the organization Citizens for a New Louisiana, joins us for more on the other side of this debate.
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.