U.S. Congress: Rep. Raskin, Sen. Schatz Reintroduce Resolution Recognizing Banned Books Week
Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI) reintroduced a Resolution recognizing Banned Books Week and condemning the escalating attacks on books and freedom of expression in the United States. The Resolution, which comes amid a disturbing rise in book bans, focuses on the central role books play in democratic life and civil discourse and urges Congress to denounce the illegitimate censorship of books in K-12 classrooms, universities, prisons, and libraries.
“The escalating crisis of book bans across our country in recent years is a direct attack on First Amendment rights and should concern everyone who believes freedom of expression and the freedom to read are essential for a strong democracy,” said Rep. Raskin. “The sinister efforts to remove books from our schools and libraries are a hallmark of authoritarian regimes. My Democratic colleagues and I will continue fighting back against these threats to our First Amendment rights. Thank you to Senator Schatz for working with me to introduce this resolution, and thank you to all the freedom of speech champions who are fighting to protect our books and the freedom to think.”
“EveryLibrary is proud to support this resolution. We know that access to a broad selection of books and information help children learn empathy and respect for all Americans. We know that children who have read a broad range of literature are more likely to achieve more as they get older. The book banning movement is also costing taxpayers millions of dollars per year in a multitude of states. This money could be better served educating students and ensuring that they have the resources they need to be successful in life. This resolution will show our commitment to the future success of our country,” said John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary.
“The rise in attempts to pull books from library shelves is more than concerning—it is an assault on Americans’ constitutional rights to free speech and is harmful to democracy,” said Brooks Rainwater, President and CEO of the Urban Libraries Council. “Libraries are the cornerstones of communities all across the country, and now more than ever the librarians who work there have become guardians of American democracy and defenders of the Constitution.”
The Banned Books Resolution has the support of 40 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives and 15 co-sponsors in the Senate. The Resolution has been endorsed by American Library Association (ALA), Baltimore Jewish Council, Banned Books Week Coalition, Center for American Progress, EveryLibrary, Honesty for Ohio Education, Interfaith Alliance, JCRC of Greater Washington, Jewish Community Federation of Mohawk Valley, Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area, Jewish Community Relations Council for Tucson & Southern Arizona, Jewish Community Relations Council of Broward County, Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Phoenix, Jewish Community Relations Council of Portland, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester, National Book Foundation, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund, PEN America, PFLAG National, Red Wine and Blue Education Fund, The Sikh Coalition, Tucson Jewish Museum & Holocaust Center, Urban Libraries Council (ULC), and We Need Diverse Books.
House Resolution 372
Senate Resolution 372
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.