NY Times: “Cast as Criminals, America’s Librarians Rally to Their Own Defense”
From The NY Times:
As America’s libraries have become noisy and sometimes dangerous new battlegrounds in the nation’s culture wars, librarians like Ms. [Denise] Neujahr [a librarian in Northern Idaho] and their allies have moved from the stacks to the front lines. People who normally preside over hushed sanctuaries are now battling groups that demand the mass removal of books and seek to control library governance. Last year, more than 150 bills in 35 states aimed to restrict access to library materials, and to punish library workers who do not comply.
“We’re no longer seeing a parent have a conversation with a teacher or librarian about a book their child is reading,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. “We’re seeing partisan groups demand the removal of books that they’re told are bad books, that they are not even reading, because they don’t meet the political or moral agenda.”
Activists say they are protecting children from sexually explicit material and exploitation, while conservative politicians seek to harden the bans into policy. Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s 900-page ideological blueprint for a potential second Trump administration, declares in its opening pages that “pornography, manifested today in the omnipresent propagation of transgender ideology and sexualization of children,” should be stripped of First Amendment protection and outlawed.
“The people who produce and distribute it should be imprisoned. Educators and public librarians who purvey it should be classed as registered sex offenders,” the document says.
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.