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Librarians, Educators Warn of ‘Organized’ Book Banning Efforts

Publisher Weekly – “…New headlines virtually every day tell the story: across the country, there is an unprecedented spike in attempts to ban books from schools and libraries. And while efforts to remove books from schools and library collections are not uncommon, librarians and freedom to read advocates warn that this current spike in challenges is different, as it appears to be part of a broader political strategy. “We have seen a 60% increase in challenges to books received in the month of September compared to last year,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the American Library Association’s Office for Information Freedom, which tracks book challenges nationwide, told PW. And while Caldwell-Stone is quick to point out that challenges to books on race and the LGBTQIA+ experience in particular have been trending up for years, she says the dramatic increase in book challenges, which includes challenges by conservative politicians, is widespread, and troubling…”

Resources like the Freedom to Read Foundation and the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom have served us extremely well for 50 years and will continue to serve us well in terms of the policy frameworks and the capacity to help librarians respond to individual challenges in their communities,” Chrastka says. “But we’ve entered a period where certain forces don’t want to participate in that process. They want to burn it down.”

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