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The librarian who couldn’t take it anymore

Washington Post [read free]: “She loved books. And in a time of spreading book bans in public schools, that’s why this Florida librarian had to quit. It was her last Monday morning in the library, and when Tania Galiñanes walked into her office and saw another box, she told herself that this would be the last one. Inside were books. She didn’t know how many, or what they were, only that she would need to review each one by hand for age-appropriate material and sexual content as defined by Florida law, just as she’d been doing for months now with the 11,600 books on the shelves outside her door at Tohopekaliga High School. Last box, and then after this week, she would no longer be a librarian at all. She heard the first-period bell ring, 7:15 a.m. She’d wanted to get to the box right away, but now she saw one of the school administrators at her door, asking whether she’d heard about the latest education mandate in Florida. “What’s the name of this thing?” he said. “Freedom Week?” She exhaled loudly. “Freedom Week.” “Oh, good,” he said. “You know about this.” Yes, Tania knew about it. It was one more thing the state had asked of them, a mandatory recitation of parts of the Declaration of Independence “to reaffirm the American ideals of individual liberty,” along with something else she had heard from the district. “They asked us to please not celebrate Banned Books Week,” Tania said. She was tired. Her husband was always reminding her: Tania, you have no sense of self-preservation. She had thought about pushing back against the district, had imagined putting up posters all over the walls from the American Library Association celebrating “freedom to read,” a final act before her last day on Friday. But even if she did put up the posters, who would be there to see them once she left? The library would be closed after this week, until they found someone to take her place…”

See also AP news – Librarians turn to civil rights agency to oppose book bans and their firings

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