Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Right To Read


By Claire Booth

Tomorrow is Right to Read Day.

It’s the start of National Library Week, which has been a thing for years. But this year the American Library Association decided to turn the first day of this week into a defense of reading freedom. It’s now a national call to action, and it’s desperately needed.

Book banning attempts reached record levels in 2022. According to the ALA, more than half of the states in the U.S. have passed or proposed legislation to remove library books, punish library workers who make certain books accessible, and eliminate access to books by LGBTQ and BIPOC authors.

The ALA’s permanent initiative, Unite Against Book Bans, promotes a very simple position: people should be trusted to make their own decisions about what they read and believe.

“That’s why ALA created Unite Against Book Bans: to be a collective voice in defending the right to read,” ALA president Lessa Kanani’opua Pelayo-Lozada said in a statement.

So how can you make noise in defense of reading? Here are five ALA suggestions:

- Check out and read a challenged book in your area, or a book banned somewhere else. 

- Attend a library board or school board meeting. 

- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in support of reading freedom. 

- Report censorship. You can do that here.

- Stay up to date on censorship news and reading advocacy. 

Libraries are one of our most important societal resources. Let's protect them.


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