By Nicole Chavez, CNN
The American Library Association said it has provided legal advice and support to a number of libraries affected by the “dramatic rise” in attempts to remove books relating to LGBTQ issues and people of color.
As of June 1, ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom has documented 155 incidents across the country and provided support and consultations in 120 of those cases, the association said.
“We are seeing an unprecedented volume of challenges in the fall of 2021,” said Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom at ALA. “In my twenty years with ALA, I can’t remember a time when we had multiple challenges to overcome on a daily basis.”
In a statement, the group’s board said a few organizations have pushed the idea that “the voices of the marginalized have no place on library shelves” by falsely claiming that some books are subversive, immoral. and urge people to “abandon constitutional principles, ignore the rule of law and ignore individual rights.
“Some of these groups even use intimidation and threats to achieve their ends, targeting the safety and livelihoods of library workers, educators and board members who have dedicated themselves to the service. public, informing our communities and educating our youth, ”they said. in a report.
ALA leadership said the group condemned these acts of censorship and intimidation and would continue to “defend the constitutional rights of all individuals of all ages to use library resources and services.”
The group’s statement comes after many schools in Texas, Florida and several other states received complaints about certain books. The trend emerged from the critical debate over racial theory and the panic over how history, race, and queer themes are taught to children. In Texas, Gov. Gregg Abbott called on state school boards to remove books he called “pornography” after at least two state lawmakers called on authorities to investigate the books in schools.
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