Sunday, January 23, 2022

Join the #FReadom Letter Writing Campaign to Combat Censorship!

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On October 25, Texas Republican State Representative Matt Krause despatched a letter to the Texas college districts asking in the event that they carried any of 850 books listed in addition to another which will embrace materials that might make college students really feel “discomfort.” The books listed had been overwhelmingly by authors of colour and/or included LGBTQ characters.

Every week later, on November 4, a gaggle of Texas librarians responded with the #FReadom Fighters Twitter marketing campaign. They tagged the Texas Legislature with testimonials about books which have positively modified their lives. Students, households, and authors joined in to decry censorship and e-book banning makes an attempt and defend libraries in addition to entry to data.

2021 was a devastating 12 months for censorship in U.S. libraries, particularly college libraries. LGBTQ books have been significantly focused, typically equated with pornography and pedophilia. School board conferences have turn into charged and even harmful locations, with academics and librarians accused of crimes for carrying intercourse eduction or LGBTQ books. Alongside the anger of the masks mandate debates, some college board members have reported feeling unsafe even strolling to their automobile.

This enhance in e-book challenges just isn’t a fluke. Groups have sprung up to arrange them, buying and selling speaking factors and even graphics to print out for poster boards. Once a e-book is accused of being “pornographic” in a single district, that e-book might be challenged in different districts and states, with the similar speaking factors parroted — whether or not or not they’re correct.

These final two years have been troublesome for academics and librarians. They’ve handled elevated danger of COVID, ever-changing security procedures, sudden college closures and openings requiring redoing lesson plans over and over, elevated vitriol in class board conferences from anti-maskers and e-book banners — on high of the standard pandemic fatigue, worry, and grief we’ve all been coping with.

We have to be as organized as the e-book banners. We additionally want to present that regardless of them being very, very loud, they don’t seem to be the majority. Most individuals help libraries. Most individuals help college students’ entry to books. Most individuals oppose censorship from the authorities of individuals’s studying decisions. We want college boards and library boards to hear that greater than they hear individuals accusing them of crimes for doing their jobs and defending college students’ rights.

It’s no shock {that a} group of librarians is organized, however #FReadom has made it extremely straightforward to take part — and also you don’t want to be in Texas to do it! These e-book challenges aren’t going away. If your district has already been affected, the college board wants to hear that you simply help the freedom to learn. If your district hasn’t but been affected, it’s much more essential: you’ll be able to assist stop censorship by demonstrating that there’s help for the work librarians are doing. That means, when the e-book challengers come (and they’ll), librarians and college board members can present that proof.

There are loads of methods to take part. You can e mail your personal college board, certainly one of a faculty district close to you, and/or one which’s dealing with e-book challenges. You can e mail the superintendent or college board members (or only one member, particularly in the event that they’ve been combating towards censorship makes an attempt from different college board members).

There is a template for normal help of libraries, which outlines how precious stocking all kinds of studying supplies is and describes librarians’ experience in choosing books. Another template is for e-book challenges, reminding college boards of their present insurance policies in addition to that “The Supreme Court ruled materials may not be removed from libraries just for the ideas contained in them.” Finally, there’s a template for authors to use.

More data may be discovered on the #FReadom Fighters web site, together with a hyperlink to routinely copy the template into a brand new e mail on Gmail.

And if you happen to’re on the lookout for different methods to oppose censorship and e-book bans, these posts might be useful:

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