Why does this matter?
In October of 2021, then state Representative Matt Krause sent a list of over 800 book titles to Superintendents around the state, requesting they examine their libraries for books on the list or any others that might cause shame or guilt. The list contained titles on a vast array of topics, but books about race/racism, books by authors of color, and books with LGBTQ themes or characters dominated the list. This list set off a censorship movement that rapidly gathered speed across the state and the country with the help of politically motivated local groups.
Families and students deserve to read materials of interest to them and to find stories about lives like theirs(or unlike theirs), represented on the shelves of libraries.
Libraries are voluntary centers of inquiry and access to library materials is a First Amendment right.
Librarians are highly trained to curate collections of quality reviewed materials that support ALL students and families in their school community and that represent a variety of viewpoints and maturity levels.
School districts have time-tested procedures in place to resolve issues around challenged books, and when they abide by published policies that involve a variety of community members, books are given due process and often remain available to students.
While parents have discretion over their own family's educational experiences, they do not get to extend that discretion to every other family.
Having access to a wide variety of books helps prepare our students for a global marketplace, as they may work remotely with others from all over the world.
As our kids recover from the pandemic, raising literacy rates is important. Time spent fighting book banning is a distraction from the important literacy work that librarians and teachers do to get kids engaged in reading.
There are library deserts and bookstores deserts which make books unavailable to some students if the materials are not located in a school library on a school campus.