Endorsing the Bicameral 2022 Banned Books Week Congressional Resolution
EveryLibrary joins dozens of library and free speech organizations in endorsing the 2022 Congressional Banned Books Week Resolution and urging the House and Senate to adopt it today.
We appreciate Representative Jamie Raskin (MD) and Senator Brian Schatz for introducing this Resolution in both houses of Congress. The Resolution seeks to recognize the “alarming threats to freedom of expression” sweeping the country, and calls for “local governments and educational institutions” to protect the rights of Americans “to read a wide array of books reflecting a multitude of viewpoints and perspectives.”
"Congress has an important opportunity to act in support of our Constitutional principles," says John Chrastka, executive director of EveryLibrary, the national political action committee for libraries. "Members on both sides of the aisle need to be on the right side of history here. We face politicized attempts to ban books, censor materials, and limit access in school libraries and public libraries at local and state levels. It's critical that Congress reaffirms our commitments to free expression with this Resolution and begin to take action to restore our democratic society at all levels of government."
The EveryLibrary Institute's recent report on Voter Perception of Book Bans (2022) makes it clear that politicians who want to ban books are listening to a minority of American voters. Fully 95% of Democrats, 80% of independents, and 53% of Republican voters are against book bans and will consider book bans when voting this November. Politicians from city councils and county commissions to state legislatures and governors need to be paying attention to how unpopular, and unwelcome book bans and censorship truly are. Over 90% of voters say that they are paying attention to these issues - and they don't like it. Only 8% of voters think that there are many books that are inappropriate and should be banned. "It is heartening to see that this belief in the right to read — and voter support for school libraries and public libraries — transcend partisanship," adds Chrastka.
Censorship has never been an American value. Here at EveryLibrary, we know very clearly that most attempts to ban books and criminalize library collections are attacks on our LGBTQ and BiPOC communities. We have seen the ugly underbelly of how censorship is weaponized against our neighbors and students, how librarians are being libeled and slandered, and how our trusted institutions are being defunded. That's why we are urging Americans from all walks of life and political persuasions to stand together and urge their Senators and Representatives to vote for the 2022 Banned Books Week resolution.
There isn't a more pressing issue for libraries, education, and the First Amendment today. EveryLibrary joins numerous other library, education, and free expression organizations in endorsing the Resolution including the American Federation of Teachers, American Library Association, Campaign for Our Shared Future, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Florida Freedom to Read Project, PEN America, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Council of Teachers of English, National Education Association, National Book Foundation, Banned Books Week Coalition, Red Wine and Blue Education Fund, Protect Diversity, and Stand for Children.