Librarians, authors, publishers form anti-book ban coalition

May 9, 2022, 6:04 PM | Updated: May 10, 2022, 6:05 am

NEW YORK (AP) — The American Library Association, the American Federation of Teachers and more than a dozen other organizations have formed a coalition to fight the nationwide wave of book bans and challenges.

Unite Against Book Bans ( https://uniteagainstbookbans.org ) also includes the publishers Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster and Macmillan, the Authors Guild and the National Coalition Against Censorship. Resources will include helping community members draft petitions, forming questionnaires for political candidates and designing graphics for social media.

“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials. Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in a statement Tuesday. “It’s time that policymakers understand the severity of this issue.”

The library association reported last month that it tracked nearly 1,600 attempts to ban books in 2021, the highest since it began recording challenges more than 20 years ago.

“Our partners and supporters are critical in moving the needle to ultimately bring an end to book bans,” Caldwell-Stone said in a statement. “As the campaign evolves, our growing network of supporters will work to prevent those bans, ensuring access to information for all and advocating for the important work of libraries and librarians.”

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Librarians, authors, publishers form anti-book ban coalition