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Resources for the Fight Against Censorship

The news of censorship efforts continues to hit daily with organized efforts by people who are intent on making sure that any book or story they do not approve of (and very often, have not even read) does not see the light of day in classrooms, school libraries, public libraries and even bookstores.

There is a very visible pattern with each of these events: they attack the librarian, the teacher, bookseller and now, school board members over a list of titles that begins with the banned book list.

The list has expanded to include prominent titles by authors of color on the premise that these books teach children Critical Race Theory. Or they indoctrinate children into a LGBTQ ‘lifestyle’. Of course, when these people are challenged to explain CRT or defend why they don’t want any of these books made available to readers, they cite a mantra that is almost repeated verbatim in rural communities across the country.

So, what is our recourse? For libraries and schools, learn your collection development policies. If one does not yet exist, create one. There are great resources available via the various organizations who are standing by to help you defend your books.

Next and most importantly, run for office. Become a school board member, run for city or county office. It is one thing to stand in protest, but an even more effective tool we all have is representation in government office.

Here is a list of great organizations who can provide guidance and resources to help you right now and in the future:
The American Civil Liberties Union 
The American Library Associations Banned & Challenged Books 
ALA office of Intellectual Freedom 
Comic Book Legal Defense Fund 

Free Expression (ABFFE) American Book Sellers Association 
The Freedom to Read Foundation 
The Media Coalition 
National Coalition Against Censorship 
National Council of Teachers of English 
PEN America

Before you contact these organizations, you will want to gather all possible information: title of book(s) to be challenged: is this a school, library, or bookstore challenge. Anything and everything you can gather ahead of this contact will help inform and expedite the process. Of course, here at Reading With Pictures, we are standing by to help as wellThis is a challenge to our world we’ve not seen since the McCarthy era and we need to have as many resources as possible to win this battle.
Best wishes,