The story at a glance
- Book bans have become increasingly popular across the country.
- Including in Tennessee, which has banned 16 books so far.
- The Nashville Public Library has launched a new campaign encouraging residents to exercise their freedom to read, including banned books.
More books are being banned from schools across the country and it’s inspired a Tennessee public library to push back by launching a campaign that encourages readers to exercise their ‘freedom to read’, including reading banned books .
The Nashville Public Library (NPL) launched the Freedom to Read campaign last week and is encouraging people to sign up for a limited-edition “Banned Books” library card. The library advocates for its collection of more than 2 million books and materials, which includes books that have been banned and challenged for possible banning in cities across the country.
There has been an alarming increase in book censorship in the United States since last year, with 1,586 book bans or restrictions put in place, according to PEN America, a nonprofit organization focused on freedom of thought. expression and literature.
Books that discuss race, gender, sex and LBGTQ identities have been disproportionately targeted.
“I want Nashvillians to know that the Nashville Public Library will always respect your freedom to read — to independently determine what you read and don’t read and to exercise your role in determining what your children read,” said Kent Oliver. , Director of NPL. , in a report.
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Tennessee was one of many conservative states to ban books in classrooms and school libraries, banning a total of 16 books.
A Tennessee lawmaker even said he would “burn” books removed from school libraries during an exchange with another state lawmaker who asked him what he suggested to do with objectionable books.
NPL is trying to open up access to local residents interested in reading, with Oliver saying he hopes the Freedom to Read campaign will bring the community together, “which is essential to maintaining our democracy”.
In its announcement, NPL noted that two Tennessee school districts recently pulled two novels, Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” and Sharon Creech’s “Walk Two Moons,” from its shelves.
“Maus” is a graphic novel depicting the experiences of Spigelman’s parents during the Holocaust. He was frequently targeted with book bans, despite winning a Pulitzer Prize in 1992.
Readers interested in banned books can find a list of them on the NPL website, which has compiled all of the banned or disputed books in the Books that Shaped America exhibit at the Library of Congress. It is a special collection of books by American authors who “have caused thought, controversy, and change throughout American history.”
The book ban isn’t particularly popular among Americans, with an ALA survey of 1,000 voters and 472 parents of public school children finding that 72% of readers oppose efforts to to remove the books from their local public libraries.
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Published in May. 05, 2022