American Library Association Welcomes White House Actions to Address Book Bans

For Immediate Release
Thu, 06/08/2023

Contact:

Shawnda Hines

Deputy Director, Communications

Public Policy & Advocacy Office

American Library Association

shines@alawash.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Library Association (ALA) applauds the Biden-Harris Administration’s steps announced today to address the rise in book bans and other attacks on LGBTQIA+ Americans.

In a fact sheet released today, the White House announced  that the Department of Education will appoint a new coordinator to address the growing threat that book bans pose for the civil rights of students, among other steps to protect the rights of LGBTQIA+ Americans.

ALA President Lessa Kanani'opua Pelayo-Lozada released the following statement:  

“We are heartened by the Biden-Harris Administration’s leadership to address the alarming rise in book bans and other attacks on LGBTQIA+ Americans that aim to stigmatize and erase the voices of the LGBTQIA+ community.  Everyone deserves the opportunity to see themselves and their family reflected in the books in their library’s collection. Those books are a safe place, with stories that validate their experience and where they find acceptance, hope and can see a future .

“America’s libraries serve all members of their communities, including LGBTQIA+ Americans. ALA is also proud of and defends the equality of the many LGBTQIA+ Americans who have chosen to serve as library workers, dedicating their lives to assure the availability of equal and equitable access to libraries for everyone. They have the right to serve their communities without fear.

“In 2022, ALA recorded the highest number of attempted book bans on record. The vast majority sought to censor books written by or about LGBTQIA+ people and people of color.

“There is no room in libraries for discrimination. ALA supports local libraries in resisting attempts to ban books by and about the experience of LGBTQIA+ persons. We encourage individuals and organizations to join with us in the Unite Against Book Bans campaign to fight local efforts to ban books and undermine Americans’ constitutionally protected freedom to read.”

Launched in 2022, Unite Against Book Bans is a national initiative to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. The campaign galvanizes community members to support libraries and respond to the surge in book challenges and other efforts to suppress access to information.