Austin Public Library announces opposing stance on book censorship

As censorship efforts continue, the Austin Public Library has announced that it stands with the entire library community in defense of the freedom to speak and the freedom to read, and opposed censorship of any library material. 

Both the Texas Library Association (TLA) and the American Library Association (ALA) say they have noted an increase in censorship activity in libraries in the Fall of 2021. 

In a statement from October 26, the TLA stated: "The Texas Library Association (TLA) holds that the freedom to read is a human right, protected by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. TLA believes that individuals have the right to free inquiry and the equally important right to form their own opinions. Freedom in selecting materials is a necessary safeguard to the freedom to read and shall be protected against irresponsible attempts by self-appointed censors to abridge it. Therefore, TLA opposes efforts that restrict the freedom to read through banning, removing, or other forms of restricting access to books or other materials." 

In a joint statement from the ALA’s Executive Board and the Boards of Directors for all of ALA’s eight divisions, the ALA said that several organizations have created campaigns supporting censorship of books including stories of those who are gay, queer, or transgender or that tell stories of persons who are Black, Indigenous, or persons of color. The ALA also said they condemn any acts of censorship and intimidation. 

In the weeks following the ALA's statements, the Austin Public Library says efforts to ban or censor books have increased across the country, including Central Texas.

"Freedom to read is a right that must be protected in our schools and public libraries, and we must not give in to the vocal few that want to speak for the many," stated Austin Public Library Director Roosevelt Weeks. 

The Austin Public Library says it stands in agreement with the statements made by the TLA and ALA. It also upholds the ALA’s Library Bill of Rights, which holds that library materials should not be removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval, and that libraries should challenge censorship.

Through the Austin Public Library's Materials Selection Policy, it is committed to developing responsive collections in order to provide easy access to books and information for all ages. The library also holds commitment to equity at a high prioritization, ensuring all Austin community members have equal access to library services and programs.

Wilco votes to give CARES Act funds to Round Rock, Leander ISDs
Texas investing additional $123.3M in federal funds in education
IDEA Austin celebrates first Ivy League acceptances for Class of 2022
SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter