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Aired Sep 22, 2022

Banned Books Week

In 2021, the American Library Association noted 729 complaints against 1,597 books, which is more than double the number of complaints they typically receive in a year. Librarians are being threatened and fired from their jobs, local libraries are being defunded, and there seems to be no end in sight.

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, September 22. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!   

Article: How Book Bans Turned a Texas Town Upside Down

Source: New York Times Magazine

Author: Erika Hayasaki

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Have you heard anything about books being challenged at your local library or at school libraries in your community? What do you think about campaigns to ban books?

  2. “The controversy in Llano, Baker realized, wasn’t about maintaining a wide selection of books representing differing viewpoints. It was about making certain books go away.” When thinking about book challenges and bans, do you agree with this assessment? Why or why not?

  3. What can those opposed to book bans do to make their voices heard? Will you commit doing something to let your community know where you stand on this issue?

Bonus Resources: Check out “Public Libraries Face Threats to Funding and Collections as Book Bans Surge” from TIME Magazine by Madeleine Carlisle and “Residents raise almost $100,000 for Michigan library defunded over LGBTQ books” from NBC News by Jay Valle.

You can also learn more about Banned Books Week and coalition members here: bannedbooksweek.org

Even More Resources Recommended by This Week’s Guests!

A Banned Books Week Action List: Book Censorship News, September 16, 2022

The National Center for English Teachers:

Intellectual Freedom Center

Standing Committee Against Censorship

The Student’s Right to Read

This Story Matters: Standing Up for Students’ Right to Read in the Face of Censorship

The Battle over Books Is a Battle over Democracy. We Can Win Both.

Ways to Watch:

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Something to Talk About Live is a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each week we offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter.