The theme of this year's National Library Week campaign is 'Connect with your Library,' whether it be to things like broadband, classes, communities, books, videos, or to each other. And it doesn't matter if it's an academic library, public library, or school library, this is what happens on a daily basis. Usually this week is a pure celebration, but it feels different this year since it takes place during a time of increasing challenges to books in libraries and bookstores across the country.
Books have been challenged in schools and libraries for a very long time, but along with the increasing number of challenges, a bill proposed in Oklahoma would allow parents to collect $10,000 for each day a challenged book remains on library shelves. A proposed bill in Iowa would make it illegal school and public librarians to spread "material the person knows or reasonably should know, is obscene or harmful to minors."
Libraries are powerful and they unequivocally protect the First Amendment and intellectual freedom outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Judith Krug, librarian and freedom of speech advocate said it best, 'librarians are trained as librarians; we have absolutely no training or expertise in being censors. Our job - and yours - is not to limit the horizons of a child, be he six or twelve, ten or twenty."