Books

How To Fight New Obscenity Laws Targeting Librarians

So far this year, eight states have introduced legislation that makes it easier to prosecute teachers and librarians under “obscenity” and “harmful to minor” laws — these have been weaponizing in recent book banning battles, being used against librarians and educators just for having LGBTQ books or sex education books on the shelves.

EveryLibrary, a PAC that lobbies for libraries, has released a policy brief to help educate about these laws as well as outline ways to fight them. It goes over state obscenity and harmful to minor laws, and how they apply to teachers and librarians. It then reviews related state legislation in 2021 and 2022, both the laws that passed and the ones that failed.

The policy brief also has advice for anti-censorship advocacy for librarians, educators, administrators, unions and professional associations, and other stakeholders like parents and library users. They finish with effective anti-censorship messaging and places to get support, including at EveryLibrary. For example:

“When someone is uncomfortable with a book or movie they don’t have to read or watch it. Changing obscenity laws would criminalize libraries in our state. That means everyone’s right to read is under threat.”

You can download the full report at EveryLibrary.

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