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Resources for Antiracist & Antioppression Work in (and beyond) the City Tech Library

September 2022 - Freedom to Read: Banned Books Week

Recommended Antiracism / Antioppression Resources, September 2022 compiled by Nora and Suraya

This month we wanted to share a few resources related to censorship and book bans. Suraya and I chose this topic because in the past two years, more states have passed legislation that ban books, censor curricular materials, and even restrict what materials are displayed in public libraries and schools. Also, next week is Banned Books week, which was created to raise awareness of book bans and how they cause harm. 

The majority of books that are banned or excluded from curricula promote critical race theory and LGBTQ+ rights. In this way, book bans and censorship laws don’t only impact people’s freedom to read but directly work to reinforce heteronormativity and white supremacy and actively reproduce systems that oppress BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people. In states where new censorship laws have been implemented, teachers and librarians who attempt to share banned materials or even raise awareness about book bans have been threatened and even fired.

Hope you’ll find some of these readings and videos helpful in thinking through some of these ideas and how they intersect with our work at City Tech.

This video introduces contemporary legislative efforts to ban books and discusses how censorship efforts impact marginalized communities. 

This video gives a good overview of the history of banned books week and why fighting against censorship and upholding the freedom to read is a core value in librarianship.

This article gives a list of states that have banned books and highlights different laws that have been enacted to support and enforce book bans. 

This opinion piece was written by a teacher in an underfunded school that does not have resources to support a library. The author explains that many schools in her state have empty libraries and highlights how austerity is itself a form of censorship.