A Note Against Book Banning
PubWest has endorsed the Association of American Publishers' Freedom to Read Statement.
Some seventy years ago, publishers, librarians, and scholars from across the United States joined together to address a wave of attacks on books, leading to a Freedom to Read Statement published jointly on June 25, 1953 by the American Library Association and the Association of American Publishers and subsequently endorsed by numerous allies. At the time, fear, suspicion, and suppression, fueled in large part by McCarthyism, was at a fever pitch – a serious situation that required an equally serious affirmation of intellectual freedom and the constitutional protections that make it possible.
At the 70th anniversary of the Statement, we are now grappling with a new wave of censorship, as more than 60 bills have been introduced in the past year that would chill or control what Americans may read. These bills would, for example, impose lists of banned books on public schools; require content ratings at public and school libraries, and subject librarians, educators, publishers, and booksellers to criminal liability.
We invite all of our like-minded colleagues to add their names to the list of those who oppose book banning.