Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Censorship

Books Unbanned

“Brooklyn Public Library is adding our voice to those fighting for the rights of teens nationwide to read what they like, discover themselves, and form their own opinions. Inspired by the American Library Association’s Freedom to Read Statement, BPL’s Books Unbanned initiative is a response to an increasingly coordinated and effective effort to remove books tackling a wide range of topics from library shelves. The American Library Association reported 729 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2021, resulting in more than 1,597 individual book challenges or removals. This represents the highest number of attempted book bans since ALA began compiling these lists 20 years ago. Most targeted books were for a teen audience and were by or about Black or LGBTQIA+ persons. Across the country, teens are facing book bans, censorship and political challenges in their local school and public libraries. Here are just some of the ways young adults can get support from BP..”

  • Donate to Books Unbanned – Support the freedom to read by donating to BPL’s Books Unbanned today. Donate
  • Books Unbanned Media Kit – Want to spread the word in your community about Books Unbanned? Download our media kit, which includes a flier, printable sticker sheet, the official Books Unbanned artwork, Brooklyn Public Library’s logo and a QR code. Download the full kit, here.

Students want new books. Thanks to restrictions, librarians can’t buy them.

Washington Post: Schools are struggling to keep their shelves stocked as oversight by parents and school boards intensifies – “States and districts nationwide have begun to constrain what librarians can order. At least 10 states have passed laws giving parents more power over which books appear in libraries or limiting students’ access to books, a… Continue Reading

Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Librarianship through State Obscenity Laws

EveryLibrary Institute: “In 2023-2024, we anticipate that many legislators whose bills failed the last session will reintroduce language in this session and anti-access activists will be inspired to sponsor their own regressive initiatives. The EverLibrary Institute is releasing a new Policy Brief “Opposing Attempts to Criminalize Libraries and Education Through State Obscenity Laws” to help… Continue Reading

Are book bans discrimination?

Washington Post – Biden administration to test new legal theory: “The federal government has opened an investigation into a Texas school district over its alleged removal of books featuring LGBTQ characters — marking the first test of a new legal argument that failing to represent students in school books can constitute discrimination. The Education Department’s… Continue Reading

Unbanning Books: LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year

Library Journal: “Brooklyn Public Library’s Nick Higgins, Amy Mikel, Karen Keys, Jackson Gomes, and Leigh Hurwitz have been named LJ’s 2023 Librarians of the Year for their work on Books Unbanned, providing free ebook access to teens and young adults nationwide to help defy rising book challenges across the country. In 2022 Brooklyn Public Library’s Books Unbanned Team began… Continue Reading

Courts Find That Twitter Can Restrict More Than Just Your Character Count

ABA:  “The 21st century court system has seen a surge of internet-related cases as websites and social media platforms continue to connect more individuals around the globe. While only 5 percent of adults in the United States reported using social media in 2005, the number has now skyrocketed to more than 70 percent. Today, people… Continue Reading

America’s culture warriors are going after librarians

.coda: “…It’s a tale playing out in cities and states across the country, as a book-banning fever courses through the country’s body politic. Nationally, attempts to remove books from school and public libraries are shattering previous records. The effort is being driven by a loose collection of local and national conservative parents’ groups and politicians… Continue Reading

Face Recognition Tech Gets Girl Scout Mom Booted From Rockettes Show — Due to Where She Works

NBC 4 New York: “A recent incident at Radio City Music Hall involving the mother of a Girl Scout is shedding light on the growing controversy of facial recognition, as critics claim it is being used to target perceived enemies — in this case, by one of the most famous companies in the country. Kelly… Continue Reading

Elon Musk, Fox News, and Free Speech Absolutism

Teri Kanefield – “Free Speech Absolutism” – Elon Musk abolished Twitter’s moderation policies and allowed “America’s most prominent Nazi,” Andrew Anglin back onto Twitter along with Donald Trump. He declared himself a “free speech absolutist” and said all voices should be heard. Then, on Thursday, he went on a binge and suspended the Twitter accounts of a number… Continue Reading

Conservative Activist Poured Millions Into Groups Seeking to Influence Supreme Court on Elections and Discrimination

ProPublica – “Newly obtained records show how Leonard Leo, an architect of the right-wing takeover of the courts, has been funding groups pushing to change elections and anti-discrimination laws. Flush with money after receiving the largest-known political advocacy donation in U.S. history, conservative activist Leonard Leo and his associates are spending millions of dollars to… Continue Reading