Protecting the Freedom to Read in New Jersey

As RuPaul said during the Emmy Awards earlier this year: “knowledge is power — and if someone tries to restrict your access to power, they are trying to scare you.”

With books, libraries, and librarians under attack around the country — many because they tell the stories of LGBTQ+ people and communities of color — now is the time to act. We must protect some of the Garden State’s greatest public resource, and we can do that by passing the Freedom to Read Act.

“Lists of “bad books” disproportionately target books reflecting the voices and lived experiences of those who are LGBTQIA+, Black, Indigenous, or persons of color,” according to the American Library Association.

This important legislation establishes requirements for free expression and diverse, inclusive, age-appropriate content in public school and public libraries, as well as protecting school library workers from harassment.

Our policy team has been hard at work for many weeks, meeting with our coalition partners at the National Women’s Law Center and NJEA as well as both the New Jersey and American Library Associations to help make the Freedom to Read Act the strongest in the country. We’ll join states like Illinois and Maryland in protecting the right of everyone to read whatever book they choose.

We’re ready to rally our community to turn out in support of A3446 this Thursday, June 6, and to show our legislators that New Jersey is ready to ensure that all readers can see themselves reflected in our libraries.

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