'Angry librarians’ are fed up with Texas Republicans’ war on books: columnist

'Angry librarians’ are fed up with Texas Republicans’ war on books: columnist
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016, Wikimedia Commons

In Texas, far-right Republicans have been declaring war on a variety of books on topics such as racism and LGBTQ issues. But Washington Post opinion writer Karen Attiah, this week in her column, describes some ways in which Texas librarians have been fighting back.

"In recent weeks," Attiah explains, "the bedrock democratic freedom to read has come under attack from Republicans in Texas. Last month, State Rep. Matt Krause (R) cobbled together a list of some 850 books centering on LGBTQ issues, race and sexuality and directed schools to report which titles appear in their collections and how much money was spent on them. Republican Gov. Greg Abbott doubled down, sending a letter to the Texas Association of School Boards demanding that the group root out 'pornographic' material from school libraries."

Attiah continues, "Abbott then went a step further, demanding that the Texas Education Agency investigate 'the availability of pornography' in public schools and report any instances of such material being provided to a minor 'for prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.'"

The "angry librarians" in Texas, according to Attiah, are fed up with such attacks.

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"This month," Attiah observes, "a group of Texas librarians on Twitter staged a takeover of the #txlege hashtag and boosted #FReadom."

Sara Stevenson, a retired librarian based in Austin, has been giving advice to librarians in her state.

Stevenson told the Post, "One of the things that we are trained in is advocacy, since our jobs are always on the line. But now, I worry librarians will self-censor."

Attiah concludes her column by encouraging librarians to keep fighting back against extremist culture warriors.

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"Librarians promise they will keep fighting," Attiah writes. "We all should hope so, for they are on the front lines against what is looking to be a dark chapter for freedom of thought in America."

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