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Giannoulias wants authority to refuse state grants to book-banning library boards

Wednesday, Mar 8, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* According to the Illinois Public Library Trustee Manual, issued by the secretary of state’s office, only library directors and their staff should be selecting library materials, not library boards

The library’s materials selection policy should include these concepts so the public is clear about how materials are selected for the collection:

    ● Library directors and their delegated staff are responsible for the selection of library materials. Materials selected by them are considered to be selected by the board
    ● No library material should be excluded based on political or social views
    ● Patrons are free to reject for themselves materials that they disapprove of, but they must not use self-censorship to restrict the freedom of others
    ● No materials will be removed from the library except under court order

* Press release…

Amid coordinated efforts throughout the nation to ban books from library shelves, Illinois Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias has drafted first-in-the-nation legislation designed to support public and school libraries and librarians as they face unprecedented censorship of books and resources in Illinois.

The legislation comes after extremist groups – including the far-right nationalist group, the Proud Boys – have targeted Illinois libraries, divided communities and harassed librarians across the country, even though the books are not required reading for anyone.

Giannoulias, who serves as the State’s Librarian, reiterated his staunch support for Illinois librarians who not only deserve our gratitude, but also must have safe environments in which to work. Giannoulias argued that book banning undermines First Amendment rights, threatens individual freedoms and liberties and prevents the public from accessing reading materials of their choice.

“This is an alarming phenomenon that’s occurring throughout the nation, including Illinois, which is designed to polarize and disrupt our communities,” Giannoulias said. “This scourge of censorship has a chilling effect on our democracy. These efforts have nothing to do with books. Instead, they are about ideas that certain individuals disagree with and believe no one should think, or be allowed to think.”

In delivering his State of the State address last month, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker spoke out about book banning and censorship. He recently announced his support for Giannoulias’ legislation.

“In Illinois, we don’t hide from the truth, we embrace it and lead with it,” said Governor Pritzker. “Banning books is a devastating attempt to erase our history and the authentic stories of many. Students across this state deserve to see themselves reflected in the pages of stories that teach and entertain. I’m proud to support House Bill 2789 and ensure that Illinois’ libraries remain sources of knowledge, creativity, and fact.”

Under House Bill 2789, sponsored by State Reps. Anne Stava-Murray (81st District – Downers Grove) and Carol Ammons (103rd District – Champaign) and State Sen. Laura Murphy (28th District – Elk Grove Village), Illinois libraries would only be eligible for state funded grants, which are issued by the Secretary of State’s office, if they: 1) demonstrate that they adhere to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights indicating reading materials should not be removed or restricted because of partisan or personal disapproval; or 2) issue a statement complying with the policies of the State Library or one prohibiting the practice of banning books or resources.

Stava-Murray’s suburban district includes Community High School District 99 in Downers Grove, which withstood efforts led in part by the Proud Boys group.

“Downers Grove has seen first-hand what some groups will try to do to prevent access to books that contain language or ideals that they disagree with,” State Rep. Stava-Murray said. “Librarians and educators are dedicated to their schools and communities and serve out of a love of knowledge, reading and helping people. It’s absurd to think that groups would seek to harass them and create animosity in our communities by driving cultural wedges in an effort to divide them.”

“As a legislator assigned to several education-related committees, this issue is very important to me,” said State Rep. Ammons. “The books these groups are targeting are overwhelmingly those written by or about people of color or LGBTQ individuals. We must fight to allow the public greater access to reading and learning materials, not restricting access by banning books.”

“This radical movement to ban books cannot be allowed in the state of Illinois – the state in which Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451 – a book that chronicled the dangers of censorship, book bans and book burning – called home,” said State Sen. Murphy. “Coordinated campaigns to banish books run contradictory to the principles our country was founded upon. Our First Amendment protects not only our rights to speak but the right to access resources from the school or public library that are free from censorship that comes from disapproval by select individuals or groups who dislike a book’s content.”

Currently, Illinois law does not contain language related to book banning or eligibility for state grants that restrict access. Last fiscal year, the Secretary of State’s office awarded 1,631 grants to Illinois libraries totaling more than $62 million. Of those, 97 percent of the grants were awarded to public and school libraries, with public libraries receiving 877 grants and school libraries securing 712 grants.

According to the Chicago-based American Library Association (ALA), there were 67 attempts to ban books in Illinois in 2022, increasing from 41 the previous year.

“Public libraries are committed to serve their communities with books and resources, programming, and other services,” said Cynthia Robinson, Executive Director of the Illinois Library Association. “Serving the community means serving everyone in the community. Not every book is for everyone, and library staff are always ready to help library users find the right book for themselves or their children. Parents are encouraged to make decisions for their own families, but not for other families. Banning books takes crucial resources away from those who need them.”

New restrictions not only challenge an individual school system or library, but legislation in certain states is aimed at eliminating the availability of certain books in schools and libraries all together. In neighboring Missouri, state lawmakers passed a law that empowers prosecutors to arrest, assess fines and even jail school librarians who fail to monitor books in their libraries.

Nationally, the number of attempts to ban books has been rising, with 681 attempts involving more than 1,600 titles throughout the U.S. in 2021, according to the ALA. This is the most attempts to ban books since the ALA began tracking these numbers 20 years ago.

If approved, HB 2789 would take effect January 1, 2024.

Emphasis added.

* Statements in support…

“The efforts by certain radical groups to ban books is aimed overwhelmingly toward silencing people of color,” said Teresa Haley, President of the NAACP Springfield Branch and NAACP Illinois State Conference President. “These same groups have been oppressed and victimized through countless discrimination policies, such as book bans, that attempt to silence us and erode the rich contributions of Black Americans in our country. We must act now!”

“The Association of Illinois School Library Educators (AISLE) actively seeks to protect the First Amendment rights of Illinois students by opposing censorship and book banning in all forms. It is the purpose of school libraries - and the duty of formally trained school library staff - to meet the needs of every student by providing materials that allow for differences in expression. AISLE endorses the belief that exposure to a wide
variety of perspectives and the unfettered exchange of ideas is necessary to preserve the freedoms guaranteed in a democratic society. Students of all ages should be allowed the freedom of choice to select from a wide range of materials that are appropriate for their individual age, ability, and family’s values.”

“As a union of educators, we feel strongly that it’s our duty to defend the right to read and access information freely for all Illinoisans,” said Dan Montgomery, President, Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT). “Our libraries serve as the town square, the home of our democracy. That’s why we fully support HB 2789 and thank Secretary of State Giannoulias and the sponsoring legislators for this smart and clear policy that will help libraries protect that critical access to books and knowledge that our children and all citizens need now more than ever. “

“The freedom to read is literally written into our Chicago Public Library mission. After all, libraries are for everyone, and inherently democratic and inclusive of our diverse stories,” said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Chris Brown. “As one of the most diverse cities in the country we want those in Chicago and beyond to know we will continue to protect our freedom to read, and have declared our 81 libraries as Book Sanctuaries. We’re proud to have a Secretary of State so committed to this most democratic freedom.”

“As a librarian for 13 years, I know that access to a wide range of reading materials is essential,” said Elizabeth Lynch, librarian at Addison Public Library. “This is about our fundamental rights. Democracy requires an informed public and equal access to information that reflects a wide range of views. That’s why I strongly support House Bill 2789.”

As a public library director, I firmly support everyone’s right to equal access to information,” said Summer Griffith, Director of the Lincoln Library in Springfield. “This includes technology and digital equity, access to arts and cultural events, and also books and ideas. As a parent of school-aged children, I fully understand not every book is for every kid or family, but denying others the right to read or think is inherently against our shared value of freedom of thought.

“If a parent doesn’t want their child to read a particular book, they have the right to choose not to read that book and guide their children accordingly,” said Josephine Tucci, Director of the Lincolnwood Public Library District. “They should not be making decisions for other people’s children. Libraries make every effort to break down barriers and provide access to information, not build up walls to make access to information more difficult. Library users have all the power to CHOOSE what they want to read and what they don’t want to read. It’s that simple.”

“Libraries are institutions that should be available to everyone to explore and discover the world around them,” said Christine Gerrish, Executive Director of the Glen Carbon Library. “They depend on diverse collections and the ability of their patrons to browse them without fear of being judged. One of the main goals of banning books is to silence the voices of marginalized people. The act of banning books threatens all library services which is why I support House Bill 2789.”

“The First Amendment provides a clear and equitable standard for building library collections that uphold the freedom to choose for ourselves what we read,” said Heidi Smith, Executive Director of the Highland Park Public Library. “It would be impossible to build a book collection with the goal that everyone in a community agrees with and wants to read every book. The flaw in the idea that every library book must reflect the values, experiences, and beliefs of a community is that a community is made up of unique individuals. Our individuality is a community strength that our books must reflect. Thank you to our legislators for working to support our freedom to read in Illinois.”

“I represent a small, diverse community in the St. Louis Metro area and it is my responsibility for my library’s collection, programs, and services to meet the needs of ALL of the members and tax payers of the community I serve,” said Ashley Stewart, Director of the Caseyville Public Library District. “Censorship is not a partisan issue. It is an organized effort by a very small percentage of our population that are specifically targeting libraries. My library board and staff received hateful messages and threats for an event held during PRIDE month. Can you imagine if zoo or museum staff were threatened over the types of animals held or works of art displayed at their respective institutions? That is why I fully support the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which provides the foundation for House Bill 2789, a noble goal that seeks to prevent censorship from plaguing our libraries and patrons.”

* Tribune

One opponent of the Illinois measure is State Rep. Dan Caulkins, a Decatur Republican who said the legislation takes away local control.

“Parents know best, school boards know best, library boards know best what their communities want and need,” said Caulkins, part of a far-right group of House Republicans informally known as the Eastern Bloc. “And for the state of Illinois again, here we go, the radical Democrats are pushing an agenda trying to force their woke ideology on more conservative parts of the state.”

…Adding… Decent retort to Rep. Caulkins in comments…

You can ban all the books you want, and in fact the state will give you even more local control by removing any state interference, like state funding.

* Related…

* Noting “Changed Complexion of Staff,” Elmwood Park Public Library Board Takes Over: A Case Study in Library De-Professionalization


  1. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:28 am:

    - Parents know best -

    That’s fine, Dan, you can make sure your kid isn’t checking out anything you don’t like. The doesn’t mean you and your fellow mouth breathers should get to decide for the rest of us.

  2. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:31 am:

    –who said the legislation takes away local control.–

    Dan Caulkins clearly doesn’t know what those words mean.

    You can ban all the books you want, and in fact the state will give you even more local control by removing any state interference, like state funding.

  3. - Anyone Remember - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:32 am:

    Tip o’ Cap to Sen. Murphy for invoking Ray Bradbury.

  4. - Pundent - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:32 am:

    =Dan Caulkins, a Decatur Republican who said the legislation takes away local control.=

    Meanwhile these same kids that Dan and others are looking to protect are likely seeing and hearing things on their phones that would make their librarian blush. And that assumes these kids are actually going to the library searching for the books that Dan and others find so concerning.

  5. - The Dude Abides - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:33 am:

    Given who makes up school boards and library boards, I would rather the decisions be made by people who know the library audience best; I suspect that the groups Dan shouted out are not as involved as the actual librarians.

  6. - illini - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:39 am:

    I am coming to the conclusion that it is impossible for any member of the Eastern Bloc or any of their supporters to make a statement of any kind without using the word “woke.” Am I wrong?

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:42 am:

    The sitch, for me?

    Anytime the Eastern Bloc feel aggrieved to a “woke” social angst, it’s probably a necessary “evil” to save places like libraries and schools from those so willing to tear down…

    … truth.

    That’s really it. Caulkins wants truth overruled by old, angry, white aggrieved “feelings”

    So, as I’m not the biggest of fans of Alexi in all things “Alexi”, thus must be a right thing to do if the Eastern Bloc “woke” to this news and feel aggrieved.

  8. - Now I’m down in it. - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:45 am:

    Like OW, I’m not a big fan of Alexi, but this is an excellent proposal. If he keeps on things like this and manages to get it done, I may become a fan.

  9. - James - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    I serve on a local library board in Southern Illinois and the state can keep their money. I would rather protect kids from the far left political ideas than take the states money any day of the week. We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.

  10. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    –seeing and hearing things on their phones that would make their librarian blush.–

    I’m not sure how many librarians you’ve met, but my experience is the polar opposite of that.

    But to your point, there is a little bit of amusement to me that the holier-than-thou types are *still* trying to ban physical books in the 21st century, when such an action is just a holdover of religious control from centuries ago when the printing press was the only option. They don’t even know how to update their methods of censorship to the world they currently live in.

    The Brooklyn library is still offering free e-cards to anyone 13-21. Anywhere in the entire country. Meanwhile, their local library can only provide local services. Trying to intentionally hobble it is just another in the chain of self-destructive actions those who demand local control often undertake.

  11. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:47 am:

    ===Caulkins wants truth overruled===

    Nah. Truth should be used only in reference to religion.

    What Rep. Caulkins apparently wants is library boards to be able to ban books while continuing to receive state subsidies.

  12. - Lulu in Lake - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:47 am:

    I’m a library trustee and I fully support the concept. Here’s the thing: there are bans and then there’s making the library so uncomfortable for your staff that they consciously or unconsciously choose not to buy certain books because they know the board will not back them up. Having a policy will not take the place of having a strong and supportive board. Unfortunately, Rep Caulkins doesn’t have anything to worry about if the voters are apathetic (or worse).

  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:50 am:

    === library boards to be able to ban books while continuing to receive state subsidies.===

    That’s my bad. Apologies.

    My blind spot is apparently the idea to keep the money flowing, and the culture war local?

    Explains too why the separatists like this too?

  14. - H-W - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:51 am:

    == Parents know best ==

    I know this is going to spark debate, but this is the dumbest thing a person can say. If parents knew best, we would not need to have schooling in America.

    Parents do not know best how to educate children. Parents do not know best how to create a well-educated, well-prepared labor force.
    Parents do not know best how to teach the subjects taught in schools.

    If parents knew best, we would not have social issues.

    This knee-jerk response is quite simply a way of saying I do not want my children to learn to appreciate and accept diverse others; to understand how the social world works; I do not my children to learn what our community needs them to learn if we are to have a healthy and safe community for all.

  15. - Jerry - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:54 am:

    @James: Please explain “far left” WITHOUT using the word “woke”. Be specific, cite your sources.

  16. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:57 am:

    - We can be open 2 days a week. no problem. -

    Heck, why not make it zero? Why does anyone need all that book learnin anyway?

  17. - TheInvisibleMan - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:58 am:

    –We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.–

    Which would drive those kids you pretend to care about onto the internet even faster, where you can’t control them. When they grow up, do you think they will stick around and live in that same town?

    I say go for it.

    Sometimes I think it would be a good idea for people to travel to ghost towns out west. The fact that your town exists now, doesn’t mean it always will. One of the most common ways for small towns to die is through attrition. No new young people come into town, and the young people born in that town leave for elsewhere. Eventually, time will do what it does.

  18. - Larry Bowa Jr. - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:01 am:

    “We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.”

    Keep your library open 2 days a week rather than allow books you don’t like and will never read in it?
    Sounds like a great place to raise a family LOL.

  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:06 am:

    – I serve on a local library board in Southern Illinois and the state can keep their money.–

    I’m guessing James believes there’s only one book that should be in the library. It’s one he clearly doesn’t get.

  20. - Sonny - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:17 am:

    - James - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 9:46 am:

    I serve on a local library board in Southern Illinois and the state can keep their money. I would rather protect kids from the far left political ideas than take the states money any day of the week. We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.

    Bro you are a terrible public servant and scared of ideas which makes you a coward too. Let me make a wild guess you are a run government like a corporation person. Open two days a week you’d be out of business in a month. Resign.

  21. - King George - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:19 am:

    I get and support the idea…but who hires/fires the librarian? Wouldn’t that be the board….so does this really help?

  22. - Jocko - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:20 am:

    ==We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.==

    Translation: I’m not restricting access. I’m just restricting access to people like you.

  23. - Jibba - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:21 am:

    ===I would rather protect kids from the far left political ideas===

    I’m with you. Ideas are dangerous, especially in libraries. We need to have fewer ideas.

  24. - Give Us Barabbas - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:23 am:

    The censor-happy crowd overlaps with the troglodytes that view public libraries as unnecessary because if people want to read, they can go buy books at a store.

  25. - historic66 - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    Many elected boards, be they school boards, library boards, city councils, etc, certainly do not know best. Simply being elected does not make these people qualified in the ways they think they are.

  26. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:24 am:

    The most important Grant from the proposed legislation is the Public Library Per Capita Grant which all public libraries are eligible for…
    The Public Library Per Capita Grant assists public libraries in providing library services that meet or show progress toward meeting Illinois library standards. Grant amounts of up to $1.475 per person, based on the population of the library’s service area, are awarded annually to qualified Illinois public libraries.

    There are already well-established standards for collections and who should be in charge of purchasing and collection management. Including a manual put out by Illinois Library Association called Serving Our Public 4.0 Standards for Illinois Public Libraries. The standard on Collection Management…

    2. The library has a board-approved, written collection management policy based on community needs and interests, demographic makeup, the diversity of American society, and on professional standards. The library’s collection development policy shall address the following issues: materials selection; request for reconsideration of materials; handling of print donations, collection specialties and purchase priorities; and evaluation and weeding of the collection.
    3. Staff responsible for collection management is professionally trained in general principles of selection and weeding as well as in their specific areas of responsibilities

    The current procedure is that to be eligible for the Per Capita Grant libraries must either be meeting that standard or making progress on all standards. This legislation would simply mandate meeting that one standard.

  27. - Homebody - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:30 am:

    The GOP loves local control when they are in local control. They hate local control when Dems are in local control.

    Maybe it turns out the GOP has no consistent principles other than “GOP should be in control”?

  28. - Gruntled University Employee - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:35 am:

    “the radical Republicans are pushing an agenda trying to force their anti-woke ideology on the state.”

    There, fixed it for ya Dan.

  29. - Amalia - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:38 am:

    Elmwood Park politics, including Saviano, just a drive South on Harlem from the library board mess in Niles. Hiring someone with zero qualifications is just the tip of that iceberg mess there. NW and W suburbs what the what on libraries?

  30. - Paddyrollingstone - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:49 am:

    I truly think if the banning books crowd was concerned about “the children,” they would redirect their efforts to trying to limit smart phone use among younger children. The American Academy of Pediatrics studies show that kids between the ages of 8 and 12 spend an average of 5 and a half hours a day on their phones. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to look for dirty books in the local library.

  31. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:50 am:

    Alexi in just a few months illustrating why Jesse White was the most beloved politician in Illinois.

    Never saw Jesse White wade into polarizing local culture war issues in his 24 year career as the 37th Secretary of State in Illinois.

  32. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:52 am:

    ===Never saw Jesse White wade into polarizing local culture war issues===


    You must’ve been on a sabbatical that day

  33. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:53 am:

    Caulkins is like GovJunk who firmly believed in local control as in “we will require local control and when, how and where to apply it. BTW we bet all the EasternBlocHeads will take some federal juice too. They do on ag stuff.

  34. - SWIL_Voter - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:54 am:

    Thanks for the offer, but I don’t need help from the library board in raising or “protecting” my kids from ideas. If I want to shelter them and hide ideas from them, I can do that without pushing my beliefs onto others. You all should do the same

  35. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:55 am:

    == only library directors and their staff should be selecting library materials, not library boards…

    ● Library directors and their delegated staff are responsible for the selection of library materials. Materials selected by them are considered to be selected by the board … ==

    The above caught the editor in me. They might want to think about revising that pair of statements, since the second one implies the Library Board can / does select materials.

  36. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 10:56 am:

    ===since the second one implies===

    It doesn’t. Read it again.

  37. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:00 am:

    == Can you imagine if zoo or museum staff were threatened over the types of animals held or works of art displayed at their respective institutions? ==

    Again, the editor in me cringed. Poor analogy; both have occured.

  38. - rnug - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:02 am:

    == It doesn’t. Read it again. ==

    We’ll have to disagree on that.

  39. - RNUG - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:05 am:

    BTW … I don’t think libraries should be subject to any kind of censorship. Some of the material may may me uncomfortable, but if you aren’t uncomfortable reading different ideas, you aren’t learning.

    This post just caught me as I am doing proofreading / editing on a publication today, so I have a different hat on / mindset.

  40. - Sonny - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:10 am:

    Was that staying away from polarizing issues a lesson Secretary White learned from his mentor Martin Luther King Jr or was it from his formative experiences in the south during the Civil Rights movement, Lucky?

  41. - Cool Papa Bell - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:16 am:

    =Parents know best, school boards know best, library boards know best what their communities want and need,=

    The kicker is what their communities want and need. I’d only go along with that if anyone was ever elected with 100% of the vote with everyone voting. Caulkins’ and these other folks are so myopic in their understanding of what “folks” want. The community they serve is a group of very different people, with opposing views and different takes on religion, sexual preference and if ketchup on a hot dog is a good idea or not.

    So the best thing to do is what Dan offers up “let parents decide” but only if those parents agree with the way Dan feels about books or drag shows or whatever.

    It was a treat a few weeks back when I suggested to my 12 year old that we pick up Gender Queer before my in-laws/ his grandparents were coming over, so we could see their disgust as to how “woke” we are. It was fun.

  42. - Streator Curmudgeon - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:19 am:

    As a former library board member and a Christian, I am in favor of the current system, which gives the librarian–not the board–sole discretion in picking out which books to have in the library’s collection.

    This is a separation of church and state issue, and that separation is in the U.S. Constitution.

    That’s why we don’t have the Inquisition in this country.

  43. - Jerry - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:21 am:

    Republican Woke Ideology: Free Speech for me, but not for thee.

  44. - ChicagoVinny - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:47 am:

    I sent this post to my sister who is a librarian in the suburbs and got a one word YES response.

  45. - Papa2008 - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:50 am:

    Maybe it’s time to listen to Mason Proffit.

  46. - Nick Name - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:52 am:

    God bless our deep blue state.

  47. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 11:53 am:

    Wonder if these maroons who dictate library policy have actual hardback books in their homes. If these folks were actual readers, they would be more open and cognizant of a library’s value to the community.

    The Newberry Library collections, programs, and exhibitions have been free and open to the public since 1887. There are reading rooms, exhibition galleries, and a bookstore.

    Imagine all this in a city Darren Bailey labeled a hellhole.

  48. - Politix - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 12:09 pm:

    ==We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.==

    Imagine being a library board member in support of decreasing access to the library.

  49. - Lucky Pierre - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 12:11 pm:

    The Secretary of State Of Illinois believes none of these books are age inappropriate and should be banned from school libraries

  50. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 12:18 pm:

    ===banned from school libraries ===

    Public libraries.

    Go back to work on your Bears bill.

  51. - btowntruth from forgottonia - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 1:15 pm:

    ==We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.==
    That isn’t something to be proud of saying.

  52. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    ==and should be banned from school libraries==

    How about you let me decide what is and isn’t appropriate for my child. Instead you and your ilk want to tell me what my kid should or shouldn’t read. All for freedom except when you aren’t.

  53. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 1:56 pm:

    People, we’re talking about public libraries here, not school libraries.

  54. - Suburban Mom - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:02 pm:

    ===The Secretary of State Of Illinois believes none of these books are age inappropriate and should be banned from school libraries ===

    How many of those have you read? Pretty sure I read “Killing Mr. Griffin” in like 4th grade. What’s the objection to “How to Be Antiracist”? Being … anti-racist? My kids have “It’s Perfectly Normal” on their bookshelves because it’s clear, factual, straightforward, and maybe they have questions they don’t want to ask mom. The effect of it is … they ask mom more questions.

    “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” … kids shouldn’t know about 9/11? “Nineteen Minutes” is about school shootings that *our kids do drills to prepare for,* I think they should be able to read about that terrifying topic in fiction, which helps kids emotionally cope with frightening ideas. “Handmaid’s Tale” and “Beloved” are modern classics that are on a lot of official curricula. “The Hate U Give” is luminous.

    I did think “13 Reasons Why” was trash, but not harmful trash, and your kids have probably already watched the adaptation on streaming if they’re old enough to want to read it. I also thought “A Court of Mist and Fury” was boring, derivative garbage, but again, not in a way that’s going to hurt anybody, just in the way that it’s not a well-written book.

  55. - Langhorne - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:08 pm:

    =Parents, school boards, library boards know best.=
    Anyone but a degreed professional, who is trained to make those decisions.

    How will that work? One objection can delete a book?
    Majority vote of parents? /s

    = the radical Democrats are pushing an agenda trying to force their woke ideology on more conservative parts of the state.”=

    Sounds like there are secret reeducation camps going on in library basements. You must adopt woke ideology. Dan should be investigating those./s

  56. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:13 pm:

    = I would rather protect kids from the far left political ideas than take the states money any day of the week.=

    Ever read Ayn Rand? Take a few months and get back to me about political ideas in literature.

    =People, we’re talking about public libraries here, not school libraries.=

    A very important distinction.

    As much as I hate the hypocrisy of these book banners and their nonsense, I would prefer that the secretary of state not get involved.

  57. - Excitable Boy - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:14 pm:

    - == It doesn’t. Read it again. ==

    We’ll have to disagree on that. -

    Seems clear to me, they are given the authority to make these decisions on behalf of the board.

  58. - Henry Francis - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:17 pm:

    == I serve on a local library board in Southern Illinois and the state can keep their money. I would rather protect kids from the far left political ideas than take the states money any day of the week. We can be open 2 days a week. no problem.==

    Hey James, does your community suffer from decreasing population like much of Southern IL? Is the concern that if the kids are able to read about ideas that aren’t prevalent in your little hamlet, that they are going to want to move away and experience a diverse world?

  59. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:19 pm:

    I’ve never met anyone harmed by reading.

  60. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 2:20 pm:

    Caulkins is a professional contrarian…I declare.

  61. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 3:00 pm:

    Bans lead to bonfires…inevitably…beware.

  62. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Mar 8, 23 @ 3:52 pm:

    =I’ve never met anyone harmed by reading.=

    Tell that to my optometrist. My last pair of glasses set me back $800. /s

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