Set Your Anti-Censorship Resolutions: Book Censorship News, December 30, 2022

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

Whether or not you believe in the power of a new year to change your life or your habits, there’s something to be said about the flipping of a calendar year to help you take stock in what is important to you and where and how you wish to grow in the coming year. As the year comes to a close and we’re riding out 18-plus months of ongoing book bans and censorship across public schools and libraries in the U.S., this is the perfect time to sit down and develop your anti-censorship resolutions.

None of these actions need to be big or grand. Small actions can have big impact. But today, take a few moments to develop a checklist of tasks you can do in 2023 to help combat book bans. We’ve been sharing tips, tricks, and insights, so you don’t need to do any reinventing the wheel. Grab a notebook or open up a Google doc and your calendar, and sketch out plans for how you can help end book censorship in the new year.

Set up recurring tasks for actions such as: reading the latest news on book censorship, perusing school and library board agendas and minutes, showing up to and/or writing letters to your school and library board, and requesting books by and about marginalized people at your local library.

Then, write down key dates for other tasks: voting in local elections, running for office if you’re able to, in-person and virtual events exploring book bans and censorship, meetings and events held by local or regional anti-censorship groups, workshops and trainings related to anti-censorship/intellectual freedom/First Amendment Rights, and events at local institutions exploring censorship (such as a book talk at an indie for an author whose work has been censored).

And finally, pool together the tremendous number of resources to help with this ongoing issue and share them liberally. There is great work being done by so many groups, with toolkits and guides aplenty. Likewise, there are excellent follows across social media to help you stay informed, engaged, and active.

Once you’ve done that, assess what might be missing and determine what you can offer to fill those holes. Maybe you decide you’re going to take two friends with you to a school board meeting or that you’re going to donate to a group like EveryLibrary or PEN America or a librarian’s Go Fund Me, or purchase swag that benefits a group like We Need Diverse Books or Florida Freedom to Read Project to help in the on-going fight for the First Amendment. Maybe use your own book club to aid in the fight against book banning.

We need you in the coming year and beyond. 2023 is going to be a watershed year for book bans and censorship, and anything you can do now to prepare to help in preserving intellectual freedom for all is important and valuable.

Book Censorship News: December 29, 2022

It’s refreshing to have a quieter week in book ban news…but that’s likely going to change in the next couple of weeks.