How Long Until a Library Worker Is Killed?: Book Censorship News, April 7, 2023

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.

When book banning started to heat up two years ago, many wondered how long until a library worker would be seriously hurt over defending the right to read. Now, we know it’s not going to be long at all.

Over the last month, several libraries have faced bomb and shooting threats as a direct result of the books housed in their collections. Books that were reviewed by professionals and deemed appropriate for those school and public libraries. Books that, of course, feature queer and/or BIPOC writers and characters who do not align with the views of those who believe that dialing in murder threats is an appropriate way to handle those who do not follow their radical right-wing Christian nationalist agenda.

Lebanon Public Library Indiana warning about shooting to happen.
Sorry not sorry to keep harping on that Stephen King quote about how kids need to haul their butts to the local library to pick up the books being banned, but….they’re going to be target practice there.

The flood of threats in March are not the first threats. But they represent the most number of threats leveraged against library workers so far. And it should go without saying by now that this fight is not about the books. It’s about eradicating people, both those who are queer and/or people of color and those who choose to defend their rights to exist exactly as they are:

Shove your thoughts and prayers. You need to show up and have your voice heard. This is unacceptable, it’s abhorrent, and it is going to end in bloodshed.

Which is exactly what the bigots want. They see this as their holy war and they themselves joyful warriors.

Book Ban Legislation Update

Take some time to catch up on the latest updates on book ban legislation making its way through various state legislatures.

Book Censorship News: April 7, 2023