Libraries have been under constant attack now going on almost three years. Rising fascism, combined with unmitigated bigotry from groups like Moms for Liberty (and dozens of others) has led to an astounding number of book bans, alongside attempts to fully defund one of the most precious public institutions and defenders of the First Amendment in the United States. But no libraries nor library supporters are going down without a fight. If anything, advocates are pushing back harder than ever to make it clear that libraries are for everyone.
With Pride officially here, it seems fitting to emphasize the fact that libraries exist to meet the needs and interests of all people, from birth to the elderly. Not all books in the library are for everyone, but everyone should be able to find a book that suits them. No one person gets to dictate what can or cannot be in the library nor what any individual can or cannot have access to. Despite the right wing dog whistles about porn in the library or about library workers grooming young people, the fact of the matter is those individuals are choosing to offload their duties as parents to guide their children in appropriate reading material by demanding the removal of books they don’t like from shelves. For claiming not to coparent with the government, they sure want the government to do the parenting so that they do not need to have tricky conversations with their kids about why they do not want them to read or access certain materials. That is their code of parental rights. What doesn’t fall underneath that is demanding that material be made inaccessible for all people.
Let’s celebrate the fact libraries are for everyone with this library-themed pride merch. Yes, let’s acknowledge rainbow capitalism right here, and let’s also accept that emphasizing the importance of LGBTQ+ presence in the library matters. All of these come from small creators, and wearing or sporting these library pride goods helps you identify yourself with the right side of history.
Of course, who needs a time frame when it comes to being proud of an inclusive library? These goods will do you well all year long.
Let’s kick things off with a holographic sticker featuring a library and the reminder that libraries are for everyone. $5.
Same message, different medium. Grab this enamel pin and emphasize the importance of libraries being a space for every person. $ 11.
No matter who you are, libraries are a safe space. If they are not, then they are not fulfilling their role as a library. Grab this shirt in a variety of colors — though imo, the black is perfect — and in a variety of styles, from tees to hoodies and crew necks. $30 and up, some varieties up to size 5XL.
If your initial thought was this is the kind of shirt that book banners will point to as proof of their beliefs, let me suggest the opposite: this shirt is a reminder that for so many people, it was seeing themselves in a book at the library that opened up the doors for them to be their truest selves. Grab the libraries made me gay tee for $23, in a variety of colors.
A simple sticker, but the simplicity emphasizes the importance. $2.
Choose whether you want a sweatshirt, hoodie, or tee in this rainbow-riffic libraries are for everyone shirt. I especially love the back detail. $30 and up.
This might be my favorite take on the libraries are for everyone shirt. Grab the simple tank for $30, up to size 2XL.
From the same shop as above is another excellent library pride tank option. Free people read freely indeed. $30.
Grab a pair of library pride buttons, which will look perfect on your denim or your tote. $2.
I do not believe doing your job and providing a wide range of books is subversive. However, in many communities, doing that DOES make one a subversive librarian. Wear this sticker with pride. $13, for a pack of 10, so you can pass them out to everyone else who needs one.
Choose your fighter among these rad LGBTQ+ library stickers…or frankly, grab one of each. $5 and up.
Pop this tote bag over your shoulder to carry home your queer library loot. $14.
Choose your shirt color and share one of the most important messages about libraries imaginable: no matter how much you want to believe this to be the case, libraries are not neutral. They are upholders of the First Amendment and democracy. $30, sizes up to 3XL.
The perfect sticker. $4.
Isn’t it amazing we live in a country where a lot of folks believe books are harming children and need to be banned but look the other way when classrooms of children are gunned down with an actual weapon? Anyway, good sticker. $3.50.
Exactly. $30 and up.
My only little qualm with this incredible librarian sticker is that most republicans actually do support librarians doing their job. But…honestly? If this sticker makes someone uncomfortable, then they know what their job is. $4.50 and up, depending on size.
Love, love, love this trans flag enamel pin supporting inclusive libraries. $10.
For all of the library lesbians out there, a mug! $17 and up, depending how big the capacity you prefer.
Last but not least, one of the most important things you could indicate to your library patrons…or to your library workers….or your fellow humans: you’re safe because you support them, believe them, and advocate for them. $11 for this enamel pin.
Wearing library pride goods isn’t enough, of course. But you already know that. Spend some time digging into our tremendous archive of censorship news and writing, as well as our library features, to discover more ways to advocate for your local public library.