Celebrate National Library Week with UST Libraries April 3 – 9, 2022 – St. Thomas Libraries Blog
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Celebrate National Library Week with UST Libraries April 3 – 9, 2022


The theme of this year’s National Library Week campaign is ‘Connect with your Library,’ whether it be to things like broadband, classes, communities, books, videos, or to each other.  And it doesn’t matter if it’s an academic library, public library, or school library, this is what happens on a daily basis. Usually this week is a pure celebration, but it feels different this year since it takes place during a time of increasing challenges to books in libraries and bookstores across the country.

Books have been challenged in schools and libraries for a very long time, but along with the mounting number of challenges, a bill proposed in Oklahoma would allow parents to collect $10,000 for each day a challenged book remains on library shelves.  A proposed bill in Iowa would make it illegal school and public librarians to spread “material the person knows or reasonably should know, is obscene or harmful to minors.”

This year has proven that it is wrong to consider book bans as a relic of the past. It is easy to believe that getting a book is as simple as a one-click at an online retailer, but book bans harm vulnerable communities who don’t have access to finances, time, or transportation to acquire a book no longer available to them in the places where they are: classrooms or libraries.

Libraries are powerful and they unequivocally protect the First Amendment and intellectual freedom outlined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Judith Krug, librarian and freedom of speech advocate said it best, ‘librarians are trained as librarians; we have absolutely no training or expertise in being censors. Our job – and yours – is not to limit the horizons of a child, be he six or twelve, ten or twenty.”

The good news is that there are plenty of organizations and resources that fight for libraries and the freedom to read.  And even better news is that there is an eye-catching display of challenged books in the rotunda of the O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, along with a white board where you can chime in with your favorite banned book.  There is also a UST Library Week website with fun pictures, online library-centric jigsaw puzzles, a link to fantastic media and music sources within the library, and most importantly, a daily trivia contest with real prizes every day.

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