The Broward County Public Library has taken a bold step towards championing the freedom to read by announcing its intention to become a book sanctuary.
Allison Grubbs, the library’s director, has revealed that the institution will be focusing on highlighting books that have been banned or challenged not only in Florida but across the United States.
This move comes as school libraries face increasing pressure to remove books, particularly those featuring LGBTQ characters, in the face of laws like Florida’s Parental Rights in Education and the Stop Woke Act. Such laws have caused widespread concern among educators, with some even feeling the need to cover up their in-classroom libraries.
The Broward County Library, however, has decided to take a stand, positioning itself as a protector of the freedom of speech and the freedom to read. As Grubbs noted, providing a space where people can access different ideas is critical to civic engagement. The library’s decision is particularly timely, given that the country is set to celebrate National Library Week, starting Sunday.
With more than 2,000 book sanctuaries already in existence across the nation, the Broward County Library’s move is a crucial step towards ensuring that all readers, regardless of their background, have the opportunity to access and engage with books that challenge and inspire them.
In addition to highlighting banned and challenged books, the library also plans to host special book sanctuary events throughout the year, celebrating literature that has been deemed controversial or subversive.
As the American Library Association has reported, book banning and censorship have reached a high not seen in decades. By becoming a book sanctuary, the Broward County Library is taking a stand against these troubling trends, offering a safe space for curious minds in search of titles that are becoming harder and harder to find.