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SPUSA Statement on Freedom of Information Access

Passed by the National Executive Committee 1/15/2024

The ongoing Rightist campaign against libraries, books, and librarians has exponentially increased across the United States. Their attacks serve to undermine the freedom of citizens to read, endanger intellectual freedom generally, and vilify librarians for engaging in their archival profession. Now more than ever, we need solidarity in opposition to these abuses.

Librarians are harassed over books they purchased for their patrons — usually titles focusing on race, gender and sexuality. Groups, such as 'Moms for Liberty' are training their members on how to target librarians on their personal social media pages. Banning of books is being actively pursued in Florida, and several states are discussing such action. Librarians are baselessly accused of pushing "gay books" on young children.

According to the Pew Research Center, almost 80 percent of American adults across the political spectrum believe libraries help people find trustworthy and reliable information (Link). Indeed, librarians are trained to select books and other resources to be shared in common by groups of readers; targeted books don't find their way to library shelves as part of some gay or Black "agenda".  Rather, librarians select and acquire books that meet the reading needs and interests of the communities wherein they work.

The American Library Association (ALA) and a coalition of more than 25 groups have banded together to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read. The American Federation of Teachers and the Authors Guild have joined the association's Unite Against Book Bans campaign to raise awareness about the recent rise in book challenges in public libraries and schools. The Socialist Party USA likewise calls for the immediate end to these assaults on libraries and librarians, and for the protection for all librarians, libraries, and library patrons.

From the Platform of the Socialist Party USA:

"We call for the preservation of literature, art, music, dance, oral traditions, and audio and video recordings that have arisen out of people's experiences: young and old, of all nationalities and colors, sexual preferences, working, un- and under-employed, and disabled."


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