Letter: Questions for those pushing book bans in North Dakota
The passed banning bills reflect redundancy and vengeance.
Here are some questions that seek answers from “yes” legislators on book banning:
● Are you an active library user? (not just a library card holder)
● Are you aware that libraries are service professions? (established by the community they serve to provide services, wants, needs and desires of that community)
● Are you aware that you are imposing a "statewide" policy that goes against the desires of the community the libraries serve? (Removal actions are currently determined by those in the given community of that library – by their boards or appointed members. Therefore you are taking away the voice of a particular community.)
● Do you know that libraries have selection policies?
● Do you know that libraries have removal policies?
● Do you realize that the book banning bills are redundant? (Removal policies at libraries already can put any item or service on the path towards removal at the request of a patron)
Now, some questions for the authors of the bills:
● Did you advance any of your objected items/issues to the library of your community?
● What were the specific items?
● If so, what was the response of that library? Was it too slow? Was it not the answer you desired?
● If truly you object to items, why is it only libraries that are targeted? Why not businesses? Book stores, Target, Walmart?
● Because it is my "political" understanding that financial responsibility is a huge part of the persona of the GOP – why do you wish to put the state in judicial litigation over this vote as it very obviously goes against the First Amendment?
The passed banning bills reflect redundancy and vengeance. There are already removal policies in libraries. Community members of the community the library serves can already request removal of items/services. It looks like the sponsors of the bills either did not get the automatic, immediate response they were expecting because of "who" they were, or the result the community decided on was not to their liking, or finally, they actually did not advance it through the already provided means but saw this as a great political tool for their political future.