NJLA Statement Against Censorship

NJLA Statement Against Censorship
Approved by the NJLA Executive Board
December 21, 2021

The New Jersey Library Association has watched with concern, the growing number of organized attempts of censorship and suppression in schools and libraries in NJ and across the country. Many of these attacks are targeting materials and programs that address race, racism, sexuality and gender identity and expression.

NJLA categorically rejects any efforts to censor or remove materials from any library, based on content. We strongly affirm the Library Bill of Rights and the Freedom to Read Statement, first published by the American Library Association in 1953. Libraries provide access to books and other library resources and services for the interest, information, education, and enlightenment of all people within the communities we serve. We do not exclude materials because of their origin, background, or the views of those contributing to their creation. 

Library workers are trained to curate collections that are designed to be inclusive. As information service providers, we are guided by the tenets of intellectual freedom, and our ethical responsibilities to uphold the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. Through careful consideration and rigorous training, librarians and library workers are equipped to make selection decisions that represent a balance of the spectrum of knowledge. 

We acknowledge the right and responsibility of parents and guardians to guide the reading choices of their children. Such rights should not in any way inhibit the rights of others to read or view any materials of their choosing.

We reject past, current and future efforts to remove materials from the reach of any reader. Concerted efforts by groups who disavow racial equity, self-determination, and/or gender identity and expression, undermines intellectual freedom. In addition, such efforts inhibit knowledge and place barriers to learning.

NJLA stands alongside the New Jersey Association of School Librarians, the American Library Association, and other organizations that support the freedom to read. In addition, NJLA stands in steadfast support of New Jersey’s library workers, community members, and students, who demonstrate daily courage as champions of the right to an uninhibited freedom to read.

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NJASL Position Statement on Censorship in School Libraries
ALA Statement on Book Censorship

NJLA’s Executive Board Endorses the NCAC Statement on Censorship
NCAC Statement on Censorship