The American Library Association has opened submissions for the 2023 #ILoveMyLibrary Awards. Nominations are an opportunity to support Bucks County librarians on the frontlines in the fight against censorship in both school and public libraries.
Each year up to 10 librarians are selected and winners receive national recognition, as well as a $5,000 prize.
The Bucks County Free Library has recently put forth collections highlighting topics and authors particularly vulnerable to book banning. Their Pride Month collection honoring the Stonewall Generation includes several recommendations celebrating LGBQT+ writers and themes. Juneteenth highlights include the frequently banned James Baldwin classic, The Fire Next Time, as well as Jesmyn Ward’s 2015 The Fire This Time. Staff picks on the BCFL Instagram account include breakthrough works like Mikki Kendall’s Hood Feminism.
BCFL librarians aren’t shy about where they stand in the real and present fight against book bans. While Bucks County struggles to keep books in the hands of those who need them, library staff and patrons can demonstrate defiance showing off their BCFL “I Read Banned Books” shirt in action, the proceeds of which benefit the library system.
Librarians in K-12 schools across Bucks County are also doing their jobs under increasingly hostile conditions. Right-wing school boards across the county are championing censorship in their respective districts‘ libraries.
For example, the Central Bucks School District school board is set to pass a book policy this month largely borrowed from the Texas Education Agency’s restrictive measures. This policy leaves the door open for sweeping censorship, as the ACLU of PA notes.
Nominees for the #ILoveMyLibrary Awards must be currently working in a public library, a library at an accredited two- or four-year college or university, or a library at an accredited K-12 school. The deadline to submit your nomination is Friday, September 30. To learn more about how to nominate a local librarian, visit here: https://ilovelibraries.org/love-my-librarian/nominate/