We invite you to raise your voice for the right to read!
We believe that every Rhode Islander should have access to a diverse array of reading selections and that the voices of the few should not limit the choices of the many. Public schools and libraries in our state have existing systems in place to handle concerns about an individual student’s reading choices. When pro-censorship individuals and organizations seek to overwhelm these systems and pressure educators and administrators to pull long lists of books from their shelves, the result is soft censorship and an erosion of freedom for Rhode Islanders.
Join the fREADom in Rhode Island Advocacy Committee to help us fight book bans and soft censorship in our state! Email email@example.com to get involved.
Banned Book Events in RI
We, the Readers: A Banned Books Event: Tuesday, October 3, 2023 from 6-7:30pm at the William Hall Library
The Freedom to Read: Challenges to Intellectual Freedom Then and Now: Wednesday, October 4, 2023 from 6-7:30pm at the Cranston Public Library
Banned Books Panel: Friday, October 13, 2023 from 7-8pm, at the Lincoln School
Check out our merch here: https://www.bonfire.com/store/freadom-in-rhode-island/ Our logo was designed by Anthony Russo!
Report challenges and soft censorship on RI Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom page!
Here are a few resources related to the current RI House legislation around censorship and protections for teachers and librarians.
- From the Public’s Radio: New bill would hold RI school libraries liable for “obscene” material
- From the Public’s Radio: Lawmaker says new obscenity bill should apply to all RI libraries
- From the Public’s Radio: The Weekly Catch from May 5th includes a 10 minute interview with Steven Brown (RI ACLU), Marianne Mirando (school librarian in Westerly) and me about H6324 (and H6066). The interview panel starts at about 6-7 minutes into the show.
- Powerful letter from a Cranston Public Library Trustee opposed to H6324 that will be published in the Cranston Herald, Johnston Sunrise & Warwick Beacon opposing H6324 (attached). Thanks to Ed Garcia, Library Director of Cranston Public Library, for sharing.
H6066: IN FAVOR
- From the RI ACLU: Letter of support
- Letter or support from the RI Library Association (attached)
- Sample letter of support from the RI ACLU that you can use (from their FaceBook post during National Library Week).
ACTION: Please write to your representative and the House Judiciary Committee (email address & information below) telling them you are in favor of H6066. Hopefully, we can get this out of committee and onto the floor of the House for a vote.
- Submit by email: HouseJudiciary@rilegislature.gov
- Testimony must include: your name, bill number and viewpoint (for/against/neither). Direct it to:
Rhode Island General Assembly
House Judiciary Committee
Dear Chair Craven, Vice Chairs McEntee and Knight, and Members,
Cc: Clerk Roberta DiMezza
We will let everyone know if H6324 is granted a hearing. It would be great to have some committee members speak out against that bill if needed.
Here is an article in ProJoabout H6324. The article includes some statements from Beatrice Pulliam, Providence Public Library, who is the current president of the RI Library Association. If one of the representatives sponsoring this bill is from your district, please reach out to them ASAP and let them know this is not okay!