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As I See It

Minnesota battles back against book bans



Libraries are under attack like never before. According to the American Library Association, more than 4200 books in both school and public libraries faced challenges in 2023. That is nearly double from the year before. Librarians are facing bullying and have to worry about lawsuits just because of the books they put on their shelves. Many states are choosing to address the issue by introducing bills toughening penalties on librarians who choose to stock some books that others don’t like.  Just this year 15 states have done so. Minnesota is taking the opposite approach. The Minnesota Legislature is considering banning book bans. Under the measure, local communities would not be able to ban books just because someone complains. The school librarian would make the ultimate decisions about what books students are allowed to check out. That is as it should be. Critics say lawmakers should focus on improving reading scores rather than protecting librarians. It is true fewer students are reading at grade level. So, shouldn’t we be encouraging these students to read instead of telling them not to? Reading scores aren’t going to improve if we take away the books that interest them.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. RS

    May 13, 2024 at 7:07 am

    Are we supposed to ignore that this started with content so graphic in school libraries that parents couldn’t read them at school board meetings without their microphones being turned off?

    And let’s just not point out that many of these ban requests are frivolous requests to hide the fact that this started with pornography. People became upset about porn not being allowed and started requesting all kinds of books not be allowed to hide that fact.

  2. LG

    May 13, 2024 at 8:50 am

    As I understand it, SRS, I believe you are obfuscating the issue. It is true conservatives have tried to “ban books “as you put it. However, this issue has centered around school libraries. That is, school libraries. You know, children, minors, non-adults. There is absolutely nothing wrong with restricting access to certain materials by minors. Unfortunately, liberals often confused facts to fit the narrative by suggesting that book bans apply to all libraries And not just libraries visited without adult supervision by minors.

  3. Walden

    May 13, 2024 at 10:50 am

    “Minnesota battles back…” What a joke. Minnesota is now captive of the Progs of Minneapolis, just as Illinois is captive of Chicago Cook County. Illinois has long since gone down the drain and Minnesota is circling it.

    This is an attempt to remove library content from oversight by parents and local control and relinquish it to state government and unelected bureaucrats. What fool would support this?

    Parents, take your children and run, don’t walk, from public schools. What books are or are not on the library shelves is only a symptom of a larger total collapse of public education.

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