There has been a national wave of local challenges leading toward legislative concerns and Georgia is not immuned. In response, GLA and GLMA have issued a Position Statement on the Freedom to Read in School Libraries in Georgia. We ask that GLA members and community members take action now and contact their legislator using the CQ Engage platform.
For greater advocacy impact, it is important that we all remain on the same message. Please refer to this position statement and align your comments and concerns with its core message. Should any community member, legislator or journalist reach out to you for comment on this issue, please refer them to this joint statement.
Position Statement on the Freedom to Read in School Libraries in Georgia
The Georgia Library Media Association (GLMA) and Georgia Library Association (GLA) jointly express our strong beliefs in the freedom to read and unfettered access to information, as protected by our First Amendment rights. We believe in the Library Bill of Rights, which states our responsibility to challenge censorship and work with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
School districts in Georgia have both selection and reconsideration policies for materials found in school libraries. Concerns about library materials should be first discussed with the school librarian; many concerns can be addressed and resolved informally. If no resolution is reached, parents should follow their local school reconsideration policy and submit a formal request for reconsideration. If there is still concern after the school-level decision, the district procedures for reconsideration appeals should be followed.
Certified school media specialists work hard to know their students and communities. They spend endless hours connecting students to the materials that fit their needs and interests. Ready access to a wide variety of reading materials increases the chances that learners will become readers and choose to read independently. Every book is not for every reader but every child should have access to books they may want to read. A parent/guardian has the right to determine what’s best for their child and only their child. Therefore, the reconsideration processes already in place should be strictly followed.
Librarians will continue to fight for your freedom to read the books that you choose. We oppose censorship within school libraries on the grounds that it is unconstitutional and contrary to the professional ethics of librarianship. As selection, reconsideration, and removal processes are already in place at the local school district level, we oppose any efforts to move from this local community control.
Wendy Cornelisen, President
Georgia Library Association
Martha Bongiorno, President
Georgia Library Media Association
Take Action Now
Send a letter to your legislator asking them to support freedom to read in schools!
Click HERE, scan the QR code below or visit https://cqrcengage.com/alaga/home?0