Last week, town and school libraries all across Connecticut joined the American Library Association (ALA) to celebrate Banned Books Week.
Connecticut Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said, "As we kick-off Banned Books Week, let us re-commit to the power of the written word to inform, uplift, and inspire. And let us pledge to protect the right to read, to think freely, and to be our full selves."
The theme for ALA's Banned Books Week 2023 was "Let Freedom Read.”
The ALA encouraged member libraries to get involved with Banned Books Week by organizing or attending a Banned Books Week program, streaming a webinar, writing a letter to the editor, and creating displays to make controversial books appear more enticing to young readers.
Many Connecticut schools followed ALA’s advice to create their own “banned book” displays last week, including Greenwich and Westport.
Connecticut State Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan took it up a notch by reading the book Flamer at Bethel Public Library last week.
Same with State Rep. Dominique Johnson who dropped by the Norwalk Public Library to read a children’s book on gender identity.
She was pictured with Bysiewicz (see above) holding a copy of frequently challenged book Fun Home, a book that was removed from Greenwich High School library after a graphic image depicting oral sex was shared with the Board of Education and Superintendent.
State Rep. Jeff Currey also shared his support of Banned Books Week by posing for a photo at his library while reading Gender Queer, a book that features references to pedophilia between an adult female (trans-male) and minor female (trans-male).
Of course, no one is actually banning books—that's just political messaging designed to elicit an emotional reaction from people so they don’t look any further into the real issue.
A true book ban would mean that a book could not be published, distributed or owned, which is just not the case.
Publishers are not being forced to stop production. Booksellers are not being challenged to stop distribution and sales. Homes are not being raided to collect banned books destined for the burn pile.
But public and school libraries are being challenged to ensure that content is age-appropriate for children, knowing that there are negative repercussions to exposing children to sexually-explicit content before they are developmentally ready to process it.
Perhaps that’s why hundreds and hundreds of people posted negative comments to Bysiewicz’s Facebook posts on Banned Books Week, many perplexed as to why any public official would promote a book that normalizes pedophilia to children.