• Library Activist Group Recommends Using Book Bans To Create "Wedge" Issue In Elections

    Ferguson Library Children's Room, Stamford, CT

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    Dan Kleinman, the library watchdog who runs the group SafeLibraries, released a fascinating two-page document from a whistleblower last night about voter perceptions on book bans in the US.

    The document was based on a survey conducted on behalf of Every Library Institute that showed 75% of Americans oppose book banning and are willing to consider book banning when going to the polls this November.  The document offers key points and suggested messaging prompts to activate presumably democrat support over book banning.

    Effective tips include focusing on concepts like children shouldn’t have their education dictated by the whims of politicians or extreme activists, children’s books are being banned for random reasons, and book banning is dangerous, extreme and short-sighted.  Though, Every Library cautions that effective messaging to the “middle/right” should not focus on racism/homophobia.  Those polled felt most offended by the idea that classic children’s books are being banned.  

    However, support for book banning increases to 34% when talking about sexually-explicit books.  

    Furthermore, books related to sex/gender/sexual orientation are generally viewed as not being age-appropriate.  Activists are advised to avoid discussions on these particular books so they don’t lose any arguments.

    The prospect of charging library employees over giving inappropriate materials to children has emerged as a concern, and police reports have already been filed in some instances.

    The survey revealed that half of voters believe there is “absolutely no time when a book should be banned” including 31% of Republicans.  The majority of respondents (41%) chose a more moderate position, indicating that there are rare times when it’s appropriate to ban a book.

    Not surprisingly, Every Library recommends using book bans as a “wedge” issue for elections, especially since libraries and librarians are broadly viewed as favorable, and therefore come from a position of strength.

    This issue resonates particularly well among college-educated women.

    The advice to Democrat activists is clear — target the 31% of Republicans who feel there is “absolutely no time when a book should be banned” and make them feel uncomfortable.  

    So now you know the playbook.

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