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Strengthening the Right to Read through Civil Rights Protections

October 24, 2023 @ 11:20 am 11:45 am EDT

Public libraries are required by state and federal civil rights laws to follow anti-discrimination practices. Despite these statutory requirements, library DEI policies are seen as voluntary ethical frameworks and do not reference anti-discrimination laws. Until recently, a voluntary approach has not been a problem. However, alongside the rise of highly politicized attempts to ban books and censor materials, library professional ethics is also under attack. If public accommodation is at the heart of civil rights laws, can we use this framework in library policies? Join EveryLibrary’s executive director John Chrastka as he shares an overview of new model state legislation, the “Libraries for All” Act, which could strengthen the basis for DEI in libraries. 

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