“An insightful and humorous look into the complex issues of censorship, Jamie LaRue’s book is at times intellectually and emotionally challenging—like all of the best books should be.” —R. Alan Brooks, Comics Creator and Professor, Professor of Graphic Narrative, Regis University In America today, more books are being banned than ever before. This censorship is part of a larger assault on such American institutions as schools, public libraries, and universities. In On Censorship: A Public Librarian Examines Cancel Culture in the US, respected long-time public librarian James LaRue issues a balanced and reasonable call to action for all citizens. LaRue, who served as director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and executive director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, highlights the dangers of book banning and censorship in our public and educational spaces. Synthesizing his more than twenty-five years of experience on the front lines of these issues, he takes the reader through attempts he encountered to remove or restrict access to ideas, while placing the debate in the greater context about the role of libraries and free expression in a democratic society. LaRue covers topics such as:
- The role of the library in American culture and community
- The consequences of cancel culture
- Seven things citizens can do to quell book banning and censorship attempts
About the Author
James LaRue has been a public library director for many years, as well as a weekly newspaper columnist and cable TV host. From January 2016 to November 2018, he was director of the Freedom to Read Foundation, and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom. He has written, spoken, and consulted extensively on intellectual freedom issues, leadership and organizational development, community engagement, and the future of libraries. He lives in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
"On Censorship is a tribute to the quiet courage of librarians and the essential role of the library in the public square. Jamie [LaRue] is a heroic leader in defending and supporting librarians and libraries everywhere.” —Pam Sandlian Smith, Information Entrepreneur
"Jamie LaRue’s writing on book banning and censorship is a clean, sharp compass needle pointing to the truth." —Sarah Brannen, author of Uncle Bobby's Wedding.
"On Censorship relates a masterful story that illuminates a bold and vivid tapestry of hypocrisy and greed, which drives today’s cancel culture." —Nancy Kranich, Former President of the American Library Association
"Offering invaluable insight into the issue, this work is not only for librarians, but for anyone trying to make sense of our conflicted, over-heated, and often-exasperating modern world." —BlueInk Review.
"An insightful and humorous look into the complex issues of censorship, Jamie LaRue's book is at times intellectually and emotionally challenging - like all of the best books should be.” —R. Alan Brooks, Comics Creator & Professor and Professor of Graphic Narrative at Regis University.
"Generous gifts of wisdom, encouragement, and practical guidance are packed into this brief exploration of a perennially challenging issue." —Rick Ashton, former City Librarian of the Denver Public Library.
“LaRue's practical advice will be welcomed by information practitioners who work face-to-face with the public, and his thoughtful observations make this an excellent choice for professional-reading groups. This is a worthy addition to the intellectual-freedom canon.” —Kathleen McBroom
"“LaRue's practical advice will be welcomed by information practitioners who work face-to-face with the public, and his thoughtful observations make this an excellent choice for professional-reading groups. This is a worthy addition to the intellectual-freedom canon.” — Booklist
"This inspirational defense of intellectual freedom and critical analysis of cancel culture should be required reading for every aspiring and active information specialist...This is a worthy addition to the intellectual-freedom canon." —Booklist Reviews
"This book is an invaluable resource filled with insightful advice that is not only sensible but also practical. What sets it apart is the uplifting tone throughout the book that offers a refreshing perspective on the subject matter." Kate MacMillian, Library Services Coordinator