in Martin County, Fla. The school district there recently decided to yank from its high school library circulation eight novels by Nora Roberts that are not “pornography” at all — largely prompted by objections from a single woman who also happens to be a Moms for Liberty activist. [...]
This signals a new trend: Book banners are increasingly going after a wide variety of titles, including romance novels, under the guise of targeting “pornography.” That term is a very flexible one — deliberately so, it appears — and it is sweeping ever more broadly to include books that can’t be described as such in any reasonable sense. [...]
All this shows that red-state book crackdowns are designed to whip up frenzies of book-banning zealotry. Vaguely defined directives enable lone actors to purge whole stacks of books based on frivolous rationales, encouraging parents to hunt for offending books and officials to err on the side of removal. A new PEN America report found nearly 1,500 instances of schools banning books during the first half of the 2022-2023 year, increasingly based on them supposedly containing “pornography.”
“Activists and politicians are inflating the notion of what constitutes ‘pornography’ beyond all recognition,” Jonathan Friedman, director of free expression at PEN, told us. They are going after “romance books, books about puberty or sex education and books that just have LGBTQ characters.”
The EveryLibrary Institute, a national nonprofit focused on public policy and libraries, is proud to announce that bestselling author Nora Roberts and the Nora Roberts Foundation have made a generous donation to support the launch of Fight for the First, its new advocacy and organizing site with a mission of protecting the First Amendment in libraries across the country.
The situation is somewhat different in the UK, but nonetheless,
Research carried out by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (Cilip), the UK’s library and information association, found that a third of librarians had been asked by members of the public to censor or remove books, indicating that such incidents “had increased significantly in recent years”, according to Cilip’s chief executive, Nick Poole. The most targeted books involve empire, race and LGBTQ+ themes. (The Guardian)
[Edited later on 28 April to add something AztecLady noted elsewhere on this topic: in the second half of 2022
The romance writer Nora Roberts [...] donated $50,000 to a Michigan library that was defunded in August after it refused to remove a number of LGBTQ+ books from its shelves.
Roberts, an award-winning author of more than 225 romance novels, made the contribution late last month via an online fundraising campaign for the Patmos Library in Jamestown Township, Michigan. (The Hill)