An Illinois law requiring libraries to stock sexually inappropriate books went into effect on Monday. Back in June 2023, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that was ostensibly intended to stop “book banning” in libraries.
The move came amid intense debate over inappropriate content being provided for young children in libraries and government-run schools. Many concerned parents have called for certain books to be removed because they contain overtly sexual material that is not age-appropriate for children. Now, it appears parents will not have a say in what is included in libraries.
“While certain hypocritical governors are banning books written by L.G.B.T.Q. authors, but then claiming censorship when the media fact-checks them, we are showing the nation what it really looks like to stand up for liberty,” Mr. Pritzker, a Democrat, said at a bill-signing event at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago.
The law directs public libraries in the state to adopt or write their own versions of a library bill of rights such as the American Library Association’s, which asserts that “Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”
Libraries that don’t comply could lose state funding, according to the bill.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker absolutely scorching those trying to ban books in our country after signing into law the nation's first ban on banning books. pic.twitter.com/zhRpJfsq12— Public Domain QENNY (@AKBrews) June 15, 2023
The American Library Association (ALA) has been instrumental in the effort to use libraries to indoctrinate children. In fact, its president was caught on audio saying just that. The organization also helped to craft similar legislation intended to be passed at the federal level.
Pritzker and his ilk seek to keep inappropriate content in libraries and in schools by referring to any effort to remove them as “book banning.” It’s a label they are using to tie opponents to Nazis who burned and banned certain books. Yet, in most cases, the effort to reevaluate the books included in libraries has nothing to do with ideology. Indeed, it is about ensuring that small children are not exposed to material that is not appropriate for their age levels.
The library issue has become a major battlefield in the culture war. Over the past four years, education has been a hot-button issue after COVID-19 brought about awareness of how progressives were seeking to use the educational system to indoctrinate young students into their ideology. In many cases, this happened without the knowledge and consent of the parents.
Parents have been showing up to school board meetings to protest the material found in school libraries and classrooms. In several instances, they read aloud from some of the books featured in these institutions and were silenced by local government officials.
This battle is far from over. Illinois was the first state to pass such legislation. More will likely follow as the issue becomes even more prominent during the election year. Several states have already banned some of the books that generated the most controversy. This issue will become yet another key factor in the red/blue state split.