The Authors Guild deplores the defunding and potential closure of the Patmos Public Library in Jamestown Township, Michigan. We were both outraged and saddened to learn that Jamestown Conservatives—a local Christian conservative group—has waged a public campaign targeting certain books in the library that this week culminated in primary voters voting against renewing the library’s funding. The campaign, which consisted of lawn signs, posters, emails, and handouts, accused the library of “grooming” and “indoctrinating” children in “sinful” practices contrary to the Bible because it refused to remove books and resources referencing LGBTQ topics and other content that the radical right-wing group disagreed with.
“As spaces that foster imagination and learning, public libraries are where authors are born. That’s why authors are at the head of the line when it comes to standing up for libraries and the librarians that run them. Books help us understand our world and each other. To do that, their authors must have the freedom to express themselves and write the truth as they experience it, and readers’ right to read what they choose must be protected. These are central pillars of our democracy,” said Mary Rasenberger, CEO of the Authors Guild.