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September 20, 2011 Print

Standing for True Diversity in Public Libraries

by Candi Cushman

Want a creative way for your family to act as the “salt and light” in your local community? Consider this idea for a family project: Donate books to your neighborhood and school libraries that communicate a faith-based and socially conservative viewpoint on hot-topic issues such as homosexuality and abortion.

A good time of year to begin planning the project—as public libraries across the nation celebrate Banned Books Week–is late September/early October. But you can donate books any time of the year!

The American Library Association (ALA) claims that Banned Books Week is about celebrating “the freedom to access information and express ideas” even if they “might be considered unorthodox or unpopular.” Challenge the ALA to honor its own principles by going to your local public library, or a school library, and donating books that communicate your family’s worldview. This is also a great way to be a part of giving people in your community access to a redemptive perspective.

Not sure where to start? Here are some tips on how to donate books. This will help guide your family along the process and give you an idea of what to expect.

Not sure what to say? Here’s a fact sheet that will help you make your case.

It’s also a good idea to use the ALA’s own statements when explaining why you want to donate books. To review these statements, click here: In the American Library Association’s Own Words

Not sure how to choose which books to donate? The best suggestion is to research what books are already in your public library collection on current-day social issues—and then donate books that offer contrasting, alternative perspectives and that reflect your family’s viewpoint. For an example of how to do this as it relates to homosexual issues, see our sample Book Donation Comparison Chart.

Watch a video featuring students in Fairfax County, Virginia, who donated books to their public school library and held a rally to protest bias. Read about the students here.

To visit Focus on the Family’s new Web site for parents and citizens who want help balancing out the bias when homosexuality is promoted in their school, click here.

Candi Cushman is Education Analyst for CitizenLink, an affiliate of Focus on the Family. 



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