Sunday, September 03, 2023

LTE - Michigan Right to Read

 As a resident of Au Sable Township and Iosco County, I am delighted to visit my local library and know that I have access to a wide variety of books that showcase diverse voices, perspectives, and identities. The access to materials both in my Oscoda branch and within the expansive interlibrary loan program is exceptional.

I am appalled at the coordinated effort across the country, and now in Michigan, by individuals and extremist groups who want to ban books in our public libraries and censor what we have access to reading.

The First Amendment guarantees our right to read whatever we choose. The law also protects the right and responsibility of parents and guardians to guide their own children’s learning and book choices. No one has the right to decide what I read or what others should or shouldn’t read at our public libraries.

Our local librarians are amazing and I know them all by name! They work hard to develop diverse collections of materials that represent the interests and identities in our community. They follow trusted collection development policies and arrange libraries in ways where it is easy to navigate through age-appropriate content and encourage parents to come to them with questions, instead of attempting to limit what others can read.

It is vital for Iosco County and Michigan’s communities to have access to public libraries. It’s equally important for residents to know that when we walk in, we will have access to and find materials that will help all of us enjoy reading, learning, and growing.

I encourage all Michigan residents to go to Michigan Right to Read to join the coalition and stand up for your right to read at public libraries.

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