Resource created to fight book censorship

by SOURCE EveryLibrary

EveryLibrary is supporting the work of high-school senior Kamtoya Okeke and is announcing the launch of ‘Behind Bookshelves,’ an online educator resource guide dedicated to fighting censorship in the classroom, providing essential vocabulary, compelling counter-arguments against censorship, sample lesson plans, and more to help educate about and advocate against book bans.

The website was created by Kamtoya Okeke, a media research and video editing intern at EveryLibrary, and a student in Washington, DC. For the past couple of months, she has researched the history, legality, and impacts of book censorship alongside interning with EveryLibrary. She has continued her advocacy by creating ‘Behind Bookshelves’ in the hopes of raising awareness about book censorship and giving schools and communities the tools to fight back.

More than ever, educators face challenges not only in teaching their subjects but also in safeguarding intellectual freedom in the classroom. ‘Behind Bookshelves’ provides resources for us to promote a school environment where students are acknowledged, appreciated, and understood. This platform provides educators with:

Key facts and figures on present day censorship in the classroom

The main points of her argumentative research paper and resources

A list of essential book censorship vocabulary

Sample 3-unit seminar on book censorship with a template and sample activities

Lesson plan structures for promoting inclusivity and diverse materials in the classroom

Resources for staying informed, organizing in the community, and getting assistance.

This website can be found at https://www.behindbookshelves. Follow the website on instagram @behindbookshelves.

Behind Bookshelves was made with the guidance of Patrick Sweeney, EveryLibrary’s political director, and Sabrina Baêta, PEN America’s Freedom to Read project manager.

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