Advocacy Alerts

Colorado Legislative Action: SB22-004

CO SB 22-004, Evidence-based Training In Science Of Reading, extends the scope of the READ Act to include public libraries.  The measures as originally written was concerning in it’s scope and ambiguity. Learn more about the concerns in the CLEL Informational Guide:

UPDATE: On February 10, members of the CLEL Steering Committee testified before the Colorado Senate Education Committee on SB22-004. After testimony and discussion the committee passed the bill unanimously and agreed to two key amendments related to libraries.* The bill now encourages, but does not require, that librarians receive training in the science of reading. Additionally, the committee agreed the bill’s language should read that each director “may” rather than “shall” provide a plan to the state library about how the library will support literacy through the science of reading.

*Amendments passed in committee are not incorporated into the measure unless adopted by the full House or Senate.

Fine Free Call to Action

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy is calling upon public libraries to eliminate late fines and critically examine other fee structures that prevent all families from accessing essential literacy opportunities. Learn more about the impact of late fines and fees and sign up to be a Fine Free Ambassador.

High Plains Library District Programming Policy Challenges

Following changes to the High Plains Library District’s programming policy, librarians at various branches within HPLD were told they had to rename, change, or otherwise cancel a number of planned programs which no longer aligned with the new policy. These changes included renaming the Read Woke Book Club, despite it being part of a national program, www.readwoke.com, and canceling other scheduled social justice programs. Librarians within HPLD notified the CAL Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Read More:

High Plains Library District denies former librarian’s allegations of censorship, discrimination, Greely Tribune, Jan 28, 2022

Formal Response Regarding HPLD Programming Policy, Jan 28, 2022

Denver Librarian Alleges She was Fired . . . Denver Post, Feb 5, 2022

CLEL Supports Intellectual Freedom

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy supports every family’s right to choose what books are right for them and their children. CLEL supports unrestricted access to diverse stories and we are concerned about the current rise in censorship challenges across the country that seek to remove books about race, racism, and the LGBTQ experience. Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy has added our name to the National Coalition Against Censorship Statement on the Attack on Books in Schools.

Additional Resources:

ALA Intellectual Freedom Resources

Colorado Association of Libraries: Intellectual Freedom Handbook

EveryLibrary

National Coalition Against Censorship

Banned Books Resources Hub (Penguin Random House)