Advocacy Alerts

Unite Against Book Bans Matching Fundraiser

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) supports children’s freedom to read. As part of CLEL’s ongoing support of intellectual freedom, we are hosting a matching fundraising campaign to help Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative spearheaded by the American Library Association that aims to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship.

From August 1 – October 8, 2022 CLEL will match donations made to Unite Against Book Bans up to a total of $500.

  1. Donate directly to Unite Against Book Bans
  2. Upload your receipt using this form so CLEL can match your donation.

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.

CLEL Supports Intellectual Freedom

Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy (CLEL) supports children’s freedom to read. We believe that…

  • Books are tools for understanding complex issues.
  • Young people deserve to see themselves reflected in a library’s books.
  • Adults should not make decisions for other people’s children.
  • Individuals should be trusted to make their own decisions about what to read.
  • Limiting young people’s access to books does not protect them from life’s complex and challenging issues.

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. The organizations below are invested in protecting every child’s freedom to read and supporting libraries fight against censorship.

Additional Resources:

ALA Intellectual Freedom Resources

Unite Against Book Bans Action Toolkit

Colorado Association of Libraries: Intellectual Freedom Handbook

EveryLibrary

National Coalition Against Censorship

Banned Books Resources Hub (Penguin Random House)

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.

One librarian fired in retaliation after speaking out, Brooky Parks, is now accepting donations as she continues to fight against her wrongful dismissal. You can read more about her advocacy efforts below, and support her through a donation at https://gofund.me/fae78d23.

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

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. 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. It is anticipated that the library requirements of this bill may be revisited in later legislative sessions.

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