That Librarian: The Fight Against Book Banning in America (Hardcover)

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That Librarian: The Fight Against Book Banning in America (Hardcover)

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“Amanda Jones started getting death threats, all for standing up for our right to read . . . but she's not stopped fighting against book bans, or stopped advocating for access to diverse stories.”-Oprah Winfrey, in a speech at the 2023 National Book Awards

"Amanda Jones clearly outlines how we got here, who's leading this false charge against qualified educators, media specialists, and authors-and most importantly, explores the steps we all must take to make the voice of truth and reason louder than their caterwauling.”-Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Part memoir, part manifesto, the inspiring story of a Louisiana librarian advocating for inclusivity on the front lines of our vicious culture wars.


One of the things small town librarian Amanda Jones values most about books is how they can affirm a young person's sense of self. So in 2022, when she caught wind of a local public hearing that would discuss “book content,” she knew what was at stake. Schools and libraries nationwide have been bombarded by demands for books with LGTBQ+ references, discussions of racism, and more to be purged from the shelves. Amanda would be damned if her community were to ban stories representing minority groups. She spoke out that night at the meeting. Days later, she woke up to a nightmare that is still ongoing.

Amanda Jones has been called a groomer, a pedo, and a porn-pusher; she has faced death threats and attacks from strangers and friends alike. Her decision to support a collection of books with diverse perspectives made her a target for extremists using book banning campaigns-funded by dark money organizations and advanced by hard right politicians-in a crusade to make America more white, straight, and "Christian." But Amanda Jones wouldn't give up without a fight: she sued her harassers for defamation and urged others to join her in the resistance.

Mapping the book banning crisis occurring all across the nation, That Librarian draws the battle lines in the war against equity and inclusion, calling book lovers everywhere to rise in defense of our readers.

Amanda Jones has been an educator for 23 years, at the same middle school she attended as a child. She has served as President of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians and won numerous awards for her work in school libraries, including School Library Journal Librarian of the Year. A sought-after keynote speaker, Amanda is a frequent volunteer for state and national library associations, as well as a co-founder of the Livingston Parish Library Alliance and founding member of Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship. She lives in Livingston Parish, Louisiana.

Product Details ISBN: 9781639733538
ISBN-10: 1639733531
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication Date: August 27th, 2024
Pages: 288
Language: English

“As an author whose novels have been banned in hundreds of school districts after falsely being cited for explicit content, I have been waiting for a book like this one. We writers are well aware that the foot soldiers in this spreading civil war are librarians, who are threatened personally and profoundly by those who call for widespread book bans. Amanda Jones clearly outlines how we got here, who's leading this false charge against qualified educators, media specialists, and authors-and most importantly, explores the steps we all must take to make the voice of truth and reason louder than their caterwauling.” —Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Jones' message is bracing, and she delivers it with admirable fire and focus. This is an inspiring portrait of resilience and a galvanizing call to 'speak up for intellectual freedom.'” —Publishers Weekly

“Deeply important and compelling, this book about one heroic librarian's fight against book bans, will help all of us who care about books and our freedom to read.” —Ellen Oh, author and CEO of We Need Diverse Books

“Read this absorbing book to understand the conspiracy-driven war on public education-from inside the schoolhouse library. Amanda Jones takes us into the trenches and offers deft portraits of the people and organizations waging this war on democracy-as well as the heroes standing up for freedom and education.” —Katherine Stewart, author of THE POWER WORSHIPPERS and MONEY, LIES, AND GOD

“Not only timely, but essential . . . This is a memoir of grit and grace. This is a rallying cry for the protection of intellectual freedom.” —Nikki Grimes, author of the frequently banned memoir in verse ORDINARY HAZARDS

“[Jones] offers sound advice about how individuals from a variety of viewpoints can better educate themselves regarding library content, purchasing processes, and reconsideration policies . . . A useful book for readers interested in better understanding a persistent problem.” —Kirkus Reviews

“[Jones] is frank, open, emotionally raw, and unwavering. What she endured is every librarian's worst nightmare, yet she perseveres, offering tips and playbooks for how readers can defend books about LGBTQIA+ topics of interest, sexual health, and more in their own public libraries. A must-read in order to understand the deep and lasting impact of online smear campaigns and enduring need to stand up for books. Jones is an inspiration to everyone combating book bans and her memoir/guidebook should be available to all to help us defend our right to read.” —Booklist, Starred Review

“In her memoir, award-winning school librarian Jones delves into how she was subjected to a hate campaign after speaking out against censorship attempts at her local public library … Jones's deeply personal account of her battle to regain her reputation and combat intolerance in libraries is essential reading and ultimately a clarion call for others to help defend intellectual freedom and democracy.” —Library Journal, Starred Review

“A taste of the emotional toll librarians, teachers, and library staff have been subject to for the better part of a decade in regard to book banning . . . A template for those currently serving in the culture war on how to respond, react, and stand up for intellectual freedom.” —School Library Journal