Amerikas Bibliothekar*innen verbringen schlaflose Nächte

Der Guardian schreibt unter dem Titel «‘We’ve moved backwards’: librarians face unprecedented attacks amid rightwing book bans» über ein neues Gesetz in Amerika, das den Bibliothekar*innen das Leben schwer macht:

«Most of his time running the St Charles city county library in Missouri is instead spent tending to administrative duties and big-picture strategy. His library hosts quilting classes, mental health seminars and events where patrons can read aloud to a dog.

This summer, Kuhl and a group of colleagues planned to launch a bookmobile – a library in a bus that would visit various sites across town, including three schools. But when a law criminalizing anybody who makes visually explicit materials available at a school went into effect in late August, they decided to keep the bookmobile away from schools.

“This is a brand new law and it hasn’t been tested,” said a shaken-sounding Kuhl. “It’s not worth it.”

The statute began as an amendment to Senate Bill 775, an anti-child trafficking and sexual exploitation measure. Using the bill to target books was the innovation of Republican state senator Rick Brattin, an opponent of gay rights and welfare recipients using government aid to buy cookies. When asked to provide examples of sexually explicit materials, Brattin’s team named All Boys Aren’t Blue, George M Johnson’s critically acclaimed account of growing up a queer Black man in Virginia and New Jersey, and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir of her own and her father’s homosexuality. Violators of the new, nebulously worded law face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000 (£1,754). (…)

For many librarians, the stress has become unbearable. Increasing numbers are complaining of sleepless nights, quitting their jobs and setting their social media accounts to private in order to protect themselves from the deluge of harassment and humiliation tactics. More than two-thirds of respondents to the 2022 Urban Library Trauma Study said they had encountered violent or aggressive behavior from patrons at their library.»

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