Conversations on Controversial Issues moderated by Clay Jenkinson: Books under Siege in America
PEN America, a first amendment watchdog group focused on the freedom to write, reported more book banning activity in the fall of 2022 than all of the previous year. Recent NPR/Ipsos polling found that 64% of Americans oppose book bans by school boards, and 69% oppose book bans by state lawmakers. How do we regulate access to written expression in public institutions like libraries and schools? Who makes the decisions and which voices carry the most weight? What is the role of independent businesses like bookstores and cafes and how should publishers navigate these tumultuous waters?
This panel discussion will put the current debate in historical context, describe a charitable interpretation of the stances of the stakeholders and explore a path forward that honors the values of a diverse citizenry.