This week, we’re proud to present a conversation about the slippery slope of censorship and what you can do to preserve your community’s freedom to read. Young Adult and Children’s book author Jarrett Dapier appears in conversation with Deborah Caldwell-Stone, Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom and Kristin Pekoll, Assistant Director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom.
Learn more about and get involved with Unite Against Book Bans, a national initiative from the ALA to empower readers everywhere to stand together in the fight against censorship. Open access for all people to books and stories of all kinds is critical to democracy, and we all need to work to ensure everyone has the freedom to read.
This conversation originally took place May 15, 2022 and was recorded live at the American Writers Festival.
More about the panelists:
Jarrett Dapier is the author of the picture books Mr. Watson’s Chickens (Chronicle Books), Jazz For Lunch! (Simon & Schuster), and The Most Haunted House in America (Abrams Kids). Also a librarian, he is the recipient of the 2016 John Phillip Immroth Award given by the American Library Association for his research which uncovered previously suppressed information about the 2013 censorship of the graphic novel Persepolis in Chicago Public Schools. His first graphic novel – Wake Now in the Fire – is based on this research and will be released by Chronicle Books in 2023.
Deborah Caldwell-Stone is director of the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom and Executive Director of the Freedom to Read Foundation. For nearly two decades she has supported and advised libraries, librarians, and trustees addressing book censorship and privacy issues in their libraries. She is a former appellate litigator.
Kristin Pekoll is the Assistant Director at the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. She is a former youth librarian from Wisconsin and a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan who happens to live in Chicago Bears country. She is the author of Beyond Banned Books: Defending Intellectual Freedom throughout Your Library published by ALA Editions in 2019.