A stack of books on a table in a school library.

A New Leftist Library Project Seeks to Combat Book Bans

Just recently, it was revealed that only 11 people are responsible for 60% of all US book bans. These 11 people have challenged books from queer and Black authors under the guise of “protecting the children.” The information they seek to “protect” children from is usually the existence of queer and trans people or basic US history.

Recommended Videos

Book bans have affected many authors who just want to get their stories out into the world. The process of writing a book and then getting that book published is already grueling enough. Many, including the authors themselves, have sought to combat book bans, and now, a new project may help them in the fight.

What is For The People?

For The People is a national leftist book project that wants to be a “decentralized, autonomous, volunteer-driven formation.” To defend these local libraries they kind of have to be. The group’s slogans include “Defend Local Libraries,” “Build Local Power,” and “Books Change Lives.” Book bans aren’t just happening in red states, after all—they’re happening everywhere at the behest of a handful of people.

For The People plans to achieve its goal of protecting local libraries through four key steps: supporting candidates for library board positions for election in early 2024, forming a first-ever national data collection project to identify board seats, developing and curating resources for leftists fighting book bans, and empowering people to self-organize.

What can you do now?

On their website, For The People has a five-step action process for people interested in fighting these discriminating book bans. The first step is to show up to a public meeting. There, people can support library board members, staff, and activists who are fighting bans. The second step is to become a board watcher. Like a court watcher, board watchers monitor board trustee meetings.

The third step is to pick from a list of ten ways to help your local public libraby. The options include using your library card, voting in local elections, and speaking up at public meetings, among other things. The fourth step is to learn how other folks defended their libraries, and the final step is to join the candidate cohort and perhaps even running for local office. This means getting like-minded leftists into library board seats.

These steps are great examples of how to get more involved in your community in general, but they are especially crucial for fighting book bans. Check out For The People’s website for more information.

(featured image: Getty Images)

The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more about our Affiliate Policy
Image of Dani Janae
Dani Janae
Dani Janae is a poet and writer from Pittsburgh, PA. She has written for Autostraddle, Vice, Refinery29, LadyGunn, among others. When she's not writing you can find her listening to moody tunes, eating figs, or water coloring. You can follow her on Instagram at @bell.biv.dahoe