LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Little Rock Central High School national historic site hosted the panel discussion on book banning at the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System Saturday.
The panel included the director of CALS, as well as the executive director of the American Library Association.
The goal was to explore book banning past and present, and the impact of laws and regulations that restrict access to literature.
Tiffeni Fontno, director of the Peabody Library at Vanderbilt University, said that most of the time books being censored aren’t actually being read first.
“People need to get together and actually look and read these books,” Fontno said. “Most of the time these books aren’t actually getting read, and they’re being censored, let’s have the conversation to see why these things exist, because that means we’ll better be able to understand each other when we have these conversations.”
The CALS is among plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit challenging two parts of Act 372, which was passed during the most recent legislative session.
A federal judge has blocked those provisions from taking effect while the lawsuit is pending.