Posted on 03/24/2022 at 09:57 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

For many of us, the library is both heaven and a sanctuary.

For librarians, though, it's increasingly becoming a source of stress, anxiety, and even fear.

To be clear, the stories that former librarian Amanda Oliver shared took place years ago and were, according to her, not exactly new then.

But in an excerpt of her book Overdue: Reckoning with the Public Library, she makes clear that our romantic vision of a public library doesn't square up with the reality.

The excerpt of Overdue, available at Electric Literature, describes the physical and verbal abuse Oliver noted during her time at Washington, D.C.'s Northwest One branch — and how it fits into a larger picture across the nation.

Another nationwide view of library fears focuses on a more recent trend: the spike in book bans and challenges.

The Washington Post spoke with librarians around the country — Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Wyoming — about the pressures they're facing.

Many of them hear from parents or residents who object to material on the shelves.

But others describe pre-emptive book removals by administration ... and their own internal struggles about whether to add a book they fear will prove controversial. 

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Categories: Today in Books

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