More than 2,000 librarians are expected to attend the virtual trade show’s Libraries Are Essential program, an all-day series of panels and conversations dedicated to issues facing the library community. This year’s program will tackle a range of issues, including the alarming rise of book bans and other legislative efforts targeting public and school libraries. Congressman Raskin’s keynote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 24, 2022 at 4 p.m. ET.
Rep. Raskin is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth, and the Trials of American Democracy (HarperCollins) about the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. A tireless advocate for free speech, Congressman Raskin, as chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, held a hearing on April 7, 2022 that explored the ongoing efforts across the country to ban books from schools and public libraries.
The hearing came during National Library Week, and after the American Library Association announced it had tracked 729 challenges to remove nearly 1,600 books from school and public libraries in 2021—a dramatic surge and the highest number of attempted book bans in the 20 years that the ALA has tracked this data. The vast majority of the challenged books involved race and LGBTQ+ issues.
“Freedom, truth and democracy are under siege all over the world today by tyrants, dictators, war criminals, fascist mobs and vigilante censors,” said Congressman Raskin. “But the democratic societies, movements and peoples are fighting back to defend the freedom to read and write, the freedom to seek and speak the truth against lies and disinformation, and the sovereign rights of democratic self-government against violence. Libraries and books have never been more essential—or more controversial—in our lifetimes, and writers and illustrators have a critical role to play in upholding everything precious in our civilization. I am honored to appear alongside them at the Libraries Are Essential program at the U.S. Book Show.”
“Raskin’s focus on the health of our democracy, the perils of misinformation, and his concern over the rise of book bans and the state of free speech make him the ideal speaker for librarians and publishing professionals at this year’s Libraries Are Essential program,” said Publishers Weekly senior writer Andrew Albanese, who oversees the Libraries Are Essential program at the U.S. Book Show.
The U.S. Book Show (#USBookShow) will run online from May 23 – 26, 2022. The show focuses on Fall 2022 books and will feature an array of speakers; editor, book and author panels; international publishing roundtables; topical library and bookseller panels; professional programming geared to publishers; networking opportunities and awards celebrations; and a robust virtual exhibit hall with galley giveaways and more.
Booksellers, librarians and members of the media are invited to register for the virtual trade fair at no charge. Members of the media may apply for virtual press passes on the show’s press page.
For more information about the show and registration, visit https://www.usbookshow.com.
For more about Libraries Are Essential: “PW’s 2022 U.S. Book Show To Open with Full-Day Library Track” by Lisa Peet, Library Journal.