That Librarian

The Fight Against Book Banning in America

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Pub Date Aug 27 2024 | Archive Date Aug 31 2024
Bloomsbury USA | Bloomsbury Publishing

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“Amanda Jones started getting death threats, all for standing up for our right to read . . . but she's not stopped fighting against book bans, or stopped advocating for access to diverse stories.”-Oprah Winfrey, in a speech at the 2023 National Book Awards

"Amanda Jones clearly outlines how we got here, who's leading this false charge against qualified educators, media specialists, and authors-and most importantly, explores the steps we all must take to make the voice of truth and reason louder than their caterwauling.”-Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Part memoir, part manifesto, the inspiring story of a Louisiana librarian advocating for inclusivity on the front lines of our vicious culture wars.

One of the things small town librarian Amanda Jones values most about books is how they can affirm a young person's sense of self. So in 2022, when she caught wind of a local public hearing that would discuss “book content,” she knew what was at stake. Schools and libraries nationwide have been bombarded by demands for books with LGTBQ+ references, discussions of racism, and more to be purged from the shelves. Amanda would be damned if her community were to ban stories representing minority groups. She spoke out that night at the meeting. Days later, she woke up to a nightmare that is still ongoing.

Amanda Jones has been called a groomer, a pedo, and a porn-pusher; she has faced death threats and attacks from strangers and friends alike. Her decision to support a collection of books with diverse perspectives made her a target for extremists using book banning campaigns-funded by dark money organizations and advanced by hard right politicians-in a crusade to make America more white, straight, and "Christian." But Amanda Jones wouldn't give up without a fight: she sued her harassers for defamation and urged others to join her in the resistance.

Mapping the book banning crisis occurring all across the nation, That Librarian draws the battle lines in the war against equity and inclusion, calling book lovers everywhere to rise in defense of our readers.

“Amanda Jones started getting death threats, all for standing up for our right to read . . . but she's not stopped fighting against book bans, or stopped advocating for access to diverse...

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ISBN 9781639733538
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Featured Reviews

“Hell hath no fury like a librarian scorned.”
Part memoir part manifesto part warrior cry, That Librarian shares the story of Amanda Jones and the fight she’s had since standing up for an lgbtq book at her local public library in 2022. That one action sent Amanda’s life into a tailspin after extremists began targeting her and her family in her hometown in Louisiana. She’s still fighting against those who set to defame her on social media, calling her horrible names, trying to tarnish her character and threaten her life. But still Amanda fights for #freadom for the right to read, for librarians all over the world.
When Amanda told me she was going to write a nonfiction book about her experiences over the past two years I was elated. Everyone should hear about how she’s been fighting against these hate groups trying to tear her down, how it effected her mental health, her family and how she saw her community and the world as a whole. Amanda is our champion of books We love her and her moxie. She gives us strength and I hope she knows how much of a difference her story will make for our librarian community. When I get my physical copy I’m going to highlight and note take the heck out of it. This title releases August 27. @bloomsburypublishing

CW: racism, homophobia, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, bullying, cyberbullying, doxing, misogyny, hate speech

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What a great read. As a librarian, I could totally relate to this book and I will definitely be adding this to my personal library once it's published.

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This book is everything. It is the hope that we all need. It’s the fighter that we didn’t know we needed. It’s the truth in black and white. Having watched this entire story play out in real life and then seeing it on paper is heartbreaking. No one should ever have to deal with this and it’s crazy that we have people in this world who have hearts filled with such vile hate. I’m blessed beyond measure to have this amazing person in my life, but the world is even luckier to have her fighting for all of them. It’s time to set the record straight because they messed with That Librarian and they shouldn’t have.

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That Librarian by Amanda Jones. Thank you NetGalley for this ARC. The inspiring story of a Louisiana Librarian advocating for inclusivity on the front lines. Amanda Jones, an SLJ School Librarian of the Year, writes about her experiences fighting for the right to read! I give this one 5 stars.

My favorite quote! “What the general public needs to know is that these people won’t just stop at censoring books or ruining libraries . They will continue to wreak havoc on our public education system until it is irreversibly broken.”

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Thank you to Net Galley & Bloomsbury USA for the chance to read this title.

In this memoir, the author, a librarian, shares their journey of defiance against censorship, despite facing vilification and persecution. What sets this memoir apart is the author's unwavering commitment to taking the high road, turning their experience into a powerful manifesto for defending intellectual freedom. This inspiring book is a must-read for anyone who believes in standing up for what is right, even in the face of overwhelming opposition.

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As a fellow Library worker, I'm very familiar with Amanda Jones and have followed her story for a while. I was so excited when I found out that she was writing a book! She has really been through it. She went to a public meeting at her local library (her full comments are in the Afterword so you can read them for yourself) to stand up against censorship. Many of us are facing this in our own schools and communities. She was targeted and has been the subject of harassment and hate ever since.

This book did not disappoint. I really appreciated the helpful actions she gave that people can use in their own communities to stand against censorship. It's overall a very well-written book, and I'll be recommending it to every Library person and adult that I encounter.

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I admire Amanda Jones’s courage. She is a voice for all teachers and librarians who are forced to face keyboard warriors for various reasons everyday.

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That Librarian is the heartbreaking story of Amanda Jones and the issues she has been forced to address because she spoke in favor of public libraries. Her journey is told in a relatable way and not only shares her struggles, emotions, and process working through everything, but also includes encouragement and supportive ideas for others facing similar situations throughout. This book is critically important for not only librarians, but also those outside the library world to understand the struggles librarians face when dealing with negative social media posts and community outrage.

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Fantastic book detailing the experiences of Amanda Jones. I would highly recommend for other librarians!

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This book is both heartening and frustrating. Jones details her efforts to combat the pervasive atmosphere of book banning in Louisiana whose politicians have found libraries a meek and useful target. She drew a line in the sand and stood up to unprovoked and personal online attacks. Jones used open meetings and the courts to try to fight back. She is a brave soul. I was a librarian in Louisiana and found it all too much. I left. Jones has persisted and deserves every award (and more) she has been granted for being willing to fight back. Hopefully, this book serves to shed much needed light on the issues confronting librarians everywhere, but particularly in Louisiana.

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I loved this book. Book banning is a horrible thing, and finally, hearing from the librarians who are fighting this is so important. Jones gives such a passionate recount of her experience and how she refuses to back down. This is a wonderful book about such a strong and passionate librarian who deeply cares about her community and everyone who uses the library.

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The story of Amanda Jones and her fight to save libraries is both inspiring and gut-wrenching. No one should have to endure the battle she has fought, but her story gives context, hope, and a voice to countless libraries across the country who are fighting the same fight. My hope is that individuals outside the library community will pick up this book and be inspired to stand up for their local libraries and librarians.

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Highly recommend for any teacher, educator, librarian, or friend of libraries. A painfully detailed account of what it is like to be targeted by censors. Amanda details her own experiences and weaves that into the bigger picture of the attack on libraries and schools in our country. She is vulnerable and open which makes reading her story feel more like chatting over drinks with a friend. I alternated between being on the verge of tears, seething with anger, and giggling at her recounting of her life growing up in Louisiana. I hope there will be a big audience for her book and that it will shed light on the hateful tactics of those who seek to force their narrow world view on everyone else by controlling libraries.

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