Past Event

AlumniTALK: Book Bans and the Attack on American Democracy

October 24, 2023
6:00 PM - 7:15 PM
Online Event

Libraries are a central part of American democracy. As public institutions, they promote civic engagement, provide community space, and ensure that all people — regardless of class — have access to books and other materials offering a wide range of perspectives and ideas. But today, libraries and library workers are under attack in the United States. Throughout the country, there have been efforts this year to censor thousands of book titles — most of them written by or about a person of color or a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Library workers have reported being harassed, and libraries in Chicago and New York City have even received bomb threats. American Library Association (ALA) President Emily Drabinski (Columbia College class of ‘97 speaks with Director of the Witten Center for the Core Curriculum Larry Jackson about ongoing campaigns to censor titles, attacks on libraries and the ALA, and the efforts of library workers throughout the country to fight book bans and protect our democracy.

Please Note: This event will be virtual.

Emily Drabinski CC'97 is Associate Professor at the Queens College Graduate School of Library and Information Studies. She edits Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies, a book series from Library Juice Press/Litwin Books and is a contributing writer for Truthout. She currently serves as President of the American Library Association.

Larry Jackson is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of the Witten Center for the Core Curriculum at Columbia College, where he also teaches Literature Humanities, Contemporary Civilization., Music Humanities, and his own course in Comparative Literature, Justice Now. Prior to Columbia, Larry held positions at The New School, New York University, and the City University of New York. His writing has appeared in n+1, Diacritics, and the Journal of Speculative Philosophy, and he serves on the advisory board of Conversations: The Journal of Cavellian Studies. Originally from Philadelphia, Larry was the first in his family to attend college. He has a Ph.D. in philosophy from The New School for Social Research, where he also received two master’s degrees (in Philosophy and Liberal Studies); he received his bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Skidmore College.

Contact Information

Columbia College Alumni Association