Independent TX Bookstore Teams Up with Library for Banned Camp: Diverse Literature Events for Young People

With the number of books being excluded from school libraries and curriculums across the country – and with Texas, something of a hot zone for these initiatives – a new program in Austin seeks to correct these measures and ensure access for young people to diverse literature. Enter a new program: “Banned Camp.”

A combined effort between the Austin Public Library and the city’s historic independent bookstore BookPeople, Banned Camp is circulating in-person events to inspire young readers with these contested works, as well as remote online happenings. NBC News reported on Banned Camp, which has now been running for approximately one and a half months and has featured adult readers, author talks, and other types of events.

Primarily, the books being banned in Texas related to discussions and explorations of race, human sexuality, and gender identity. The bans stem from House Bill 3979, which went into effect back in September of last year and prevents teachers from discussing critical race theory or presenting “judgments” on the historic treatment of subjugated peoples in their curriculums, among many other cynical interpretations of this addition to the Texas legislature.

Projects like Banned Camp supersede these issues, as they take place in a guided manner outside of school. Considering the direction these schools are going, that may truly be the best place for young people to broaden their perspectives and educate themselves.

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