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Amanda Jones: "That Librarian"

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 will be joined in conversation by Stacey Nunn, president of the Maryland Association of School Librarians.

About the Author: 

Amanda Jones has been an educator for 23 years, at the same middle school she attended as a child. She has served as President of the Louisiana Association of School Librarians and won numerous awards for her work in school libraries, including School Library Journal Librarian of the Year. A sought-after keynote speaker, Amanda is a frequent volunteer for state and national library associations, as well as a co-founder of the Livingston Parish Library Alliance and founding member of Louisiana Citizens Against Censorship. She lives in Livingston Parish, Louisiana.

About the Moderator: 

Stacey Nunn is a third-career educator with 14 years of experience. Currently, Stacey serves as a Library Media Specialist for Baltimore County. She is an active member of the American Library Association (ALA) and a Councilor-at-Large for the 2024-2027 term. Additionally, she serves on the Scholastic Publishing Jury. Stacey is also an engaged member of the Black Caucus American Library Association (BCALA) and has played a significant role in the Children’s Literary and Youth Book Award, which continues to thrive and spotlight talented authors and illustrators. Moreover, Stacey is a member of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) where she is the chair of Chapter Assembly and serves on various committees. Stacey is enthusiastic about contributing to the local community in our state. She is the 2024 president of the Maryland Association of School Librarians (MASL) and is on both the Advocacy and Conference committees.

About the Program: 

  • To attend in person please register here
  • Doors will open to registered attendees at 6 pm. 
  • A local bookseller will be on-site and have books available for purchase.
  • Free parking vouchers are available to program attendees who park at the Franklin Street Garage (15 W. Franklin Street) after 4pm.  Ask Pratt event staff for your parking voucher prior to or after the program. 
  • This free event will be presented in-person and virtually.   

Virtual Meeting Information

There is no registration required for virtual attendance, simply visit the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Facebook or Youtube page. 

Monday, September 16 at 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium
400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

Event Type

Writers LIVE!, Virtual Event

Age Group

Adults

Compass Category

Writers LIVE at the Library

Compass Sections

Writers LIVE (including Best & Next Series)

Event Publisher

Cleve Corner, Manager of Speaker & Author Engagement

Digital Signage

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