Next week is National Library Week. Americans love their local libraries, but this year’s Library Week falls amid an unprecedented hike in book bans, classroom censorship, and other attacks on learning and freedom of speech.

This week in OtherWords, school district librarian Christopher Harris shares about growing up in a rural community without a public library — an experience he says made him committed to being a rural librarian as an adult. Pointing to surveys showing that the vast majority of Americans oppose book bans, Christopher says the book banners represent an extreme fringe peddling an outside agenda.

“As we move into National Library Week,” he writes, “I hope Americans will join me and 90 percent of our neighbors in supporting libraries and librarians — and in rejecting the manufactured outrage of book banning groups.”

Also this week, Lindsay Koshgarian breaks down your tax bill — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and finds that the average taxpayer shelled out over $1,000 to private military contractors last year. Meanwhile, Wisconsin mom Kali Daugherty shares how some of those better investments have helped families like hers climb out of poverty and give back to their communities. But those investments are under threat, she warns, and we need to protect them.

Finally, Jim Hightower warns about the antidemocratic “preemption” laws sweeping red America, while cartoonist Khalil Bendib wonders how the GOP intends to explain its inaction on gun violence to kids.

New This Week…

Support Your Local Librarians by Rejecting Book Bans | Christopher Harris
90 percent of Americans trust their local librarians, but outside groups are invading communities with demands to ban books and shut down services.

Breaking Down Your Tax Bill | Lindsay Koshgarian
Our tax dollars should make life better, not go to waste. But the average taxpayer had to shell out over $1,000 for military contractors alone last year.

Don’t Shred the Safety Net — Expand It | Kali Daugherty
Conservative lawmakers are threatening to slash the programs that helped my family escape poverty. We should be doing the opposite.

Beware of Creeping Autocracy | Jim Hightower
Across the country, GOP-backed “preemption” bills are stealing power away from the people’s representatives.

Cartoon: Pro-Life, Anti-Kid | Khalil Bendib
“Pro-life” lawmakers are suspiciously indifferent toward school shootings.

In Case You Missed It…

A Parents Bill of Rights for the Rest of Us | Karen Dolan
The book bans, censorship, and attacks on LGBTQ kids that the GOP calls “parents rights” are way out of step with American families.

Trump’s Al Capone Moment | Mitchell Zimmerman
The former president’s charges for falsifying business records don’t begin to capture the scale of his lawlessness. But they’re still worth pursuing.

Medicaid Cutoffs: An American Horror Story | Nijmie Dzurinko
Some 15 million Americans on Medicaid are now being thrown off the program. No elected official should stand for this.

Many Are Falling Short Chasing the American Dream | Chaila R. Scott
My story shows what many already know: you can “do everything right” and still end up in financial uncertainty.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of

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