Hate Speech In Libraries: How and How Not to Fight It

Tom Twiss


This is a revised version of a talk delivered at the ALA 2019 Annual Conference on June 22, 2019, in the discussion group “Hate Speech and Libraries,” sponsored by the Social Responsibilities Round Table (SRRT) of ALA. Tom Twiss is co-chair of the International Responsibilities Task Force of SRRT and a member of the SRRT Action Council. Views expressed in this commentary reflect the general position articulated by SRRT Action Council in its August 2018 “Statement on Hate Speech and Libraries.” However, neither this commentary nor the talk on which it was based was endorsed by SRRT or its Action Council.

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American Library Association. 2017. “Hate Speech and Hate Crime.” Updated December. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/intfreedom/hate.

American Library Association. 2019a. “Hateful Conduct in Libraries: Supporting Library Workers and Patrons.” Updated January. http://www.ala.org/advocacy/hatefulconduct.

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SRRT Action Council. 2018. “SRRT Action Council Statement on Hate Speech and Libraries.” August 14. Reproduced in “How and How Not to Fight Hate Speech” by Tom Twiss, SRRT Newsletter 204 (October 2018): http://www.libr.org/srrt/news/srrt204.php#15.

Strossen, Nadine. 2018. Hate: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship. New York: Oxford University Press.

We Here. 2018. “Petition to Revise ALA’s Statement on Hate Speech & Hate Crime.” July 13. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WxaRj0i63OHKcOG4F55PpKQ4kz7a-Iv4CELfzlqyFKU/edit.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.5860/jifp.v4i3.7098


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