The Attack on Our Libraries:
Traditionally, American libraries have been quiet little sanctuaries, untroubled islands of repose far removed from the swirling tides of political strife. Their custodians have tended to be gentle and scholarly non-combatants, vowed to poverty by the meager rewards of their profession, and to impartiality as the stewards of the cultural heritage.
All this was changed by the cold war, the Congressional investigations of Communist subversion, and the resulting concern of citizens—often exaggerated and fanned by local demagogues and publicity seekers—lest libraries be used as channels for the distribution of Communist propaganda, especially to school children. Fear collided with fear: the public’s fear of underhand, Communist-inspired books, and the librarians’ fear of hysterical, intolerant “book-burners.”
About the Author