Democracy Forum 4/15/22: Libraries: Defenders of Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Key Discussion Points:
libraries and democracy
privacy protection
intellectual freedom and censorship
informed citizenry,
challenges and threats from book bans to funding


Rich Boulet, Director, Blue Hill Public Library
Alexandra Hinrichs, Children’s Author and Middle School Librarian at Leonard Middle School in Old Town
Alison Macrina, Founder and Director of the Library Freedom Project
Jamie Ritter, Maine State Librarian

To learn more about this topic:

Book Banning Efforts Surged in 2021. These Titles Were the Most Targeted | New York Times, April 4, 2022
World librarians, archivists rush to save Ukraine’s digital history | The Washington Post, April 8, 2022
Tired of years of budget woes, Ellsworth library director leaving for MDI | BDN, April 5, 2022
Schools nationwide are quietly removing books from their libraries | Washington Post, March 22, 2022
Book bans and the threat of censorship rev up political activism in the suburbs | NPR, March 21, 2022
How this Old Town school handled a request to ban a book on sexual assault | BDN, March 18 2022

Prerecorded on 4/12/2022 using Zoom technology.

The mostly volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Hannah Cyrus, consulting librarian, Martha Dickinson, Laurie Fogleman, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Judith Lyles, Wendilee O’Brien, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Lane Sturtevant, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine:

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.