Chelsea Sims

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GOP bills attack Iowa school libraries, librarians

Chelsea Sims is a teacher librarian at a public school in Iowa City.

“I loved that book you found for me!” is one of the best phrases a librarian can hear.

As a teacher librarian in one of Iowa’s public schools for more than ten years, I have had the opportunity to recommend countless books from all genres and topics to students. I have watched them find themselves in literature and discover new perspectives. I have seen them develop empathy for all kinds of people in all kinds of situations and grow into more thoughtful young people. I have seen students put down a book they realized wasn’t for them. Literature is powerful.

Now, some legislators in Iowa find that power dangerous. Coordinated political groups around the country have decided that school libraries are a threat to their children, rather than a safe haven filled with wonder and connection.

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