Wednesday, September 6, 2023 6:25PM

Hoboken, NJ set to declare itself a sanctuary for books

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) — City officials in Hoboken are voting to declare it the first Book Sanctuary City in New Jersey in response to a nationwide push to ban certain literature.

The City Council will vote at 7 p.m. on Wednesday regarding the measure.

It would prevent books from being restricted as well as protect endangered books and keep materials accessible to all regardless of their content.

“Hoboken’s rich history and vibrant community make it the perfect place for a Book Sanctuary,” said Mayor Ravi S. Bhalla. “In establishing this haven for books, we not only honor the city’s diversity, but also champion unrestricted thinking and the unrestricted exchange of knowledge.”

Across the nation, conservative officials have been leading the charge to ban books that look at race, gender, history and LGBTQ themes.

City Council President Emily Jabbour can’t believe that communities across the country are banning books which is why she is sponsoring the resolution.

“It is more important than ever that communities acknowledge the need to establish safe spaces to tell and share stories that are being censored around the country – most often the stories of people of color and the LGBTQ+ community,” Hoboken City Council President Emily Jabbour said.

In June, the library hosted a banned book read-a-thon, which is quite the opposite of what is happening just 35 miles away in Roxbury where there have been calls to ban nine books.

“I’m really hopeful other municipalities across the state will follow our lead from Hoboken and take this on a resolution and send that message in their communities,” Jabbour said.

Chicago became a Book Sanctuary City earlier this summer.

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