City of Stamford and the Ferguson library Announce Designation of Stamford as a Book Sanctuary City
STAMFORD, January 9, 2023 – Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons today joined Ferguson Library CEO Alice Knapp, Ferguson Library Board of Trustees Chair Stephanie O’Shea, and Stamford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Tamu Lucero to announce that Stamford has been designated a book sanctuary city. The City of Stamford is the first municipality in Connecticut to do this, following the lead of the Chicago Public Library and the city of Chicago, which took this step in September 2022.
As a result of recent book challenges and bans nationwide, the Ferguson Library’s Board of Trustees voted in December to designate the Ferguson Library as a book sanctuary. A book sanctuary provides opportunities to expand access to banned and challenged books as well as provides support and protection for the freedom to read. The book sanctuary designation affirms the library’s commitment to collecting and protecting endangered books, making them accessible to the public, hosting book talks, events, and conversations about diverse characters and stories, and educating others on the history of book banning and burning.
“This has always been part of the library’s mission, but in this era of rising book censorship and attacks on freedom of speech, this work takes on new, vital importance,” said Ferguson Library CEO Alice Knapp. “We are proud to stand with the City of Stamford to protect intellectual freedom and the right to read.”
"The right to read is a powerful and fundamental part of an individual's growth and development," said Mayor Caroline Simmons. "I am proud that this designation reaffirms that the City of Stamford, in partnership with the Ferguson Library, will remain a place that values and recognizes the importance of diversity and inclusion - especially in thought and ideas. I want to thank Alice Knapp and her team at the Ferguson Library who work every day to create a learning environment that values these principles and promotes the importance of civility and civic duty in our community."
The Ferguson Library is Stamford’s public library system, consisting of the Main Library, DiMattia Building; the Harry Bennett Branch; the Weed Memorial & Hollander Branch; the South End Branch and a traveling Bookmobile. It provides free and equal access to information, ideas, books and technology to educate, engage and enrich the Stamford community. For more information, visit fergusonlibrary.org.