Biographers International Organization (BIO) rejects censorship in all its guises. Since its inception, BIO has sought to support writers and readers of biography who are committed to finding the facts of lived existence and the many truths of history. As expressed in our mission statement, we are committed to cultivating a diverse community of biographers. Furthermore, BIO believes in the fundamental right of free expression and in the importance of a diversity of viewpoints.
While attempts to ban books have been with us for generations, the current climate in the United States, and in other places around the world, has brought a new and disturbing kind of vehemence and thought control to our lives. Libraries, school boards, college campuses, public forums, and even bookstores have become battlegrounds over what kinds of stories, histories, ideas, and discussions can be experienced by readers.
BIO, therefore, unequivocally supports the anti-censorship efforts of our colleagues in the beautifully diverse and open-minded book world. We reject both historic and current efforts to control the distribution and reading of books with content related to race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, and gender.
As the American Library Association (ALA) and the Association of American Publishers declared seven decades ago: “The freedom to read is essential to our democracy.” This statement strikes us as being more vital than ever. The ALA and the Authors Guild have partnered on a program called #UniteAgainstBookBans. Find out more about the movement at uniteagainstbookbans.org.
We encourage our members to stand in support of the freedom to read—and please let us know at BIO about any efforts to suppress and support free expression where you live.
—Steve Paul, BIO President