Library Wars

Cultural wars have transformed politics in the US into identity politics dividing the electorate and calcifying political differences and party loyalties. For the past decades, abortion divided the country and the voters. Now it’s public libraries that have been transformed into the new battlefields in America’s cultural wars.

According to the American Library Association (ALA), book bans and attempted book bans have hit record highs and have spread beyond school libraries to targeting public libraries. The vast majority of the books targeted are children’s literature, including classics like ‘Where’s Wally’ (which featured a topless beachgoer), ‘Winnie the Pooh’ (because talking animals are offensive to God) and ‘Harriet the Spy’ (for setting a bad example to children).

One organization that has taken the fight against “offensive books” to a whole new level is Moms For Liberty. It has become notorious for targeting libraries. Using the rhetoric of ‘parental rights’, it has spearheaded the growing opposition to the discussion of gender and sexuality in the classroom. Librarians caught up in this culture war have found themselves branded as pedophiles and lost their jobs: libraries have been defunded and the ALA is facing the biggest challenge in its history.

How can one explain this seemingly sudden focus on books, in school and public libraries? What is behind this rise in censorship? This film follows four distinct stories that illuminate and explain the evolution of this newest battleground in America’s long culture war.


  • Year: 2024
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: Temps Noir & Filmoption International
  • Director: Ilan Ziv
  • Available Versions: ENG, FRA
  • Country of production: France & Canada