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Dangerous Ideas: The Right to Read Freely

11 December 2023

Tracie D Hall, former executive director of the American Libraries Association and one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2023, recently visited the Library to share her learnings from tackling book bans and censorship in the United States.

In our inaugural For Future Reference lecture, held on 7 December, Hall addressed why books, libraries and the very act of reading have come under scrutiny in this current socio-political moment and how what is happening now connects to other attempts to limit reading and information access across history.

Watch a recording of the lecture hosted by Beverley Wang to explore the role of libraries in responding to censorship and the power of books in challenging ideas, combatting mistrust and developing literacy.

About the For Future Reference lecture series

Endowed by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, For Future Reference is an annual lecture series that shines a light on women’s influence on society via the mediums of literature, storytelling and authorship, both historically and into the future, with a focus on the future archives to be held in the State Collection.

This series is supported by the Library’s Women Writers Fund initiative, which seeks to redress the historical gender imbalance in our collection by acquiring works and presenting public programs that highlight work by under-represented women and non-binary writers, artists and thinkers.