Librotraficantes

Librotraficantes

Blog post by Reference Services - Monday, April 2, 2012

You won't find a copy of Bless Me Ultima in any school library within the Tucson, Arizona School District. The same holds true for titles such as The House on Mango Street, Like Water for Chocolate, or Drown. Administrative officials have deemed the contents of these works of fiction as being dangerous to the sovereignty of the United States because they may potentially incite racial solidarity among Mexican Americans irrespective of the fact that Junot Diaz, the author of Drown, is from the Dominican Republic. Such is the logic behind the decision to ban the aforementioned titles, as well as nearly one hundred other works of fiction and nonfiction that served as the basis of the curriculum for the Mexican American Studies program that had been offered at area high schools. In an attempt to subvert this legally sanctioned and thinly veiled racism, a group of volunteers calling themselves Librotraficantes (book smugglers) has organized a program to establish underground libraries and distribute the titles that were physically removed from public high school library shelves. The Austin Public Library chose Bless Me Ultima as our very first Mayor's Book Club choice.