April 19, 2018

Refugee Rights Display Draws Fire in Australia

By LJ Staff

Anger about refugees in Australia has seeped into the libraries, where staff
at three public libraries in the Australia Capital Territory were treated with
hostility for hosting displays regarding refugee rights. According to the
Canberra Times, the displays included school children’s artwork,
newspaper clippings, and images of children. At one library, a visitor ripped
off part of the display and hurled it at a librarian, while other librarians
experienced daily verbal abuse. In response to such abuse, the Library Service
decided to dismantle the display, but news of that plan prompted a wave of
community support, and the display was not dismantled, though it was to move to
other venues. Libraries in the ACT have in recent years included displays on
controversial topics like abortion, euthanasia, and sexually transmitted
disease—without incident.