Indeed, however difficult it might be to differentiate the men who authored these books from their words on the page, it is vital to our First Amendment rights and the promotion of intellectual freedom that we do not let that difficulty interfere with our duties as librarians. Patrons possess, and should continue to hold, the right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to read these materials.
Reporting censorship helps OIF provide better information and support to librarians and teachers facing intellectual freedom and access challenges.
With its three distinguished leaders over the half-century, the office has transformed into a thriving resource for librarians when First Amendment rights have been trampled. And we couldn’t have done it without you. Here are a few stats that highlight the work we’re proud to continue, and the obstacles our team is determined to tackle with your support.
The board voted to retain the book in the children’s collection of the public library, and as the meeting concluded, there was an atmosphere of joyful celebration.
In May of 2015, Hood County Library in Granbury, Texas, found itself in the middle of a censorship attempt that led then-Director Courtney Kincaid to leave that library for both professional and personal reasons. Courtney shared her story with me.
The Field Report is a great resource to showcase the variety of books and unique situations of each challenge. It includes nine beautifully designed pages, packed with 46 detailed censorship incidents and tips on how to protect the right to read in your community.
It seems the upper Midwest has a problem with Sherman Alexie. Within one month, his 2007 novel ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’ has been challenged in two school districts.
Elections can rile people up. It’s smart for librarians to take a good look around before there’s trouble — starting with library policy.
Reporting challenges to ALA helps us provide better information and support to librarians and teachers facing similar challenges. OIF uses the reports for statistical purposes, allowing us to analyze trends, share data on censorship issues, and educate the public about what books are under threat and why. Please send us any info on challenges in your state or region from 2016.
With the summer movie release of a frequently challenged children’s book, librarians can expect an increase in visibility and circulation of the series.