The reasons people challenge books, in schools and in libraries, are numerous. Regardless, a surprising number of Americans, when faced with the right reason, are actually pro book banning. This is reflected in a recent YouGov.com poll, which asked what kinds of content in books should be banned, and in what settings.
In most book challenges, there is one book that is targeted, for very specific reasons. The reasons behind the challenge may not be unique, but, at the very least, they are reasons that are specific to the challenged book. Instead of one challenge for one book, Dixie County Superintendent Mike Thomas has issued a ban on all materials with, “profanity, cursing or inappropriate subject matter.”
Intellectual freedom advocates need to do our part to reject the sensationalization of censorship. It’s not enough to lament the restriction of a book on social media or grumble about schools’ decisions. We need to discuss the central issue: teaching students to talk about controversial issues in and through literature.
These two cases highlight the importance of having policies and procedures in place, and when the policy is not followed, reaching out to intellectual freedom experts for support.
For a period of almost sixty years, the CMAA’s Comics Code attempted and largely succeeded in regulating the content of American comic books.
Since its publication in 1960, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird has been challenged and banned in schools and libraries all over the country. What can you do to help the students of Biloxi Public Schools?
I just saw on a librarian Facebook page that a school librarian has just been dealing with another challenge to the Goosebumps series, yes in 2017! But thanks to positive support and a reasonable response to the challenge, Stine’s books are back on those shelves for the kids.
Khalili spent six months during the Iranian Revolution distributing books to Iranian businesses, residents and government officials. After the first month of the new regime, however, Khalili said he had to stop.
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 celebration of Banned Books Week, University of West Florida’s Britt McGowan constructed conversations between banned book characters, using only the words their authors gave them. Who’s your favorite character? Reply in the comments!