If we are truly standing for intellectual freedom, which includes the freedom to read, we must also extend our efforts to people in prison. While outrage on behalf of censorship in schools or public libraries is easier in many ways, if we ignore this issue in Texas prisons, we are absolutely neglecting the over 2 million Americans imprisoned nationwide.
Former ALA President Ann Symons said it well in explaining that a materials challenge is a trip to hell, something that you wouldn’t want to wish on your worst enemy. However, I believe that facing the experience with honest communication and an understanding of the right of each person to their particular viewpoint are the keys to navigating the journey successfully. My parents taught me to stand up for I believed in and supporting intellectual freedom and universal access are, for me, core beliefs.
It’s clear that for many people, S.E. Hinton’s books were the first books they truly loved. Despite the challenges they’ve faced, her books have endured, and without her, we may not have the wealth of YA literature we have today.
To this date, Chris has written 14 books — all have been challenged or banned. Yes, every single book he’s published has been challenged and many of them banned in classrooms. That alone should have you running to the CRU shelf of your library’s young adult section.
Last week, the California Library Association announced this year’s inductees into the California Library Hall of Fame. One of them is Tessa Kelso, the sixth head librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library. It’s worth looking back at this formidable librarian and an unusual episode in the history of intellectual freedom where she took the offensive against a would-be book burner by suing him… and winning.
It is ironically unsurprising that a book about freedom and choice would inspire some to want to limit readers’ freedom to choose to read it.
Remember ‘Scary Stories’? Catch a frighteningly good documentary about the banned & challenged classic at #alaac17!
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.
We may read about challenges and censorship in the news but when the story no longer makes headlines, the librarians are still doing their jobs. Ten years later, Ms. Barnett still advocates for access to all resources.
When Jay Asher is approached by librarians, educators and others fighting censorship of his book, he shares emails from readers expressing what they gained from reading the book.