New York Times Sensitivity article

Sensitivity Reading, Censorship, and the State of Diversity in Children’s Publishing

Alexandra Alter muses on whether or not the common practice of sensitivity editing sanitizes the work of authors writing outside their experience to the detriment of freedom of expression. Alter interviews authors and other book professionals about their experiences with sensitivity reading and internet backlash against books that readers feel have not gone through rigorous vetting before being published.

The Hate She Received: Why the Banning of Angie Thomas’ Book was an Insult to the Black Lives Matter Movement

By: guest blogger Andrea Jamison. The banning of Angie Thomas’s New York Times bestselling book, The Hate U Give, is another stark reminder that the message behind the Black Lives Matter movement has indeed fallen on deaf ears. Although officials from the Katy Independent School District in Texas affirm that the book is not technically banned but is under a “standard” procedural review, it is clear that the district circumvented their policies by removing copies of the book during this “review” process.

Kristin Pekoll holding a True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco

Your Library is Unclean!: An Interview with Kristin Pekoll

Before she worked for ALA, Kristin experienced a very public and personal challenge to books when she was the young adult librarian at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. In her current position, Kristin has the opportunity to use this very difficult experience from her past to help librarians who are facing challenges today. Here is Kristin’s story.

Cover image Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, paperback edition, 1998.

‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ Celebrates 80 Years!

Hurston’s book was the first novel published by an African-American woman, and her story of the search for love and self-identity is one that we can all relate to. As historical fiction with a specific setting, “The novel provides a rare glimpse into life as it was for some African Americans living in the Florida in the early 1900s, post-slavery.”

Book held aloft with ocean in background

Summer Selection Reflection: How Can I Refresh my Selection Habits?

For a teacher or librarian, summer reading is not just fun and relaxing — it’s research for our future work with young readers. As part of this research, it’s also a good time to take stock of our individual selection strengths and weaknesses, our leanings and our blind spots as we choose books. Summer is a great time to reflect on how we can broaden our reading and selection habits so that we make sure we are serving all our students and patrons.

Group of multi-ethnic teenagers in school hallway. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.

Origins

On June 26, 2017, hearings began in the U.S. District Court for Arizona to decide the fate of Tucson’s Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program. It has been seven years for this educational program to get its day in court. That’s at least two generations of high-school students, who because of narrow minded political concerns, were denied the right to study their own origins.

"We the people protect each other." Shepard Fairey red, white, blue image of African American child with long dreadlocks.

The Moral of the Story: Dialogue Cures Didacticism

Last month the question of didactic art in schools was in the spotlight when Shepard Fairey’s “We the People” posters were removed from Carroll County Public Schools classrooms after complaints that the posters were anti-Trump. School officials claimed the posters violated the district’s policy against political speech by teachers in classrooms.