Have you heard about the Right to Read Act yet? The Right to Read act would extend liability protections to teachers and school librarians and ensure that all students have access to an effective school library staffed by a certified school librarian.
Lisa Gerard defended students’ freedom to read at a school committee meeting this past June. Gender, police, and racism were at the core of the book challenges.
Let’s talk about some recent challenges to the First Amendment across our country right now. Drag Queen Story Hour in San Lorezno, CA; Fun Home in Wentzville, MO; and book displays featuring people in Lafayette, LA.
Are you attending the American Library Association’s Annual Conference & Exhibition this year in Washington D.C.? Keep reading for the intellectual freedom & censorship highlights at this year’s Annual.
ALA and IMLS have collaborated on a long awaited project called the Privacy Field Guides. Each guide includes an introduction to the topic and several exercises for library workers to implement change within their library. All of these exercises have all been tested in the real-world too.
Free Speech & the First Amendment brought the American Library Association to a House Subcommittee Hearing on Book Bans and Academic Censorship this past April 7th, 2022.
Wentzville, MO received multiple book challenges in Fall 2021. These books, including The Bluest Eye, were removed by the School Board. By February 2022, students filed a class action lawsuit in federal court against their school for violating their civil rights through book banning. That very same day, the School Board voted 7-0 to return one of the books to the shelves and the challenger withdrew at least two of their other challenges.
Three books were removed from the Raymond School Library (WI): All American Boys by Jason Reymonds, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Get them back on the shelves by voting this spring in the school board elections.
OIF has taken in over 300 challenge reports since September 1st, 2021. Many of the “problem books” seem to be on the shelves of school libraries or within school curricula. That being said, public library workers should not feel exempt for too long. We are all in this together and we need to support one another.
The Texas House Committee on General Investigating, chaired by Matt Krause, has compiled a lengthy list of books that they allege contains material that might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex. Ah, the old slippery slope from soft censorship to soul crushing authoritarianism.