On June 25, 1982, the Supreme Court announced their decision regarding the authority of school boards to censor materials in school libraries in Board of Education v. Pico. Now, on the 40th anniversary of their landmark decision, we are seeing an unprecedented wave of challenges. What happened with the Pico decision? And will it help us now?
In January of this year the Prosper Citizen Group Political Action Committee (Prosper PAC), a conservative political action group operating in Prosper, Texas, asked the Prosper Independent School District (PISD) to remove a list of 82 books from their libraries on the grounds that they were sexually graphic, violent and inappropriate for children. A group of Prosper ISD parents have created a reading group so they can decide for themselves whether these titles should be removed from Prosper schools. One of those parents is Holly Lister Draper who in February posted a review of one of the books from the Prosper PAC’s list, The Pants Project by Cat Clarke, on her Facebook page.
The Office for Intellectual Freedom has received multiple reports over the last two days about individuals checking out all the books from a library’s PRIDE Month display to prevent other readers viewing or reading the books. This censorship tactic is being promoted by a fringe Catholic political advocacy group, CatholicVote.
Amidst widespread book challenges and removal of materials in libraries across the United States, people may ask “how can I continue to exercise my freedom to read such materials?” This question may be easy to answer for us librarians, but many people may not be aware of other methods to access such materials and exercise their rights without purchasing materials themselves. Therefore, it is important to make sure your own library patrons and community are aware of these 5 opportunities to still access books if they are removed from your local library.
New guiding principles from the College Board affirm that AP stands against censorship.
The Cranston Public Library in Cranston, RI hosts a weekly podcast titled Down Time with Cranston Public Library where they talk with librarians, library workers and community members about a variety of topics. On February 15th, 2022 they spoke with Martin Garnar, director of the Amherst College Library, and Marianne Mirando, the Librarian from Westerly High School in Westerly, RI to talk about the recent increase in book challenges across the country. They discussed what it means for a book to be challenged in a school or public library and what you can do to protect intellectual freedom in your community. This post is an excerpt from their conversation.
Is manga censorship still an issue in North America? Has any manga been challenged recently at North American libraries? This post will introduce the current state of manga censorship for librarians, readers, and publishers. Tips for selecting manga before a challenge even occurs and age appropriate recommendations for school and public library collections are included.
“I think people fail to realize how much hate is really an issue.” Read this interview with Jordan Joubert, student at North Hunterdon High School, New Jersey, who is currently engaged in speaking at board meetings, creating student-run organizations, and serving as a youth advocate in the face of censorship.
When critically acclaimed author Brandy Colbert was asked to speak to a school district in Texas for African American Read-In Day during Black History Month, she never could have imagined that the school district would find her non-fiction book about the Tulsa Race Massacre to be “too controversial.”
“Every voice matters, even if you don’t think yours does.” Read this interview with Jude Gepp, sophomore at North Hunterdon High School, New Jersey, who is currently engaged in speaking at board meetings, sending emails to the board for creating more inclusive learning environments, and maintaining their own website to inform the community about the LGBTQ+ equality movement.