Spring Awakening album cover

“Spring Awakening,” “Rise” and what’s “appropriate”: A conversation with my daughter

My professional concerns collide with my parenting worries:  What is “appropriate” for young people? How should schools and communities respond to “controversial” content and issues? How can teens and adults communicate about difficult topics? Here’s a peek into the talks my daughter and I’ve had about Rise, Spring Awakening, and the tough topics that teens and adults work through every day.

ALA Top 10 Challenged Books 2017

Top 10 Most Challenged Books FAQ: A Conversation with Kristin Pekoll

Every spring, I look forward to the day when the Office for Intellectual Freedom releases its annual “Top 10 Challenged Books.” What questions, issues, and topics sparked conversations for communities, schools, and the nation? Which books became the most recent proxies for our national debates, corns, and preoccupations?

magazine covers in a magazine rack

Gender bias lesson leads to policy changes–and questions for school librarians

No policy can be written to prevent all challenges and all selection mistakes.  But we can improve how we talk to each other and how we talk about our policies. Included here are three steps school librarians can take to lay the groundwork for improved conversations between parents, teachers, and administrators.

Could Genre-based Classification Limit Intellectual Freedom?

BISAC headings have made their way into public and school libraries as well. A 2013 Knowledge Quest issue on the “Dewey Debate” provides a good intro to the “Dewey or don’t we” debate in school libraries, and many public libraries have made news for their move toward the “bookstore model,” what is often called a more patron-friendly approach than the Dewey Decimal System.