Not only is today Stephen King’s birthday, but Banned Books Week is also just around the corner! Throughout his entire career, King has been a frequently challenged and banned author. Let’s all take a moment to reflect on and celebrate the King of modern American horror.
Have you ever put together a really good Banned Books Week display? I loved setting up my annual display and hearing parents discuss The First Amendment, censorship, and literature with their children while working my reference desk shifts. As we all know, this year is totally different so here are some Banned Books Week ideas from a youth librarian!
There is a mural at the University of Kentucky that was done in 1934 by Ann Rice O’Hanlon. This mural depicts both Black people and Native American people in derogatory, racist ways including slavery. In 2017, the university commissioned a response piece by Black artist Karyn Olivier. The two pieces are now intertwined, yet the university wants to remove the O’Hanlon piece in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
June is Rainbow Book Month, presented by the ALA Rainbow Round Table. Their work is especially important in its 50th year, with censorship of Rainbow library books, programs, and displays on the rise. Since the OIF began tracking Display Challenges in December 2016, 40 of the 54 reported challenges are for LGBT content (74%). Many libraries have policies for book challenges but displays are not always specifically written in.
Some see contact tracing as an intrusive privacy concern and some see it as necessary for combating the virus. Like it or not, it would appear that contact tracing is going to be a new reality for American library workers. Let’s start a conversation on the Dos and Do-Nots of conducting contact tracing in our libraries.
Of the 377 challenges reported in 2019, there were 229 separate authors included. In this post I would like to highlight a couple of our “Banned Freshmen:” Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Meredith Russo.
Ellen Hopkins is a frequently challenged author of young adult books. March 26th is her birthday and we would like to celebrate with this blog post! Ellen’s work has helped shatter societal stigma against people with substance abuse disorder, among other mental health issues.
As a profession, we honor and are grateful to Dita Kraus for her dedication, courage, and commitment to the ideal of a library as a beacon of humanity in the midst of barbarism. We express our gratitude for the example that she has set to librarians across the world. Thank you, Dita.
What does YouTube’s COPPA Compliance mean in the broader discussion about digital privacy? What does all of this have to do with libraries? Also, find out more about the privacy resources provided by ALA.