Photo of the main building of the Lafayette Public Library

The Situation on the Ground in Lafayette, Louisiana

There seems to be an intellectual freedom trend with Libraries being attacked from within by their Library Boards. No matter who wins these debates, it is the community that will always lose. The most recent example comes out of Lafayette, Louisiana. Here, the Board rejected a grant for a voting rights program because it did not feature both sides.

Report Censorship 2020 ala.org/challengereporting

Remember to Report Censorship for 2020!

If there was any instance this year in which you asked yourself, “Is this censorship?” then you should report it to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom by New Years Eve. If it made your library spidey senses tingle, it is probably worth a report. Read on for more information on what censorship looked like in 2020.

Kurt Vonnegut Slaughter House Five Book Cover

Happy Birthday, Kurt Vonnegut!

Today is both the late Kurt Vonnegut’s birthday and Veteran’s Day. Vonnegut himself was both a banned author and a veteran of World War 2. His most challenged, banned, and burned book is Slaughterhouse Five. This book in particular shares his World War 2 experience. And yet it, among many other books penned by veterans, remains on the frequently banned and challenged lists. Today, read a book by a veteran — maybe Slaughterhouse Five to start.

A row of three empty picture frames hanging on a white wall

Reflections on the O’Hanlon Mural

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.

American Library Association Rainbow Book Month

Pride Displays During Rainbow Book Month

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.