call out

You need to calm down: you’re getting called out, not canceled

“Cancel culture” is becoming synonymous with fragility. Pundits increasingly resent when racial, cultural and sexual norms are enforced in public. They bemoan cancel culture as a form of censorship, despite the fact that no one has actually been “cancelled.” They grieve the loss of free speech when they’re merely being taught a lesson: there is currency in our words and the price paid is accountability.

Covid-19

Intellectual Freedom and Harmful Conspiracy Theories: Where do we draw the line?

The problem is not corporate censorship, it’s the idea that we can find all the reliable information we need on the internet with no guidelines or knowledge how to vet information or discriminate fact from fraud. Censorship becomes an issue when government entities start to take part – and this is why eliminating censorship within the construct of libraries is so important.

The Summer of Owen Todd by Tony Abbot

Requests for Reconsideration at the Public Library Part Four: Sensitive Topics and Abuse

Child sex abuse is a serious problem but how do we talk to kids about it? How do we give children the tools and language to understand how to reach out if they are victims or if they know someone who is? There is no easy answer. One way that author Tony Abbot chose was the route of storytelling. Sharing stories can provide both a mirror and a window.

Requests for Reconsideration at the Public Library Part Three: Scantily Clad Superheroes

It’s hard to see how frequently parents have a problem with certain books because of their relationship to the female body. I feel disheartened when I see these types of concerns on such a regular basis – not just in the form of requests for removal, but in daily, casual conversations. It’s a challenge but luckily I also notice that these important discussions about double standards, body image and dangers of body shaming are happening more frequently.

The Life and Opinions of Amy Finawitz by Laura Toffler-Corrie

Requests for Reconsideration at the Public Library Part Two: Growing Bodies

It’s the right of any parent to determine the best time to talk about sensitive issues with their children but we need titles that talk about bodies from as young as pre-k picture books. It is up to the parent to determine what titles are appropriate for their children and this specific title is age-appropriate in the children’s section.

Dinosaurs for Kids by Ken Ham

Addressing Requests for Reconsideration at the Public Library Part One: Biblical Dinosaurs

When I took my first job as a collection librarian, I assumed that most of the challenged books at public libraries fell into the familiar categories we see in the “frequently banned and challenged” lists that are featured during Banned Books Week: Harry Potter; Go Ask Alice; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. I was wrong.