Intellectual Freedom Toolkit Cover Image

New from ALSC: Intellectual Freedom Programming Toolkit

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee has just released their Intellectual Freedom Programming Toolkit. Intellectual freedom is not just for Banned Books Week, and this toolkit offers ways to provide bitesize servings of important IF concepts at any time of year. Rather than replacing existing programs with IF-centered activities, we can embed those ideas in popular programming that’s already being done.

Vail School District Slaughterhouse-five

History Repeated: the Trials of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five

Slaughterhouse-Five has been subject to banning, challenges and even burning for decades. The American Library Association lists the title in it’s Banned and Challenged Classics page, citing a book burning in North Dakota in 1973 and a variety of bans and challenges due to language, sexual references and even because it “contains and makes references to religious matters.” ALA notes only two instances of retention after the book was challenged.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

Challenge to Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: Q&A with Aidan Larson

Recently, I was able to speak to Ms. Larson regarding this situation. Her commitment to intellectual freedom and dedication to fostering an antiracist learning environment for her students is evident in her discussion of the challenge to Stamped. Not every educator is in the position to fight back against a challenge: it can be a risk to their professional reputation or even their job security. But if they’re able to do so, it always makes a difference, even if censorship prevails in that particular incident. As Ms. Larson states below: “Fight for the kids. They will know. They always know.”

Anime From Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle and its Context in Regards to Comics and Graphic Novels

“Did you see this? A textbook for a class on anime at Kent State was challenged by state reps,” my coworker told me a few weeks ago. I read the entire debacle and I rolled my eyes so hard I think I got a headache. Another ignorant American who doesn’t understand another culture but also wants to enforce American morality upon it, I thought. But I digress – by now we all know the story about Anime From Akira to Howl’s Moving Castle and its challenge. If you would like to know more about anime and how it relates to western comic books/graphic novels, fear not! I, Gina the old millennial otaku, will help you.