Parents & Intellectual Curiosity

While parents absolutely can, and should, be aware of what their children read and are exposed to and be actively engaged in helping students process what they are reading, I also believe books are a safe way for children to learn and expand their perspectives and horizons and challenge their own preexisting world views. Parents can play a critical role in helping them do so.

authors Ellen Hopkins, Gayle Pitman, and e.E. Charlton-Trujillo speak about being disinvited from schools

Author, Please Come! Nevermind. Please Don’t.

Setting aside the fact that it’s just rude, rescinding an author’s invitation to speak because the content of their book is controversial is, in fact, censorship. The physical book may not be off the shelf, but the author’s message is still being stifled. One person is making a choice for the entire school community, that what this author has to say is not of value.

Mein Kampf Cover

Hitler and Censorship: Is there Value in ‘Mein Kampf’?

I think the recent headlines regarding a lack of knowledge about the Holocaust just serve to reinforce how important it is to continue to allow access to and discussion of Mein Kampf. Only by remembering what happened and by studying Hitler’s mindset and psychology can we understand – as much as is possible – what happened and thereby try to prevent it from happening again. And any consideration of banning Mein Kampf should also consider the fact that book banning (and burning) was an early part of Hitler’s reign, too.  

Librarians Lead Against Censorship Dominique Mendez

“We serve everyone:” an Interview with Dominique Mendez

Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. Last year, the West Chicago Public Library was thrust into the public eye when a patron challenged the library’s holding of This Day in June, a children’s picture book about a Pride parade. I spoke with WCPL’s Youth Services Manager, Dominique Mendez, about what lead to the challenge and how the community responded.

Librarians Lead Against Censorship Lynn Evarts

Leading Against Censorship: An Interview with Librarian Lynn Evarts

Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. The Sauk Prairie High School Librarian, Lynn Evarts, remained very close to the situation throughout its unfolding and provided key leadership to the community on the matter. For her efforts, Evarts, plus her colleagues, earned the 2017 Lee Burress Intellectual Freedom Award from the Wisconsin Council of English Teachers.