Literature can provide youth and their teachers with meaningful tools for coping, discussing, and understanding. Library professionals have a duty to protect that access.
Some public challenges in 2019 focused on books that were read aloud to minors. The issues were LGBTQIA and race. But some challenges raise new questions.
“The right to make my own choice is fundamental to life, and intellectual freedom with the right to choose what to read is necessary to maintain what I believe is inherent to all of us,” says Salt Lake County librarian Wanda Mae Huffaker. In anticipation of National Library Week 2020 and the State of America’s Libraries report announcing the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, we share book challenge experiences, 2019 top challenged title predictions, and our passion for the freedom to read.
The ability to stymy humiliation, to withhold judgement about intellectual pursuits is a pillar of intellectual freedom. Hachette’s recent move to cancel Woody Allen’s memoir represents an irreparable crack in this pillar as it buckles to sentiments anathema to an adult’s right to read.
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.
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.
Dav Pilkey, the extremely successful yet often banned or challenged author and illustrator of the Captain Underpants (1997) and Dog Man series (2016), advocate for children’s right to read and create, celebrates his 54th birthday on March 4, 2020.
Dear Jacqueline Woodson, I’m so happy to celebrate your birthday with you today, and so are my two kids, my students, and my colleagues in the worlds of children’s, young adult, and adult literature! Thank you for your books, your voice, and all the ways that you elevate the experiences of youth, particularly youth of color.
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.
Woolf had a keen sense of the need for equitable access, access to both a physical space for thinking and to intellectual nourishment, in order for women to be empowered to create.