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.

Librarians Lead Against Censorship Gina Schaarschmidt

Defending Books in a Middle School: an Interview with Librarian Gina Schaarschmidt

Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. In 2017 Academy School District 20’s Challenger Middle School Library faced a challenge to the book Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. A parent challenged the book, objecting to language, alcohol use, violence and sexual descriptions. I had a chance to talk to Gina T. Schaarschmidt, the Challenger Middle School librarian, about the challenge and her experience working with the Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin

Q&A with Author Lance Rubin on the Suppression of his YA Novel in South Carolina

Author Lance Rubin published Denton Little’s Deathdate in 2015. It follows a teenage boy named Denton Little who – like everyone else in the world he inhabits – knows the exact date on which they are going to die. Based on a single complaint in August of 2017, the book was pulled from all the Beaufort County School District’s physical and digital library shelves without following the district’s own procedure.

Make Partnerships, Not Permission Slips: Seven Intellectual Freedom Tips for Classroom Reading

Recent book challenges in the news have involved permission slips sent home by classroom teachers when students would be reading a potentially controversial book, and I’d like to take some time to review the bigger picture surrounding classroom text selection, parent communication, and the sticky question of “permission.”