gain a battlefront on the Culture Wars intrudes on public libraries, as it so often does. Again we hope against hope to see strong voices emerge to encourage the people of Orange City to reject moves to control their collections and acquisitions.
When the superintendent of the Dixie County School District sought to censor the reading lists of students, Library Media Specialist Lindsey Whittington stood up for intellectual freedom and fought the ban.
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.
Banned Books Week 2018, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held September 23 – 29. The 2018 theme, “Banning Books Silences Stories,” is a reminder that everyone needs to speak out against the tide of censorship.
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.
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.
Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. Issues like censorship can feel big and overwhelming. My advice would be that there is always, always, something that you can do. Change what you can, where you can, when you can. Because if we don’t, who will?
“Poetic provocateur”, as coined by the Wall Street Journal, Ellen Hopkins has sold nearly five million YA books written in verse that deal with dark issues like teen pregnancy and drug abuse. Despite being consistently challenged, banned and disinvited since Crank’s publication in 2004, teen readers can’t get enough of this birthday girl!
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.
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.”