By guest contributor E. F. Schraeder. These are risks and possibilities when a librarian opts to honor PRIDE month or recognize LGBTQ authors and readers throughout the year in other ways. Each June almost like clockwork, it seems some library or other is on the receiving end of public noise: shame or praise, for hosting or cancelling an event with LGBTQ community members in mind.
June is Rainbow Book Month, presented by the ALA Rainbow Round Table. Their work is especially important in its 50th year, with censorship of Rainbow library books, programs, and displays on the rise. Since the OIF began tracking Display Challenges in December 2016, 40 of the 54 reported challenges are for LGBT content (74%). Many libraries have policies for book challenges but displays are not always specifically written in.
By: guest contributor Brian E. Wilson, ALSC Liaison for the ALA Committee on Professional Ethics. In honor of Pride Month and ALA’s Rainbow Book Month, here is a list of Twelve Terrific Books that have ended up on the Top Ten Most Challenged Books list during the past decade.
Eight of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books in 2019 featured diverse content related to sexuality. Read an interview with Jed Dearybuy, educator and LGBTQ+ advocate in South Carolina, who is working to build more accepting, equitable, and safe educational environments for all students.
As the popularity of classroom libraries grows, so do book challenges and censorship. Classroom teachers must partner with school librarians in order to protect students’ right to read and diverse classroom libraries.
An anti-LGBTQ law in South Carolina was recently struck down in a positive move toward a more inclusive and scientifically factual comprehensive health education curriculum.
Queer users are challenging Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites for suppressing and censoring their content. In the face of information suppression, librarians can push back against censorship through facilitating awareness and strategies of promoting representation and visibility.
The library as a shared space naturally brings people together, yet it can simultaneously foster deep divides within a community. The latter has taken shape recently in Seattle in a conflict between the transgender community and the Women’s Liberation Front.
Sexual education in public schools has long been a controversial topic. But state legislatures must take a closer look at comprehensive health education laws if educators are to address medically accurate information with students and stop spreading disinformation.
By: guest contributor Julia A. Nephew. “To me this has been a reminder of how invisible LGBTQ people in history still are in many school curriculum,” author Robin Stevenson said of District 200 canceling her Oct. 2 talk. “And it does make me feel like it’s important that all kids are aware of the really significant contributions of LGBTQ people throughout history, and it’s important that LGBTQ kids and teens in particular see their own lives and identities reflected in the books they read.”