ALA focuses on the books of Banned Books Week. Amnesty International focuses on people.
Expurgating library materials is a violation of the Library Bill of Rights. Expurgation includes any deletion, excision, alteration, editing, or obliteration of any part(s) of books or other library resources by the library, its agent, or its parent institution.
“Cancel culture” is becoming synonymous with fragility. Pundits increasingly resent when racial, cultural and sexual norms are enforced in public. They bemoan cancel culture as a form of censorship, despite the fact that no one has actually been “cancelled.” They grieve the loss of free speech when they’re merely being taught a lesson: there is currency in our words and the price paid is accountability.
Have you ever put together a really good Banned Books Week display? I loved setting up my annual display and hearing parents discuss The First Amendment, censorship, and literature with their children while working my reference desk shifts. As we all know, this year is totally different so here are some Banned Books Week ideas from a youth librarian!
There is a mural at the University of Kentucky that was done in 1934 by Ann Rice O’Hanlon. This mural depicts both Black people and Native American people in derogatory, racist ways including slavery. In 2017, the university commissioned a response piece by Black artist Karyn Olivier. The two pieces are now intertwined, yet the university wants to remove the O’Hanlon piece in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.
Harry Potter is one of the most frequently banned series. J.K. Rowling doesn’t understand that when she silences the real, lived experiences of trans people, she is banning a narrative that is not only crucial to the feminist and social justice movement but to humanity as well.
The first task of information warfare is to recognize when you’re in one, because you might not be fighting the information war, but the information war is fighting you. This essay revisits the wartime writing of Archibald MacLeish, poet-warrior, playwright-propagandist, and Librarian of Congress from 1939 through 1944. It explores whether we’re experiencing an information war now, and how the library community can respond.
The Republican Right humiliated and punished all but its true believers, in a purge that left it less responsive to a changing world, and undercut broad support. Is the Left repeating the play?
Harper’s Magazine recently ran an open letter calling for the reestablishment of open debate in this culture war being fought on the front lines of social media. It was refreshing to learn of a written rebuttal to this open letter, but the cause would benefit more if you didn’t read it at all.
Abortion rights is a topic that some teachers may choose to avoid or be prohibited from teaching. Karen Blumenthal’s latest book, “Jane Against the World,” provides students with a well-researched and nuanced history of reproductive rights in America, connecting to larger issues of poverty, racism, and gender and workplace discrimination. Learn more about the censorship she experienced while researching Texas state documents as well as experiences with censorship related to her books.