“Beyond merely avoiding the exclusion of materials representing unorthodox or unpopular ideas, libraries should proactively seek to include an abundance of resources and programming representing the greatest possible diversity of genres, ideas, and expressions. A full commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion requires that library collections and programming reflect the broad range of viewpoints and cultures that exist in our world.”
Perhaps the most important thing librarians can do is to continue to be a part of the dialogue on how we manage these issues and balance competing interests to ensure intellectual freedom and inclusion, and to be mindful of these issues in program scheduling, meeting space usage, and collection development choices.
‘P is for Palestine’ is an Alphabet children’s book written by Dr. Golbarg Bashi and illustrated by Golrokh Nafisi. A local bookstore that helped publish the book was told to distance themselves from the publication and author or they would not be able to participate in a book fair.
Alexandra Alter muses on whether or not the common practice of sensitivity editing sanitizes the work of authors writing outside their experience to the detriment of freedom of expression. Alter interviews authors and other book professionals about their experiences with sensitivity reading and internet backlash against books that readers feel have not gone through rigorous vetting before being published.
“What’s the point of having a voice if you’re going to be silent in those moments you shouldn’t be?” — The Hate U Give
By: guest blogger Andrea Jamison. The banning of Angie Thomas’s New York Times bestselling book, The Hate U Give, is another stark reminder that the message behind the Black Lives Matter movement has indeed fallen on deaf ears. Although officials from the Katy Independent School District in Texas affirm that the book is not technically banned but is under a “standard” procedural review, it is clear that the district circumvented their policies by removing copies of the book during this “review” process.
Before she worked for ALA, Kristin experienced a very public and personal challenge to books when she was the young adult librarian at the West Bend Community Memorial Library. In her current position, Kristin has the opportunity to use this very difficult experience from her past to help librarians who are facing challenges today. Here is Kristin’s story.
Hurston’s book was the first novel published by an African-American woman, and her story of the search for love and self-identity is one that we can all relate to. As historical fiction with a specific setting, “The novel provides a rare glimpse into life as it was for some African Americans living in the Florida in the early 1900s, post-slavery.”
With Banned Books Week coming up, it’s time to start building your reading lists and displays. While there is no shortage of banned books to promote, it feels, at this point in time, important to especially highlight works by authors from marginalized groups.
You may have seen #ownvoices floating around Twitter and other social media. The hashtag was suggested by Corinne Duyvis for kidlit purposes in September of 2015 but has since become a full-fledged movement.