Drag queen Deja Brooks is pictured near the entrance of the Lawrence Public Library. Photo via Lawrence Journal World http://www2.ljworld.com/photos/2017/oct/06/319711/

Defend Pride at Your Library

“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.”

free speech and protest

The Role of Libraries in Free Campus Speech

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.

New York Times Sensitivity article

Sensitivity Reading, Censorship, and the State of Diversity in Children’s Publishing

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.

The Hate She Received: Why the Banning of Angie Thomas’ Book was an Insult to the Black Lives Matter Movement

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.

Kristin Pekoll holding a True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries edited by Valerie Nye and Kathy Barco

Your Library is Unclean!: An Interview with Kristin Pekoll

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.

Cover image Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, paperback edition, 1998.

‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’ Celebrates 80 Years!

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.”