New guiding principles from the College Board affirm that AP stands against censorship.
The Cranston Public Library in Cranston, RI hosts a weekly podcast titled Down Time with Cranston Public Library where they talk with librarians, library workers and community members about a variety of topics. On February 15th, 2022 they spoke with Martin Garnar, director of the Amherst College Library, and Marianne Mirando, the Librarian from Westerly High School in Westerly, RI to talk about the recent increase in book challenges across the country. They discussed what it means for a book to be challenged in a school or public library and what you can do to protect intellectual freedom in your community. This post is an excerpt from their conversation.
The American Library Association (ALA) and a coalition of more than 25 groups are banding together to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read. Organizations including the American Federation of Teachers and the Authors Guild have joined the association’s Unite Against Book Bans campaign to raise awareness about the recent rise in book challenges in public libraries and schools. #UniteAgainstBookBans
Is manga censorship still an issue in North America? Has any manga been challenged recently at North American libraries? This post will introduce the current state of manga censorship for librarians, readers, and publishers. Tips for selecting manga before a challenge even occurs and age appropriate recommendations for school and public library collections are included.
A Mississippi educator will have to wait to see if he will be rehired after he was fired for reading a children’s book called “I Need a New Butt!” by Dawn McMillan, to a group of second graders. Toby Price is fighting to regain his job as assistant principal at Gary Road Elementary in the Jackson suburb of Byram in Hinds County. The Hinds County School Board’s decision on Price’s employment is expected in about two months.
Free Speech & the First Amendment brought the American Library Association to a House Subcommittee Hearing on Book Bans and Academic Censorship this past April 7th, 2022.
ALA announces Ukraine Library Relief Fund. In cities and towns throughout Ukraine, dozens of libraries have been severely damaged or destroyed. Librarians have kept libraries open for as long as possible and are improvising to bring services to people. Kreminna City Library offered services a couple of hours a week as street fighting raged. And in Kharkiv, a library was organized in the metropolitan transit system where families were taking shelter. Funds raised will help purchase computers, software, and other resources. Donations will also help support immediate repair needs such as glazing windows and repairing roofs damaged by bombing to keep libraries open. ULA will provide small amounts of support for librarians and library workers who are in harm’s way, wounded, or displaced and need of financial assistance. ALA will send donations to ULA once a month.
Jonathan Evison’s Lawn Boy is number two on the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2021 list. The coming of age novel has received top marks from critics and readers, but also some challenges as well in schools and libraries. Evison won an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association for “books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Academic freedom, for many instructors in higher education, is a key component of free speech – going beyond simply the freedom to speak on topics but to craft course content, curriculum, and assignments. The state dictating what theories, ideas, and concepts are permitted to be included in education is tantamount to government censorship.
Each year the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) distributes grants for organizations to support activities that raise awareness of intellectual freedom and censorship issues during the annual Banned Books Weeks celebration (September 18 – 24, 2022). Staff at all types of libraries, schools, universities, and non-profit community organizations are encouraged to apply. Grants are awarded for $1,000 and applications are accepted now through June 6, 2022.