The State of America’s Libraries 2019 report includes a snapshot of censorship in libraries, schools and universities; who initiates challenges, where are they taking place, and what are the reasons?
Setting aside the fact that it’s just rude, rescinding an author’s invitation to speak because the content of their book is controversial is, in fact, censorship. The physical book may not be off the shelf, but the author’s message is still being stifled. One person is making a choice for the entire school community, that what this author has to say is not of value.
Part of the Librarians Lead Against Censorship blog series. Last year, the West Chicago Public Library was thrust into the public eye when a patron challenged the library’s holding of This Day in June, a children’s picture book about a Pride parade. I spoke with WCPL’s Youth Services Manager, Dominique Mendez, about what lead to the challenge and how the community responded.
The board voted to retain the book in the children’s collection of the public library, and as the meeting concluded, there was an atmosphere of joyful celebration.
In May of 2015, Hood County Library in Granbury, Texas, found itself in the middle of a censorship attempt that led then-Director Courtney Kincaid to leave that library for both professional and personal reasons. Courtney shared her story with me.
“Did you know that a group of people in Granbury, Texas are trying to ban your book?”