Outrage tends to oversimplify. Outrage over outrage tends exacerbate this, and shift focus away from the situation at hand. In a recent emblematic example, the author of an editorial who is fatigued by “ban worries” over school library books strives to differentiate between omission and censorship. This side-debate, albeit valuable, misdirects from actual censorship occurring within the confines of the original controversy. Go figure.
For a teacher or librarian, summer reading is not just fun and relaxing — it’s research for our future work with young readers. As part of this research, it’s also a good time to take stock of our individual selection strengths and weaknesses, our leanings and our blind spots as we choose books. Summer is a great time to reflect on how we can broaden our reading and selection habits so that we make sure we are serving all our students and patrons.