In many recent high profile book challenges, parents and politicians have asserted that they know best when it comes to selecting and deselecting library materials, but librarians go through significant training to develop relevant and appropriate collections.
One of the main talking points you’ll see again and again when it comes to fighting book challenges is that you should be able to back up any purchase you make with your collection development policy. Many collection development policies cite professional review sources as one of the major ways library staff find quality materials to add to their collection. For library staff that work with youth, School Library Journal (SLJ) is a go-to professional review source. That’s why SLJ put together the webinar: From Book Submission to SLJ Star: Insight on the School Library Journal review process to explain what goes into their reviews. For this webinar Shelly Diaz, Reviews Editor for School Library Journal, is joined by Mahnaz Dar, Senior Editor, Professional Reading & Reference for SLJ, Ashley Leffel a middle school librarian and reviewer for SLJ, and Kiera Parrott, former Reviews Director for SLJ and LJ.
Most state legislative sessions are wrapping up this time of year, so it’s time to revisit bills introduced in Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Idaho that would allow librarians to be criminally charged over materials in the library collection and check their status.
In the midst of the recognition of Pride Month, a campaign called “Hide the Pride” is threatening to hide LGBTQIA+ library materials from others in the community that may want to access them. Started by an organization called CatholicVote, the initiative invites people to check out all the books from their library’s Pride Month display, under the guise of protecting children from being exposed to ideas of sexuality and gender identity and expression.
The Banned Books Week Coalition is proud to announce that George M. Johnson has been named Honorary Chair for Banned Books Week 2022. The critically acclaimed—and frequently banned—author will lead the weeklong event, which brings awareness to the harms of censorship September 18–24, 2022.
“Being the honorary chair for Banned Books Week is important to me because I know what it is like to grow up and not have stories about my own lived experience, nor the truth outside of an ahistorical context,” says Johnson. “This is a fight for the truth that has always existed even if it rarely gets told. When the youth are empowered with stories about the experiences of others, they become adults who understand the necessity for equity and equality and have the tools to build a world the likes of which we have never seen.”
A lawsuit filed by residents of Llano County, Texas, says the plaintiffs are “fiercely united … in their belief that the government cannot dictate which books they can and cannot read.” The lawsuit described a heated debate that began last fall with people referring to a state lawmaker’s list of titles to target county officials with removal requests.
Providers of e-content such as Overdrive and Epic are no longer immune to book challenges – and in some counties, access is being cut off entirely.
ALA Graphics has announced their Spring/Summer 2022 catalog, containing official promotional materials for Banned Books Week, Library Card Sign-Up Month, and more.
Riley points out the laws in many states requiring people seeking abortion to get “counseling” prior to the procedure is a direct violation of the patient’s and doctor’s intellectual freedom. These laws, often referred to as “informed consent,” focus disproportionately on the negative and rare side effects of abortion while ignoring the positive effects of the procedure and the negative effects of continuing the pregnancy.
Join the ALA Intellectual Freedom Round Table (IFRT) and the Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF) along with banned author David Levithan, library professionals, authors, and friends for this 2022 Freedom to Read Celebration, Merritt Fund fundraiser, and reception. The organizations will honor the recipients of the FTRF Roll of Honor Award, John Phillip Immroth Memorial Award, Gerald Hodges Intellectual Freedom Chapter Relations Award, and Eli M. Oboler Memorial Award.