Texas Republican Representative Matt Krause is investigating books that “might make students feel discomfort, guilt, anguish, or any other form of psychological distress.” The irony here, Philip Bump points out, is that all this fervor over books that create “discomfort” in teens and tweens comes on the heels of conservatives claiming censorship and “cancel culture” when Dr. Seuss Enterprises ceased publication of six books that portray racist imagery.
“This is to say Lange’s claims that libraries exist to protect children from books he personally finds “sexually objectionable” is incorrect. Libraries exist to provide all people with the information they need or want in accordance with library collection development policies. It is as much a person’s right to access and view library resources as it is another’s right not to. No one has the authority to choose what another citizen of this country may read.” Janice Grover-Roosa in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Guest Post with AASL Knowledge Quest by Becky Calzada and Nancy Jo Lambert. Hashtag takeover day left our #FReadom Fighters cohort feeling excited, empowered, and wondering what was next.
The General Index is a powerful tool that opens up the scholarly record to analysis and criticism. To find and address inequity in the scholarly record, we should empower students to feel comfortable using data – to make the most of tools like the General Index, and to collect data that fills in the gaps.
Organizations such as United States Parents Involved in Education are centering themselves in the fight against what they perceive as indoctrination and propaganda in public schools, directly advocating for unconstitutional censorship of educational and library materials.
“The Vermont Library Association (VLA) stands firmly against any legislation that restricts or impedes any education on Racism, ‘Divisive’ Concepts, Racial Injustice, Black American History and Diversity Education in libraries and educational institutions,” reads the letter, sent out earlier this week. “This includes any books, resources, curriculum or programming that libraries provide. Furthermore, we believe that it is imperative to call attention to portions of our history that have been previously omitted, misrepresented, distorted or misstated.”
Need some last-minute gift ideas for the intellectual freedom advocate in your life? Check out these top picks, all under $30.
This month we would like to highlight IFRT Member and 2022 Emerging Leader Jung Soo Bae.
With the increase in book challenges happening in schools and libraries around the country in recent months, it is more important than ever that challenges and other instances of censorship be reported to the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom (OIF). If you or someone you know has experienced any challenges to library or school materials, online resources (including databases), programs, speakers, displays, reading lists, and author visits in 2021, the OIF encourages everyone to report any instance of censorship they encounter.
Article III of the Library Bill of Rights states, “Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” Report censorship with ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom to defend the rights of readers. Deadline 12/31/2021.