The Art of the Book Review

The Art of the Book Review: School Library Journal staff and reviewers discuss the review process

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.

Screenshot of CatholicVote Hide the Pride website promotion graphics. Text Hide the Pride. Reclaim Your Public Library

“Hide the Pride” Campaign Targets Library Pride Month Displays

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.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 6/24/2022

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.”

Activists rally for reproductive rights.

The Intersection of Roe v. Wade and Intellectual Freedom

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.

Intellectual Freedom News

Intellectual Freedom News 6/17/2022

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.