I think we also need to get back to the assumption that censorship is generally bad policy in any context – the default position should be no censoring what people read, and we should only deviate from that in extreme circumstances. Kids are different, but we are preparing them to be adults and – most importantly – to be citizens. I for one want our future citizens to be well and broadly read.
The first task of information warfare is to recognize when you’re in one, because you might not be fighting the information war, but the information war is fighting you. This essay revisits the wartime writing of Archibald MacLeish, poet-warrior, playwright-propagandist, and Librarian of Congress from 1939 through 1944. It explores whether we’re experiencing an information war now, and how the library community can respond.
While parents absolutely can, and should, be aware of what their children read and are exposed to and be actively engaged in helping students process what they are reading, I also believe books are a safe way for children to learn and expand their perspectives and horizons and challenge their own preexisting world views. Parents can play a critical role in helping them do so.