In a powerful memoir and manifesto, George M. Johnson’s All Boys Aren’t Blue has made waves since the book’s publication in 2020. With its accolades keeping pace with the number of states Johnson’s book has been challenged in, All Boys Aren’t Blue is a captivating, personal narrative told for those who have been erased—and continue to face erasure.
A challenge to the book Call Me Max by Kyle Lukoff, a picture book about a transgender child, led to the Murray School District in Murray Utah temporarily suspending their equity book bundle program. The equity book bundle program is a program to help provide teachers with more diverse titles, particularly racially diverse titles, to add to their curriculum. Call Me Max is not part of the equity book bundle program, which has led to many questioning why the school district made the decision to put the program on hold in light of the challenge.
When we looked at ALA’s Ten Most Challenged Books of 2019 and saw that 8 of the 10 most banned books were challenged for LGBTQIA+ themes, we knew that we should center LGBTQIA+ themes in our Banned Books Week programming.
Some see contact tracing as an intrusive privacy concern and some see it as necessary for combating the virus. Like it or not, it would appear that contact tracing is going to be a new reality for American library workers. Let’s start a conversation on the Dos and Do-Nots of conducting contact tracing in our libraries.
“The right to make my own choice is fundamental to life, and intellectual freedom with the right to choose what to read is necessary to maintain what I believe is inherent to all of us,” says Salt Lake County librarian Wanda Mae Huffaker. In anticipation of National Library Week 2020 and the State of America’s Libraries report announcing the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019, we share book challenge experiences, 2019 top challenged title predictions, and our passion for the freedom to read.