OIF has taken in over 300 challenge reports since September 1st, 2021. Many of the “problem books” seem to be on the shelves of school libraries or within school curricula. That being said, public library workers should not feel exempt for too long. We are all in this together and we need to support one another.
Ashley Hope Pérez responds to the recent censorship of her award-winning book Out of Darkness in Lake Travis ISD and Leander ISD, Texas.
Slaughterhouse-Five has been subject to banning, challenges and even burning for decades. The American Library Association lists the title in it’s Banned and Challenged Classics page, citing a book burning in North Dakota in 1973 and a variety of bans and challenges due to language, sexual references and even because it “contains and makes references to religious matters.” ALA notes only two instances of retention after the book was challenged.
As the popularity of classroom libraries grows, so do book challenges and censorship. Classroom teachers must partner with school librarians in order to protect students’ right to read and diverse classroom libraries.
Columbia County, Georgia, Superintendent Sandra Carraway has limited students’ access to Nic Stone’s novel Dear Martin, calling it unacceptable and extreme. But as editor and publisher Phoebe Yeh responds, the book provides an accessible way for students to understand what is happening in their own backyards.
Very much to the chagrin of advocates for intellectual freedom and champions against censorship everywhere, the book was pulled and made unavailable to any readers in that particular system. There’s really no two ways to argue what transpired: Information had been stifled and barriers erected to prevent it from reaching the public.
The artist commissioned to craft the mural Beau Stanton was flabbergasted at the response and scrambled to propose solutions to mollify this dire disputation. Namely, solutions to avoid complete capitulation and lack of thoughtful dialogue and discourse over the impugned mural.
Parents in Mahwah, NJ are expressing distress that the school district has, in their view, reduced student access to books in the school libraries.
It contained age-appropriate themes of young alienation, the emptiness of suburban culture, the clash between personal goals and patriotism, and the search for meaningful relationships—and it was just cancelled at Enfield High School.