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July 30, 2015

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CA College Says “No” to Trigger Warnings About Graphic Novels

The college reversed an earlier decision to add a warning to the description of an English course teaching “Persepolis” and three other graphic novels after a student objected to graphic language in the books.

Updated: Hearing for LGBTQ-Themed Books Challenged 52 Times

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The Hood County (TX) Commissioners’ Court will host a hearing regarding “My Princess Boy” by Cheryl Kilodavis and “This Day in June” by Gayle Pitman, despite a Texas public library director’s decision to keep them in its collection following patron challenges.

ALA Addresses its Challenged Book List After Questioning by FiveThirtyEight

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ALA explains the process behind the Frequently Challenged Books list, following a pointed story on the site FiveThirtyEight.

When Colleagues Need Clarification About Restricting Books | Scales on Censorship

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Don’t be afraid to enter the discussion about intellectual freedom, and be firm when stating your opinion.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Tintin Book Back On Winnipeg Library Shelves, but in Adult Section

The Winnipeg Public Library has put the children’s book, “Tintin in America,” back on its shelves “but has moved it into the adult graphic novel section because of its stereotypical depictions of indigenous people,” reports the Canadian Press.

Teacher Challenged for Reading “King & King” Resigns

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Omar Currie, a third-grade teacher in Efland, NC, who came under fire for reading the picture book “King & King”to his class in April, resigned from his position at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School last week.

“King & King”—and Teacher Who Read It—Under Fire in North Carolina

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While King & King will be allowed in the school, it is not currently in the media center, says Omar Currie, a third-grade teacher in Efland, NC, who read the picture book to his class. Any book a teacher wishes to read to students or use in the classroom that is not in the school’s media center will need to be submitted to parents in advance, starting in the 2015-2016 school year, adds Curie, who says a personal grievance has been filed against him with the district.

In Enthralling Speech, A.S. King Explores Feminism | Day of Dialog

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In a talk that cited Mother Teresa, Kim Kardashian, and her own photographic alter egos from an art project, A.S. King declared, “Your feminism is yours. [It’s whatever you] want to make of it—[whatever] you decide to do.”

2015 Banned Books Week to Focus on YA Lit

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This year’s Banned Books Week (BBW, September 27 to October 3) will celebrate books written for the teen audience, the BBW National Committee announced on April 22.

Library Police: Who Determines What Is “Appropriate”? | Scales on Censorship

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Pat Scales responds to a kindergarten educator who questions the age-appropriateness of This One Summer as a Caldecott Honor Book and an English teacher who grapples with what to do about her student teacher from a Christian university who has asked to opt out of working with To Kill a Mockingbird.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Critics Sound off on “Clean Reader” App | Storify

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UPDATE: As of March 27, all books have been removed from the Clean Reader catalog, states its Facebook page. A survey of some responses to “Clean Reader.” The application, for IOS and Android, removes profanity, references to anatomical features, and language deemed offensive from titles available in an online bookstore.

“Clean Reader” App Strips Ebooks of Profanity

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The filter, represented by a small electronic broom, blocks offensive words and can be set to “clean,” “cleaner,” or “squeaky clean.”

ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom Wants to Know About Your State’s Challenged Books

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The American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom wants to know about your state’s 2014 book challenges. The deadline for reporting is Friday, February 27—so find out how to do so here.

Cartoonists Talk About “Charlie Hebdo”

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In wake of the Charlie Hebdo shootings, players in the cartoon/graphic artist world gathered at the French Institute Alliance Française in New York City to discuss issues, including censorship, satire, and the power of the visual medium.

Kansas May Criminalize Educators for Distributing “Harmful Material”

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A proposed bill in Kansas removes the protection of educators against prosecution for sharing so-called “harmful material” in schools. Senate Bill 56 has sparked strong partisanship, and the American Library Association is closely monitoring its progress.

Value Judgment | Scales On Censorship

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This month, Pat Scales fires back on a principal who nixes the study of a novel with a Buddhist mother-character in a world religions program, a teacher who wants to label library books by reading-level, and a company contracted for book fairs that labels a graphic novel featuring a kiss between two boys as “Mature Content.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Two Books Challenged Again in Highland Park Schools in Texas

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Renewed book challenges to The Working Poor: Invisible in America and The Art of Racing in the Rain stir up sides as the Highland Park (TX) Independent School District’s board gears up to vote on revisions to the district’s book policy.

Appoquinimink School District Board Battles Over Permission Slips for YA Reading

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The Appoquinimink (DE) School District has been at the center of a controversy over whether to implement parental permission slips for required and recreational reading.

‘Highland Park Kids Read’ Takes on Censorship Battle in TX School District

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Nonprofit group Highland Park Kids Read is set to protest the pulling of “objectionable” books from the district’s curricula at a December 9 board meeting of the Highland Park Independent School District.

Tennessee School District’s Tech Policy Blocks Students’ Constitutional Rights, ACLU Says

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A Tennessee parent and the ACLU claim that a school district’s tech policy, which students much sign to participate in activities on campus computers, violates free speech and compromises student privacy.