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July 22, 2014

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ALA Report Confirms Negative Impact of Filtering on Student Learning

ALA Report Confirms Negative Impact of Filtering on Student Learning

“Fencing out Knowledge: Impacts of the Children’s Internet Protection Act 10 Years Later” concludes that institutions using filtering software in order to receive certain federal funds routinely block more content than required, depriving students of access to information and collaborative tools.

Keeping Kids’ Library Records Private| Scales on Censorship

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SLJ columnist Pat Scales addresses the privacy of kids’ library records; censoring incarcerated teen reading; and the difference between “restricting” and “removing.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Representing the Muslim American Experience

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In a world where misinformation about Muslim Americans takes place daily, we have a chance to build understanding among children through our library collections.

Request to Ban ‘Two Boys Kissing’ from Virginia High School Library Denied

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On April 23, Virginia’s Fauquier County Public Schools held a review and public hearing to consider a parent’s appeal to remove David Levithan’s Two Boys Kissing—an LGBTQ-themed book—from the school district’s libraries. The board voted a unanimous decision to keep the title in the school district’s libraries.

Idaho’s Meridian School District Votes to Keep Hold on ‘The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian’

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On April 2, Idaho’s Meridian County School Board voted 2-1 to continue the hold on Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian keeping the title off the school curriculum’s supplemental book list—and many Meridian educators are not happy about it. Alexie’s book, published by Little Brown, is the #2 most banned book in the country, according to 2012 figures from the American Library Association.

SLJ Columnist Pat Scales Addresses Censorship Concerns in Libraries

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Librarian and SLJ columnist Pat Scales responds to a range of censorship issues from librarians around the country.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

8,000 Schools to Join ‘Day of Silence’ on April 11, Protesting LGBTQ Student Harassment

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Hundreds of thousands of students will take a vow of silence on Friday, April 11, to raise awareness of the silencing impact of bullying, name calling, and harassment of LGBTQ youth in schools.

North Carolina School Board Decides to Keep The House of Spirits

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In a 3-2 vote, North Carolina’s Watauga County School Board has settled on keeping The House of the Spirits in its sophomore honors English curriculum.

Poetry Book by Teens Removed from Arizona School

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“Things I Have to Tell You,” a compilation of more than 30 poems by teens from ages 15 to 18, was pulled from Arizona’s Stapley Junior High School due to references to drugs and boys’ bodies, among other issues.

Challenge-Ready: Using Thoughtful Leadership to Promote the Freedom to Read | Scales on Censorship

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Chair of the American Library Association’s Intellectual Freedom Committee Pat Scales offers advice and resources to educators looking to promote the freedom to read in their classrooms and libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

NYPL Censorship Salon Focuses on Self-Censorship, Book Rating Trend

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Participants in a New York Public Library Children’s Literature Salon discussed pressing censorship issues, from self-censorship by authors and librarians to schools that rate titles for appropriateness, and the chilling impact a challenge can have on a book.

LOC Literacy Awards; New Follett Chairman; Harry and Hermione? | News Bites

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The Library of Congress is accepting applications for its Literacy Awards. Todd Litzsinger is Follet’s new chairman of the board. Rowling casts doubt on Ron-Hermione pairing. Alexie novel challenged again. Rowell to write graphic novels.

Reading, PA, Students Protest Classroom Library Probe

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Middle school students in Reading, PA, are protesting what they see as unjust scrutiny of their classroom libraries—using their own voices even as teachers express reservations about speaking out.

Leading The Technology Charge | Feedback

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Feedback this month ranges from the defense of librarians who embrace technology to support for Isabel Allende’s novel The House of the Spirits, which is still being challenged by parents in a North Carolina school district.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

North Carolina School Board Retains ‘The Color Purple’

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North Carolina’s Brunswick County School District has voted to retain Alice Walker’s award-winning epistolary novel The Color Purple in its school libraries and classrooms, following a series of unofficial challenges to the book that began in October.

School Library Journal’s Top Posts of 2013

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From the latest technology to examples of stellar programming and insight into the Common Core, our most popular posts of the year reflect the range of reader interests and concerns.

NY District Returns ‘Nasreen’s Secret School’ to Third Grade Classrooms

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In the Southold (NY) Union Free School District, third graders can continue to hear the story of a young girl’s experience under Taliban rule, as told in Jeanette Winter’s Nasreen’s Secret School . However, the book’s use in the district does not please everyone—including seven-year veteran board member Scott DeSimone.

‘Bless Me, Ultima’ Returns to Idaho High School Classrooms

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Rudolfo Anaya’s award-winning coming-of-age story Bless Me, Ultima, considered a classic of Chicano literature, has been returned to high school classrooms in Idaho’s Teton County School District following a parental challenge that temporarily removed it from the classroom.

North Carolina Community Rallies in Support of Challenged Allende Book

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Residents of North Carolina’s Watauga County have rallied in recent weeks in support of Isabel Allende’s acclaimed novel The House of the Spirits, which is being challenged by a local group. In an effort to keep the issue in the public eye ahead of book’s next review, advocates hosted a teach-in about the book last week at Appalachian State University.

Intellectual Freedom 101: Strategies for School Libraries | AASL 2013

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Among the dozens of concurrent learning sessions at the American Association of School Librarians’ National Conference last month, a popular theme was that of intellectual freedom. “What Do I Do If? Intellectual Freedom Dilemmas in School Libraries” stood out for its scope and its round-robin style approach to problem-solving.