November 27, 2015

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The Challenge: Extending the Conversation About Censorship | Editorial


With the arrival of Banned Books Week, it’s important to look for ways to dive deeper than “banning is bad” to prepare our kids to address intellectual freedom issues in an informed and principled way.

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

Celebrate the Freedom to Read: Helping Michelle crowd source this great BBW resource

It’s Banned Books Week.  Michelle Luhtala shares a crowd-sourced project that will help us promote censorship awareness as we pool our efforts to create a project with far and lasting reach. Michelle proposes that we work together and contribute to a Challenged Books Slide Show. She explain explains the back story: This project began when […]

Banned Books Week 2015: What Librarians Are Planning


From a costumed read-a-thon to a display with yellow “Caution!” tape, here’s what librarians are planning for Banned Books Week 2015 (September 29 to October 3) and Banned Websites Awareness Day (September 30).

“Romancing the Dark” Giveaway; Banned Books Week Essay Contest | SLJTeen News


Teen winners of a Banned Books Essay Contest in Colorado Springs were recently announced. “Teen Librarian Toolbox” blogger Heather Booth was named 2015 Illinois Young Adult Librarian of the Year. Readers have the opportunity to win a copy of Ann Jacobus’s Romancing the Dark in the City of Light.

Librarian Molly Wetta Curates SLJ’s Banned Books Pinterest Board


Looking for inspiration in advance of Banned Books Week (BBW), from September 27–October 3? Look no further than SLJ’s BBW Pinterest page, curated by blogger and collection development librarian Molly Wetta.

Charleston Library Hands Out “Some Girls Are” After School Bans Book

some girls are

The Charleston Public Library in South Carolina gave 1,000 copies of Courtney Summers’s Some Girls Are to teens after a high school removed the book from its summer reading list.

ALA Webinars to Help Teachers—and Parents—Understand Censorship

While most librarians are familiar with the issues around intellectual freedom and a student’s right to read, what about their colleagues? Enter the American Library Association, which is offering two digital lessons to help librarians broach the topic of censorship with colleagues.

ALA’s Most Frequently Challenged Books; Teen Read Week Grants; Springtime Giveaways | SLJTeen News


The American Library Association has announced 2014’s most frequently challenged books. Teen Read Week grants are available from YALSA. Enter in two YA book giveaways. See how one librarian hosted a Doctor Who–themed lock-in with great success.

Review: Library Wars: Love and War Volume 5-9

Review: Library Wars: Love and War Volume 5-9

It is the not too distant future, and libraries have armed themselves to protect books and other media from the federal government’s Media Betterment Committee. Iku Kasahara has settled into her job on the Library Task Force, but the MBC and other forces haven’t given up their battle to stop libraries from keeping speech, all […]

An Informal Study: Do Book Challenges Suppress Diversity? | Banned Books Week


In an informal study of the top banned books since 2000, young adult author and Diversity in YA cofounder Malinda Lo reveals that 52 percent of challenged titles have diverse content or are written by a diverse author.

Texas Pastor Attempts to Ban “Twilight” from Austin Memorial Library


With Banned Books Week on the horizon, read about this recent challenge about a Texas pastor who attempted to have 75 paranormal YA titles, including “Twilight,” removed from the Austin Memorial Library on the basis that they are inappropriate for young people.

Banned Comics Week is Coming

Banned Comics Week is Coming

The Banned Books Week planning committee and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF) are teaming up to bring us BBW with a twist: Banned Comics Week.

Banned Books Week Grant Applications Due April 30


The Judith F. Krug Memorial Fund is disbursing grants to organizations to assist them stage “Read-Outs” or other events for this year’s Banned Books Week (September 21 – 27).

Banned Books Week: Celebrate the Right to Read


Since 1982, Banned Books Week has been an annual opportunity during the last week of September for librarians and other freedom fighters around the country to celebrate banned and challenged books, shine a spotlight on censorship, and honor those heroes working for open access to materials and the right to read for all. This year’s campaign is proceeding in some unique and wonderful ways. How are you marking the occasion?

NC School Board Reverses Ban on Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’


The Randolph County (NC) Board of Education has voted to restore Ralph Ellison’s classic novel Invisible Man to school library shelves by a vote of 6 to 1, reversing its earlier ban of the book. Last week’s ban received international attention from literary advocates.

SLJ’s Banned Books and Censorship Roundup | Resources

Photo courtesy of Muskingum University Library

Fighting censorship and limited access to materials is an integral part of a librarian’s mission and job description. Launched in 1982, Banned Books Week is the national book community’s annual celebration of the freedom to read. More than 11,300 books have been challenged since then. The following is a selection of SLJ’s news coverage of challenged books, interviews with oft-banned authors, and tools for showcasing censored titles during Banned Books Week, and all year.

ALA to Spotlight Banned Books Week Heroes During Virtual Read-Out


Are you ready for Banned Books Week? The American Library Association (ALA) and readers from around the world are gearing up to demonstrate their support for free speech next week by participating in a Virtual Read-Out of their favorite banned and challenged books. The event will serve as the backdrop for the announcement of ALA’s Banned Books Week Heroes, honoring those people and groups who stand up for intellectual freedom and the right to read.

NCAC: School Visits Nixed for Medina, Rowell


Planned school visits by YA authors Meg Medina and Rainbow Rowell set to coincide with Banned Books Week (September 22 to 28) have been cancelled due to local challenges over the content of their acclaimed books, the National Coalition Against Censorship reports.

Morrison’s ‘Bluest Eye’ Joins Wide Range of Books Challenged in Alabama Schools


Toni Morrison’s acclaimed novel The Bluest Eye—which tackles such difficult subjects as racism, incest, and child abuse—could become the latest in a wide range of books that have been officially challenged in Alabama’s 132 school districts in recent years, if State Senator Bill Holtzclaw, R-Madison, has his way. The legislator is calling for its removal from school libraries in the state, a position that has so far resonated with at least one local school board member.

Lois Lowry Talks About Her Latest Novel, ‘Son’


Lois Lowry recently gave fans some insight into her latest novel, Son (2012)—it came about because the ending of her Newbery-winning, The Giver (1993, both Houghton), left too many unanswered questions.