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March 5, 2015

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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”

Michelle Sweatt / PEN American Center

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.

Diversity, Intellectual Freedom, and Innovation | Professional Reading

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The latest professional reading encourages bringing dynamic, diverse, and innovative materials to patrons, from Pat Scales’s Books Under Fire to Adelaide Poniatowski Phelps and Carole J. McCollough’s Coretta Scott King Award Books Discussion Guide.

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.

CO Students Protest Proposed Changes to ‘Censor’ AP History

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Students from Jeffco Public Schools in Colorado rallied against the school board’s review committee, on October 11, as the board moves forward to review, and possibly remove, material from the AP U.S. History curriculum.

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

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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.

Cause to celebrate?

Cause to celebrate?

If it’s time for Banned Books Week it’s also time for my annual bucket ‘o scorn for ALA’s  cynical exercise in spin. Like Bette Davis in Storm Center, “I’m tired. I’m tired and beaten. There’s no use pretending.” Now Davis, playing a beleaguered librarian trying to uphold the freedom to read in McCarthy’s America, was […]

The post Cause to celebrate? appeared first on The Horn Book.

Cause to celebrate?

If it’s time for Banned Books Week it’s also time for my annual bucket ‘o scorn for ALA’s  cynical exercise in spin. Like Bette Davis in Storm Center, “I’m tired. I’m tired and beaten. There’s no use pretending.” Now Davis, playing a beleaguered librarian trying to uphold the freedom to read in McCarthy’s America, was […]

The post Cause to celebrate? appeared first on The Horn Book.

Should ‘Girl’ Books Be Labeled? | Scales on Censorship

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A public librarian asks if merging her teen and adult collection will reduce the challenges to the YA literature collection; a school librarian writes about the superintendent’s restriction on teaching some of the classics listed on the Facts on Fiction website. SLJ censorship columnist, Pat Scales, provides answers to these matters and more.

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

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

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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 Books Week Announces Comics Focus | ALA 2014

Banned Books Week Announces Comics Focus | ALA 2014

The 2014 American Library Association (ALA) annual conference in Las Vegas this week set the stage for Banned Books Week, scheduled for September 21-27, 2014. This year, Banned Books Week will shine light on banned and challenged comic books and graphic novels. On the show floor, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (CBLDF), which provides legal support and expertise to readers, authors, and librarians, debuted a new handbook offering rundowns of commonly challenged comic titles, myths about banned books, and ideas for programming around Banned Books Week.

‘Annie on My Mind’ Author Nancy Garden Dies at Age 76

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Award-winning author Nancy Garden, best known for the classic—and sometimes controversial—novel Annie on My Mind, one of the first YA titles to depict a lesbian relationship, died of a heart attack June 23 at age 76.

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.

Thanks for Annie, Nancy.

I was very sorry to read that Nancy Garden died on Monday. While she wrote in just about every children’s-book genre there is, it’s Annie on My Mind that made her immortal, and led to her parallel, equally admirable, career as a defender of intellectual freedom in libraries and communities across the nation. The first […]

The post Thanks for Annie, Nancy. appeared first on The Horn Book.

This is not just about opera

This is not just about opera

The Metropolitan Opera’s cancellation of the announced HD broadcast of The Death of Klinghoffer is galling for a number of reasons. The Met’s decision to stage the opera (albeit with a note in the program by Leon Klinghoffer’s daughters, who have condemned the work as anti-Semitic)  but not broadcast it will please nobody. It is […]

The post This is not just about opera appeared first on The Horn Book.

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.