November 23, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

All Schools Need Book Challenge Policies

Jamie LaRue, director of ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, responds to SLJ‘s survey and points to resources that help librarians create policies and field challenges.

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 Addresses its Challenged Book List After Questioning by FiveThirtyEight

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

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

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.

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

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.

Kansas May Criminalize Educators for Distributing “Harmful Material”

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.

Two Books Challenged Again in Highland Park Schools in Texas

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.

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

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.

What You Should Know About Banned Websites Awareness Day, September 24

The fourth annual Banned Websites Awareness Day makes excessive filtering an intellectual freedom issue in K–12 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.

CIPA at 10: Internet Filtering Excessive, Study Finds | ALA Midwinter Meeting

A decade after the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) went into effect, its implementation in schools and public libraries is problematic and the scale of Internet filtering is excessive, panelists said during the ALA Midwinter session “Revisiting The Children’s Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later.”

San Antonio Public Library’s Teen Services Awarded $50,000 for News Know-How Program

The American Library Association’s News Know-How initiative has selected the teen services department of the San Antonio Public Library to receive more than $50,000 to train and support kids in grades 10–12 in learning how to distinguish fact from opinion, check news and information sources, and distinguish between propaganda and news, the library announced this week.