February 25, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ’s Banned Books and Censorship Roundup | Resources

“Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibility to provide information and enlightenment.” —Article 3, Library Bill of Rights

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 School Library Journal’s news coverage of challenged books, interviews with oft-banned authors, and tools for showcasing censored titles during Banned Books Week, and all year. For the full list visit SLJ’s Resources On Banned Books and Censorship.

ALA to Spotlight Banned Books Week Heroes During Virtual Read-Out
By SLJ Staff
The American Library Association (ALA) and readers from around the world are demonstrating their support for free speech from September 22-28 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.

A Dirty Little Secret: Self-Censorship
By Debra Lau Whelan

Self-censorship is rampant and lethal. It’s a dirty secret that no one in the profession wants to talk about or admit practicing. Yet everyone knows some librarians bypass good books—those with literary merit or that fill a need in their collections. The reasons range from a book’s sexual content and gay themes to its language and violence—and it happens in more public and K–12 libraries than you think.

SLJ Self-Censorship Survey
By Debra Lau Whelan

To gain a better understanding of collection development and the issue of self-censorship, School Library Journal conducted an anonymous survey, which was emailed to 5,438 of SLJ‘s Extra Helping subscribers on November 18, 2008. The survey closed on December 2, 2008.

Interview: Why Lauren Myracle’s Proud to Top ALA’s List of Most Challenged Books
By Debra Lau Whelan

On the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week, an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read, SLJ talks with bestselling author Lauren Myracle, who ranked number one on the American Library Association’s top 10 most frequently challenged books in 2011 and 2009—and who also made the list in 2008 and 2007.

The Naked Truth: Librarians Stood By Maurice Sendak, No Stranger to Controversy
By Kathleen T. Horning

Former ALA President and current director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the School of Education, Kathleen T. Horning celebrates the librarians that stood up to intended censorship of Maurice Sendak’s In the Night Kitchen.

For more, visit our Banned Books and Censorship resources page.

Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz (sdiaz@mediasourceinc.com) is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.

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