PROFESSIONAL READING

Public Library Collections in the Balance: Censorship, Inclusivity, and Truth

208p. Libraries Unlimited/Teacher Ideas. Jul. 2017. pap. $55. ISBN 9781440849640.
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Downey (Rancho Cucamonga Public Library, CA) explores the roles of public librarians as guardians against suppression and censorship. Starting with an overview of the history of censorship in U.S. public libraries, she points out the ethical and philosophical responsibilities of the library profession and the value placed on inclusivity, open access to all types of information, and a fair and balanced approach to collection development and programming. The author suggests tips on dealing with book challenges and developing staff training. She also emphasizes the importance of ensuring that both the collection and programming for kids, teens, and adults are all-encompassing and provides an appendix of resources listing small and alternative publishers that focus on LGBTQ materials and titles by authors of color.
VERDICT This edifying guide, along with the current edition of the American Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Manual, is essential reading for library students, librarians, and library administrators.

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