May 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Librarians Cannot Self-Censor or Capitulate To “George” Complaints | Opinion

The Oregon Battle of the Books is facing controversy because a book about a transgender child is on the reading list. Librarian Miranda Doyle calls on her colleagues to stand up to the critics.

When Cosby’s ‘Little Bill,’ Alexie and Asher are on the Shelf: What Should A Librarian Do?

School and public librarians struggle with how to handle the books of Bill Cosby, as well as authors Sherman Alexie, Jay Asher, and James Dashner, who have been accused of sexual harassment.

“Thirteen Reasons Why” Tops Most Challenged List

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom tracked 354 challenges to library, school and university materials and services in 2017, and Monday released its annual list of Top 10 Most Challenged Books.

Professional Reading on Fandom, Library Spaces, & More

Readers interested in adding to their professional reading collections will find plenty, from a volume on tapping into fandoms to an insightful work on encouraging children to read.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘The Hate U Give’ Returns to H.S. Shelves in Katy, TX

The Texas school district returned the book to high school libraries pending review.

Self-Censorship, More | Feedback

Many readers responded to our coverage of Banned Books Week. No self-censorship here!

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Banned Books Are Often Diverse Books. Check the Stats.

Twenty-nine books on ALA’s top 10 challenged books lists from 2001–2015 have diverse content.

SLJ Controversial Books Survey Responses: Weighing Subject Matter

SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey, addressing self-censorship, asked school librarians: “When making purchasing decisions, do find yourself weighing the effect of controversial subject matter more often now than you did one or two years ago?” Here’s what respondents who answered “yes” had to say.

SLJ Controversial Books Survey: Comments About Book Challenges

In SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey, we asked school librarians to tell us about a book challenge they had personally experienced or to communicate other information about this topic.
Here’s what they said.

D.I.Y. Censorship: An Infographic

Download this visual representation of key findings in SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey of school librarians, exploring self-censorship.

SLJ Controversial Books Survey: Word Clouds

School librarians mentioned these terms the most in their their answers to two questions in SLJ’s 2016 survey, which explores self-censorship.

Unnatural Selection: More Librarians Are Self-Censoring

Restricting books with controversial content is on the rise in school libraries, according to SLJ’s 2016 Controversial Books Survey, which explores self-censorship.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A Censorship Simulator and Lesson | “Westport Independent”

For educators looking for a multimedia approach to teaching about censorship as Banned Books Week nears, Westport Independent may be just the platform.

When a Volunteer Oversteps | Scales on Censorship

Training volunteer parents to hold opinions; requests to create a booklist about overweight adolescents and to remove books about suicide.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“Looking for Alaska” Stays in Curriculum in Lebanon, KY

The controversial teen novel by John Green came under heavy fire in one high school—but in a victory for “freedom to read,” the merits of its use prevailed.

Experts Focus on Censorship at Bank Street Conference

At “Who Are You To Say?”, an event held in New York City on April 16, authors and kid lit experts weighed in on where to draw the line between being aware and censoring.

Virginia Bill Requires Educators to Offer Alternative Book Option Upon Request

The protests of one mom, who didn’t want her son reading Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” led to legislation that would require an “opt-out” option for assigned literature.

Assessing Controversial Books | Scales on Censorship

Should libraries that already purchased books based on their starred reviews keep or withdraw them because of subsequent controversies?

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

You Don’t Show the Sweet Without the Bitter | Up for Debate

I understand small moments of joy on a page, like a slave receiving a Christmas present, because I can place those stories into a broad landscape and see them as the exception, not the norm. You have to earn hopeful stories about horrifying events, and you can only see what hope means if the horrors lurking nearby are visible

We Will Continue to Raise Our Voices: Survival, Slavery, Censorship | Up for Debate

This ‘shocking and unprecedented case of self-censorship’ was, in fact, an editorial decision. The publishing industry makes thousands of them every day. They happen in response to many factors, including outside pressure, personal bias, and money. This decision happened after many voices were raised opposing the book, led by Black Lives Matter activist Leslie Mac.