Blogger Laura Schulte-Cooper

Silent Censorship in a New Era of Book Challenges: Your Stories Wanted

United for Libraries defines silent censorship as “…librarian choices to not purchase new materials, to weed ones already available to patrons, or to not sponsor a program for fear of a challenge from the community.”

As this type of censorship is “silent,” it likely occurs way more often than we are aware. What are some real-life examples of silent censorship? What pressures are library workers and educators serving youth struggling with in their day-to-day operations? What tips, techniques, and proactive practices can help fellow practitioners avoid the pitfalls of this censorship and confidently provide the resources that vulnerable users may need?

Share Your Experience

For an upcoming article in Children and Libraries (CAL), Sharon Verbeten, CAL editor, is soliciting submissions from ALSC members and ALSC Blog readers on the topic of silent censorship. Your comments, examples, and anecdotes related to silent censorship and experiences in your public or school libraries are welcome.

How to Submit Your Silent Censorship Story

  • Contributions may be related to material selection, displays, public or internal comment, or other associated issues.
  • Submissions can range in word count from just a few paragraphs up to 750 words.
  • Send your submission to Sharon Verbeten by July 31, 2023, at childrenandlibraries at
  • Including personal or other identifying information such as library names and locations in submissions is not mandatory. Sharon Verbeten will work with contributors to create general terms to provide context. For example, “a public library in rural Arkansas,” etc.
  • If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Sharon at her email address shown above.

The Goal

We hope to hear from you. Your silent censorship stories and experiences will help in creating a timely journal article that documents the realities and struggles of our current landscape and, if possible, will provide practical support and positive encouragement to CAL readers and practitioners. Please note that due to space limitations, CAL cannot guarantee that all contributions will be included in the article. 

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