Library world has focused a lot on book challenges recently, and for good reason—2022 was a record-breaking year for censorship attempts. I think, or at least hope, that most libraries have looked at their collection development and reconsideration policies to ensure they are strong, current, and being implemented.
My work as my library’s Family Engagement Specialist focuses on family programming and outreach. I was greatly interested to hear that my library system is developing a programming policy similar to collection development policies in case of attempted programming censorship.
This development seems like a smart move to me. Readers of this blog have surely read about reactions to Drag Queen Story Hours in various parts of the country, but issues can arise concerning programming with much lower profiles, especially in youth programming. Perhaps there is a complaint about a book chosen for a typical storytime or a book discussion. Or a Pride month program. Or a holiday program. Or anything else, honestly.
While I work at a large system with a long history of policy writing, I know that many systems are very small. Thankfully, ALA has resources to help guide library policy writing.
Does your library system have a programming policy for support against censorship? What does it entail?
Today’s blog post was written by Maria Trivisonno, Family Engagement Specialist at Cuyahoga County Public Library in suburban Cleveland, Ohio on behalf of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. She can be reached at email@example.com.
This post addresses the core competencies of I. Commitment to Client Group, III. Programming Skills, V. Outreach and Advocacy, and VI. Administrative and Management Skills.