Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Book Résumés

The Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2023  were announced early last month. As I reviewed the titles that made the list, I learned about a powerful resource: Book Résumés.

Read more: Book Résumés

 Unite Against Book Bans and the publishing community have teamed up to create an incredible resource for anyone encountering book challenges. A book résumé contains “a synopsis, reviews, awards, accolades, and links to resources and relevant media. These are the types of resources that professionally-trained librarians and educators use when they select books. A book résumé may also include information about how the title has been successfully retained in schools and public libraries where it has been challenged”. The amount of book résumés extend beyond the top ten most challenged titles. During these unprecedented times “thousands of books face censorship” so the website is updated on a regular basis.

A defense against censorship

I’m impressed with how accessible and robust this resource is. As we know, preparedness is key  with book challenges and these résumés are an invaluable tool in being proactive. They offer much needed context, cutting through sensationalized portrayals to “demonstrate the educational value and significance these titles have”. The breadth of quality information they provide also has the potential to alleviate the symptoms of soft censorship. I can be even more confident with my storytime selections knowing that the book I am reading has such solid credentials! Having book résumés on hand in tandem with knowing your library’s collection development policy provides public services staff with a great sense of security.

Search through hundreds of book résumés

In addition to the wide array of resources, some book résumés also contain author statements. I find them to be especially inspiring and a kind of rallying cry. They offer passionate support for all readers and reinforce the knowledge that librarians are not alone in the fight against censorship. 

Have you used book résumés before? What tools do you implement when dealing with book challenges?

Today’s blog post was written by Caitlin Tormey a Librarian at the Sacramento Public Library on behalf of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee.  They can be reached at CTormey@saclibrary.org. 

This post addresses the core competencies of IV. Knowledge, Curation, and Management of Materials and V. Outreach and Advocacy.

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