Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Join Us for the Next We Are ALSC Chat – Register TODAY

Our next chat, “Do I Self-Censor? How to Avoid This Pitfall,” will be Thursday, April 11th at 12:00 Noon (CT). We Are ALSC Chats build community within children’s librarianship. Led by ALSC Committees, these informal chats are open to members and non-members and are designed to be online networking chats for resource sharing and discussion around timely topics in children’s services. Dr. Karin Perry is an Associate Professor of Library Science at Sam Houston State University. She spends most of her time reading Children’s and YA books, adult romances, doodling on her iPad Pro, and watching true crime documentaries on YouTube. She lives in the country with her husband of almost thirty years and her adorable, sassy Chihuahua, Pennie. Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Banned and Challenged Newbery Books

I had the privilege of serving on the 2024 Newbery Committee with such a group of rockstars. I could not be prouder of our winner, The Eyes and the Impossible by Dave Eggers and our Honors, Eagle Drums by Nasuġraq Rainey Hopson, Elf Dog and Owl Head, by M. T. Anderson, Mexikid: a Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martín, Simon Sort of Says by Erin Bow, and The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri. It’s gratifying to see these books join the company of so many impactful titles. 

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Quiet Censorship

I have an ugly truth to share: there are materials in my collection that I dislike. I work in a large multi-branch public library system with centralized selection, so I have not been involved with the purchase of any of these materials. My lack of love for some of these items comes from a variety of reasons: poor writing quality, a didactic message, being super commercial. Many are innocuous fluff and aren’t hurting anyone by being available but I still see them as junk food. For the most part, these are books I probably wouldn’t put on display because they are so popular and easy to find already. But I am not opposed to their being on display. Some recent purchases, however, have caused me to pause and think about why I considered not putting these books on display. Did I want to avoid complaints? Or was there something even…

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

Libraries Can and Do Survive Book Challenges: One Year Later

It has been almost one year to the day since my library had a book challenge after a special story time. The theme was Princess and Knight Story Time. Three books were read, one of which was, “Prince and Knight” by Daniel Haack. A prince falls in love with the knight who helps him defeat a dragon to keep his kingdom safe. The story time went off without a hitch, but soon afterward, the library began receiving phone calls about how this book was inappropriate for children. The challenge had been put forth to the library board. Over 100 people attended the board meeting in regard to the book challenge. Nearly 30 people got up to speak to the board, and an overwhelming majority were in support of the book being read during the story time. Support flooded the library, which allowed us to breathe a little easier knowing that…

Blogger Intellectual Freedom Committee

The Vital Role of Literature for Juvenile Offenders

Juvenile detention centers play a crucial role in the rehabilitation and development of young offenders. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is the importance of providing access to books and other reading materials for these young people. Research conducted by criminal justice scholars emphasizes the need for a correctional system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than just punishment.