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 Suzi Wackerbarth

Banned books in the past: “Goodnight Moon”

Did you know that Goodnight Moon was essentially banned from the New York Public Library from 1947 to 1972? Yesterday I read The Important Thing about Margaret Wise Brown. OH MY. What a treasure trove of library history!! You probably knew about book bans in the 70s with Judy Blume, but did you know about Anne Carroll Moore in the 1940s? Anne Carroll Moore was one of “THE” important librarians for the New York Public Library and she did a lot of great things for the profession, as you will discover in Miss Moore thought Otherwise. However, she didn’t like Margaret Wise Brown’s books. She called them “truck” which was not a nice thing to say. From “The Important Thing…” “When Anne Carroll Moore read the wrong kind of book, she picked up a rubber stamp, which she slammed down BAM! And which said NOT RECOMMENDED FOR PURCHASE BY EXPERT.”…

Blogger Chelsey Roos

Storytime Safety Plans and Other Things I Didn’t Learn in Library School

In library school, I took a lot of children’s classes. A class about evaluating children’s literature. A class about planning programs. Even a class devoted entirely to storytelling. But there are some things I never learned in school. I never learned how to make safety plans to escort a performer out of a library event turned threatening. I never learned how to respond to online accusations about the supposed predatory nature of LGBTQIA+ books. As book challenges sky-rocket and board meetings become hostile, what does it look like for new library staff to be well-prepared for the profession?

- ALA Annual Conference 2022

Comics Challenges with the #GNCRT at #ALAAC2022

I started my #ALAAC2022 experience with the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table’s (#GNCRT) Friday Forum which focused on Comics Challenges. Taking place from 11-3, there were three unique panels comprised of creators, publishers, and librarians. The first panel (which, full disclosure, I also moderated) was about challenges among award-winning books. The second panel focused on equity, diversity, and inclusion in comics. The forum ended with a panel about concrete tips on how to address comics challenges.

Blogger Emily Mroczek-Bayci

Diving Deeper into Banned Books Week

It’s easy to get excited about Banned Books Week, to cheerlead the freedom to read and make displays of titles that will make a jaw drop “How could that book have ever been banned?” Banned Books Week 2019, the annual celebration of the freedom to read, will be held September 22-28 As I got to working onI my banned books display this September (and yes I did create an eye catching display– credit to all the brilliant people that did it before me on Pinterest). I got to asking a few questions– How accurate is it that these books were “banned” or “challenged?” What exactly am I trying to accomplish with this banned books display? The ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee has done some great blog posts that look deeper at the meaning of banned and challenged books, how you can productively incorporate them into programs and how to check what is…

ALA Midwinter 2018

USSBY Books at #alamw18

In all my years of ALA Conferences- I had never attended a USSBY Presentation- if you don’t know (I didn’t!) that acronym stands for United States Board on Books for Young People. I really liked this presentation because while so much of award selections are top secret, this was an opportunity for the committee to share their selections with the audience. The six presenters had copies of the books they were discussing and actually showed the audience the pages that delighted, inspired, or tickled their fancies! I also loved that they framed their book discussions around motifs that the books invoked for them! Themes like journies, surprise, loss of voice, and Motley Crews! It’s also always fun to see passionate people talk about books they are passionate about! They also created a super cool bookmark of the selected books! At the end of the panel discussion, talented illustrator (and author),…