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ERIC Number: ED530526
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 176
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-8389-1130-3
True Stories of Censorship Battles in America's Libraries
Nye, Valerie, Ed.; Barco, Kathy, Ed.
ALA Editions
Intellectual freedom is a core value of librarianship, but fighting to keep controversial materials on the shelves can sometimes feel like a lonely battle. And not all censorship controversies involve the public objecting to a book in the collection--libraries are venues for displays and meetings, and sometimes library staff themselves are tempted to preemptively censor a work. Those facing censorship challenges can find support and inspiration in this book, which compiles dozens of stories from library front lines. Edifying and enlightening, this collection: (1) Tells the stories of librarians who withstood difficult circumstances to champion intellectual freedom; (2) Touches on prickly issues such as age-appropriateness, some librarians' temptation to preemptively censor, sensitive cultural expressions, and criminality in the library; and (3) Presents case studies of defenses that were unsuccessful, so librarians facing similar challenges can learn from these defeats. There are fewer situations more stressful in a librarian's professional life than being personally confronted with a demand to remove a book from the shelves or not knowing how to respond to other kinds of censorship challenges. Reading this book will help fortify and inform those in the fray. This book is divided into seven parts. Part I, Sometimes We're Our Own Worst Enemy: When Library Employees Are Censors, contains the following chapters: (1) Where There Once Was None (Lucy Bellamy); (2) Well-Intentioned Censorship Is Still Censorship: The Challenge of Public Library Employees (Ron Critchfield and David M. Powell); (3) If I Don't Buy It, They Won't Come (Peggy Kaney); and (4) Mixed-Up Ethics (Susan Patron). Part II, How Dare You Recommend This Book to a Child: Reading Levels and Sophisticated Topics, contains the following chapters: (5) Clue-less in Portland (Natasha Forrester); (6) Vixens, Banditos, and Finding Common Ground (Alisa C. Gonzalez); (7) Long Live the King (Novels)! (Angela Paul); (8) Parent Concern about Classroom Usage Spills Over into School Library (Laurie Treat); (9) The Princess Librarian: An Allegory (Sherry York); and (10) The Complexity and Challenges of Censorship in Public Schools: Overstepping Boundaries, Cultivating Compassionate Conversations (Marie-Elise Wheatwind). Part III, Not Only Boy Scouts Should Be Prepared: Building Strong Policies, contains the following chapters: (11) I Owe It All to Madonna (Lise Chlebanowski); (12) The Battle to Include (Gretchen Gould); (13) Pornography and Erotica in an Academic Library (Michelle Martinez); and (14) Reasonable Accommodation: Why Our Library Created Voluntary Kids Cards (Matt Noionen). Part IV, When the Tribe Has Spoken: Working with Native American Collections, contains the following: (15) Cultural Sensitivity or Censorship? (Susanne Caro); and (16) Developing the Public Library's Genealogy Euchee/Yuchi Collection (Cathlene Myers Mattix). Part V, Conversation + Confrontation + Controversy = Combustion: Vocal Organization and Publicly Debated Challenges, contains the following chapters: (17) 32 Pages, 26 Sentences, 603 Words, and $500,000 Later: When School Boards Have Their Way (Lauren Christos); (18) The Respect of Fear (Amy Crump); (19) Sweet Movie (Sydne Dean); (20) Censorship Avoided: Student Activism in a Texas School District (Robert Farrell); (21) I Read It in the Paper (Hollis Helmeci); (22) Uncle Bobby's Wedding (James LaRue); (23) A Community Divided (Kristin Pekoll); (24) The Author Visit That Should Have Been (Karin Perry); (25) One of Those Not So Hideous Stories of a Book Challenge (Kathryn Prestidge). Part VI, Crime and Punishment: When Library Patrons Have Committed a Crime, contains the following chapters: (26) A Serial Killer Visits the Library (Paul Hawkins); and (27) Books, Bars, and Behavior: Censorship in Correctional Libraries (Erica MacCreaigh). Part VII. Perhaps It Is Possible to Judge a Book by Its Cover: Displays, contains the following chapters: (28) The Ghost of Halloween Past (Kathy Barco); (29) The Neophyte in the New Age (Rosemary J. Kilbridge); (30) Gay Books Display Brings Out High School Faculty Prejudice (Nadean Meyer); and (31) Censorship Looms Over the Rainbow (Cindy Simerlink). [Foreword by Ellen Hopkins.]
ALA Editions. Available from: American Library Association. 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611. Tel: 866-746-7252; Fax: 770-280-4155; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Books; Collected Works - General; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas