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ERIC Number: EJ902268
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Nov
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 4
ISSN: ISSN-2166-160X
The Problem of Self-Censorship
Hill, Rebecca
School Library Monthly, v27 n2 p9-12 Nov 2010
Self-censorship, not to be confused with actual censorship, is the most complicated, but least understood form of censorship. In most cases of actual censorship, objections to a book are based on offensive language, sexual content, or unsuitability by age, and a complaint is filed to suppress the book. Often an internal review is undertaken, and a court case may ensue. Most often parents file a complaint, but religious or political advocacy groups may also institute a complaint. What distinguishes self-censorship from actual censorship is a librarian's fear that something "might" happen. Second-guessing is the motivating force behind surreptitious acts like removing or misplacing a book or even restricting its access. Because of this, the librarian might act pre-emptively without going through the normal review process. While no one can predict when and if a censorship challenge or complaint will arise, the risk of a challenge can be minimized and, at the same time, the likelihood of self-censorship can be decreased by being adequately prepared. The author contends that by being prepared, utilizing their policies and procedures, engaging their readers and parents on an ongoing basis, and then reaching out for help when they need it, librarians will be able to put those kinds of thoughts and fears aside and continue living "where ideas and readers meet."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Media Staff
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A