Twelve librarians to consider controversial book


The book, `We All Fall Down,\' was written by Robert Cormier, a respected and award-winning author of literature for young adults is under fire in Arlington, Texas, where all the librarians in the school district are meeting to decide the books fate. Read about it from The Star-Telegram

The Boles Junior High School library removed the book after the parent of a 12- year-old complained. The student had taken the book home to read for extra credit in a seventh-grade English class.

Tuesday, all 12 junior high librarians are meeting to discuss whether the book should be removed districtwide. This is a new policy for the district. Previously, a book questioned by a parent and removed from one school was not necessarily reviewed at other schools, officials said.

\"Some people feel that if it is inappropriate on one campus, it would be inappropriate at the same level on every campus,\" said Miles Morris, the district\'s director of library services. \"It\'s somewhat of a safeguard, just to take a look at it.\"

Selecting books for junior high students is particularly difficult because the students are moving from childhood into young adulthood, officials said.

\"The role of the librarian is really to connect students with the information they need and want,\" said Beverley Becker, associate director of the American Library Association\'s Office for Intellectual Freedom. \"The parents have to decide for their own children if there is something they would want to limit in some way. The librarian\'s job is to make sure that information is available and accessible to the student.\"

The number of books challenged in schools or public libraries has not increased during the past 10 years, Becker said. Volunteer reportings have averaged about 600 a year, and the most-challenged books in 1999 were the Harry Potter series, she said.

\"For every reported challenge, we assume there are four or five unreported,\" Becker said. \"Anything having to do with sex is the most frequently cited reason for a challenge. The second is offensive language.\"

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