Censorship

On the Banning of Looking for Alaska - YouTube

In which John discusses the American Library Association's recent announcement that his book "Looking for Alaska" was the most challenged book in the U.S. in 2015, responds to those who try to get the book removed from schools and libraries, and discusses the role of teachers and librarians in American life.
From On the Banning of Looking for Alaska - YouTube
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Censor bans first publication in Ireland in 18 years

The Censorship of Publications Board put a prohibition order on all editions of 'The Raped Little Runaway', written by Jean Martin.

The order applies to to all editions of the book by any publisher.

From Censor bans first publication in Ireland in 18 years - Independent.ie

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Why the Banning of 'A Birthday Cake for George Washington' Really Matters

On Sunday, January 17, 2016 Scholastic Inc., withdrew my book A Birthday Cake for George Washington from publication stating it provided a "false impression of the reality of the lives of slaves." The company claims otherwise, but certainly public outcry determined its decision.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ramin-ganeshram/why-banning-a-birthday-cake-george-washington_...

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The Hong Kong Bookseller Who's Keeping 'Banned' Books On His Shelves

In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside.

Customers go past a window where travelers can exchange foreign currencies, up a narrow staircase and into a room stacked high with books. The walls are painted red and decked out with 1960s Cultural Revolution propaganda posters and other Mao-era memorabilia. The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers.

This is the People's Bookstore (in Chinese, "People's Commune"), run by Hong Kong entrepreneur Paul Tang. Tang got his start selling Chinese-language books from the mainland in 2002. A year later, China's government began allowing individual mainland travelers to visit Hong Kong. Previously, they were only allowed to go in tour groups.

http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/02/03/465284407/the-hong-kong-bookseller-whos-kee...

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Amid Controversy, Scholastic Pulls Picture Book About Washington's Slave

After a torrent of criticism, Scholastic has decided to stop distributing A Birthday Cake for George Washington, a picture book about one of George Washington's slaves.

The historical book tells the story of Hercules, a slave used by the president as his chef. It shows Hercules and his daughter Delia happy and taking pride in making Washington a birthday cake.

Almost as soon as the book was released, it received withering criticism for whitewashing the history of slavery.

The review in Kirkus noted that the book contained images of smiling slaves in almost every page. But it cautioned that this was not the same kind of story that had played out just months before when A Fine Dessert, another story about happy slaves making sweet treats, was eviscerated by critics.

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/01/18/463488364/amid-controversy-scholastic-pull...

In response to controversy, hundreds pack Mount Horeb library for reading of transgender book

MOUNT HOREB — In a turnout that stunned organizers, nearly 600 people filled the library here Wednesday night to hear a public reading of a children’s book about a transgender girl, with many in the crowd expressing strong support for a local family with a transgender child.

From http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/education/in-response-to-controversy-hundreds-pack-mount-horeb-library-for/article_095da109-0caf-534e-9879-3cb4e0c769ee.html

Newest "Captain Underpants" banned from MI book fair

Parents who want their children to have the latest Captain Underpants novel can either mail an order to Scholastic or purchase the book online.

“I support the decision of the parent group and the principal for handling it this way,” said Martin in calling the move “appropriate.”

Martin said this was not an attempt to censor what books are available. Instead, it was an effort to ensure that parents are involved in what might be viewed as a controversial topic for their kids.

From Newest "Captain Underpants" banned from local book fair - WXYZ.com

Metadata that kills

Descriptive metadata is never neutral. It reflects our understanding of our society, and our interpretation of how we think the world should be. It is unavoidably evocative of not just a book, film, or song, but rather the whole society which gave it genesis. When developed, particularly Western, countries wind up determining codes and classifications, a very specific illustration of the world is drawn which is a slim sliver of human understanding of the world.

From Metadata that kills — Medium

Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West

"It seems to me the battle for free expression was won 100 years ago," the 68-year-old told an audience at the opening of the Frankfurt Book Fair, under heavy security.
"The fact that we have to go on fighting this battle is the result of a number of regrettable, more recent phenomena."

From Rushdie warns of new dangers to free speech in West - Yahoo News Canada

I’m a Librarian Who Banned a Book. Here’s Why.

While we now have several trivial and frivolous national events such a as National Coffee Day or Talk Like a Pirate Day, events that bring attention to real issues – like Banned Book Week – are too often overlooked.

Ultimately, a banned book cuts at the heart of what makes a free democracy work. As Noam Chomsky said during a 1992 BBC interview, “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

From I’m a Librarian Who Banned a Book. Here’s Why.

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