Censorship

Banned Books, Weak

The Disinformation Company has a new page up about Banned Books Week, called Banned Books, Weak. There\'s an essay, copied here, and links to related articles and sites.


From September 23rd-30th, 2000, retailers and libraries have blown off the dust and moved the usual suspects, such as Huckleberry Finn and Catcher in the Rye, from their Literature sections to displays in the front of their buildings to show that they\'re in the vanguard on the fight against censorship. They\'re feeling righteous.


Only thing is, Banned Books Week is . . . well, weak. I like the general principle, but there are several problems with it in practice. -- Read More

Trying to shut out the light by banning books

Freedomforum.
org
has a nice Story on banned books, starting
with the very first banned book. The author, Paul
McMasters, comes down hard on would be censors
throughout the past few centuries.

\"Two
centuries of
enlightenment brought on by the advent of the printing
press have failed
to ease our fear of the new and the different.
We still struggle vainly to resist change. It is
something of a miracle that our children do
learn and grow, despite our best efforts to shut
out the light, to dim and deny it.\"

ALA President Nancy Kranich discussion on Salon

Salon is hosting an Online Discussion with ALA President Nancy Kranich. You\'ll need to Register first.

Happy Banned Books Week!!

Old World Thinking Pulls Brave new World

Someone sent in this Story from Salon on a complaint from a parent that prompted school officials to pull Aldous Huxley\'s novel \"Brave New World\" from library shelves in Alabama. \"Brave New World\" ranks 54th on the ALA\'s list of the top 100 books drawing complaints during the 1990s.

\"Kathleen Stone of Elberta filed the complaint in letters to the school and Gov. Don Siegelman. She said Wednesday the novel\'s references to orgies, self-flogging, suicide and the characters\' contempt for religion, marriage and family do not make it a good choice for high school students.

\"When you\'re a college student, it\'s one thing, but I don\'t think too much of assigning this to high school students,\" Stone said.

Gay Books Banned in Canadian School

The \'Gay Book\' stories continue. Someone [sorry I lost the name] sent in this Story I managed to find at Canada.com. The school trustees of a Vancouver suburb had the right to bar three books about same sex couples from kindergarten and first grade classrooms.

\"No society can be said to be truly free where only those whose morals are uninfluenced by religion are entitled to participate in deliberations related to moral issues of education in public schools...\"

Again, no word on how many children got gayed after reading the books. -- Read More

Gay Books Stay In Texas Library

Mary Musgrave was the first one to send in The Story from TRNOnline. A federal judge struck down Wichita Falls, TX \"gay books\" library resolution saying the controversial rule was unconstitutional. The case stems from a two-year controversy over \"Heather Has Two Mommies\" and \"Daddy\'s Roommate\". They has set up a petition system to allow library patrons to ask the library to move children\'s books to other sections of the library.
It required the signatures of 300 card holders who were 18 or older and had lived in Wichita Falls for at least six months. No word on how many children turned gay from the books. -- Read More

Top 10 most frequently challenged books

CNN is one of
many fine places to Read about The ALA\'s
list of most challenged books. They have a nice little
\"interactive\" section that tells about why each book has
been challenged.

Don\'t forget Banned Books Week
runs Sept. 23-30. Ban a book a day to celebrate! -- Read More

Anti-Censorship

Lee Hadden Writes:

Scientific American announces a new publishing program in the October
2000 issue, pages 34-36, in the \"Technology & Business\" section. A new
program that allows a user to post an item to the World Wide Web that
cannot be altered or erased was announced in mid-August. Called \"Publius\",
it permits an author to place a file on the web that cannot be tampered
with or removed by censors or even government officials. It will be nearly
impossible to remove illegal materials from the web.

The program can be combined with anonymous hosts to obscure the names
of the file owner, and thus the file could truly be speech without
accountability.

That Old Devil ALA!

Karen G. Schneider has written an interesting Column in the ALA Online on \"Excess Access\", a video produced and sold by the American Family Association (aka The AFA).

\"In 21 minutes, Excess Access portrays a small drama in a public library involving Internet pornography, and follows this story with discussions by “experts.” (Actually, it’s a church library, which might explain why you see a child pulling a picture book from a set of encyclopedias.) \"

It\'s interestin to read how far they go with this one.

Three Types of Censorship that Librarians Don\'t Talk About

Three Types of Censorship that Librarians Don\'t Talk About, an article by Sanford Berman in the Minnesota Library Association Newsletter, discusses intellectual freedom from a different perspective from usual. The threat, as Berman sees it, is not primarily from outside challenges to \"controversial\" materials, but from market based censorship (e.g. the power of the big publishers to manipulate the review stream), government censorship of small, independent publishers, and librarians\' self-censorship.

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