Censorship

Stockton Book Ban Upheld 7-0 in Packed Public Forum

Stockton MO -- The Stockton Missouri school board voted unanimously Wednesday night to uphold its April decision to ban a book from the school curriculum. The 7-0 vote came after a public forum about the novel, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.

The board also voted, 7-2, against a proposal to return the book to the high school library with restrictions.

Board member Rod Tucker said his main concern was the book's language, that it had too much profanity to be of value. He rejected the argument that most kids are familiar with such language and use it regularly. [ed- note to Rod Tucker: don't forget you live in the 'show me' state]

Supporters of the book said it was chosen to get high school boys, particularly, interested in reading. Another board member said that was a mistake because the book's reading level is low for high school readers. "We're dumbing down our educational standards if we do that," Ken Spurgeon said.

Cheryl Marcum, a resident who had pushed the board to explain and reverse its decision, was disappointed by the vote. She said she's heard about the issue from young people who have left Stockton.

"They said, 'I left Stockton because stuff like that happens there,'" she said.

At the E-book Burning.

There was an e-book burning held.

There was a speech about the evils of the book. And the crowd cheered because they believed what they had been told about evil.

Then the reading device was raised high so that all could see, but not very much because the print was so small on the screen even though they had chosen the largest font available. Someone in the crowd commented that they would have been able to see the cover image so much better on his iPad.

The Leader opened the Content Manager from the Menu. The buttons were small, so it was a little difficult.

Then Selected the Title.

Then Selected Remove Selected Item and Confirmed the removal. No one in the crowd was sure that anything had happened, but they cheered anyway.

There were no flames. There was no Press coverage. No spectacle.

With e-books, you can burn the device, but you can't burn the book.

What will tyrants do?

If They're Burning Qur'ans, ALA Says 'We'll Read Qur'ans'

From American Libraries: Book burning is the most insidious form of book banning, and just as the American Library Association is preparing to celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, along comes one Rev. Terry Jones of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Florida. The reverend’s idea of world outreach is to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 with a public burning of the Qur’an, the Muslim holy book. Gen. David Petraeus had personally pleaded with the reverend to restrain himself because of the potential for retaliatory violence.

Meanwhile, the American Library Association and librarians across the country will move the Qur’an to the top of the Banned Books Week agenda. (Leading the way by modeling tolerance, an Oklahoma public library has been hosting an exhibit of artwork inspired by Muslim tradition.)

“Free people read freely,” says Barbara Jones, director of the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom. “That is a fundamental principle of the American Constitution and a basic mission of public libraries. We don’t burn books, we read them.”

Thanks to Jenny Levine for the lead.

Craigslist Removes Adult Services Section

Craigslist has apparently closed the adult services section of its website, two weeks after 17 state attorneys general demanded it shut down the section.
The section had been replaced Saturday by a black and white "censored" logo.

Full story here.

Texas Teen Lit Festival Will Be Minus Several Authors

UPDATE According to the Houston Observer, the scheduled festival has BEEN CANCELLED in its entirely, due to the number of participants who have chosen not to attend.
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The Teen Lit Fest in Humble is a huge deal for renowned writers of young adult fiction and the kids they're writing for. Which is why it's a huge deal that half of the authors have dropped out of the January 2011 festival.

It all started when an Humble ISD librarian complained to some influential parents about New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins, who was scheduled to appear at the festival. (Hopkins writes about cheery subjects like drug addiction, suicide, and religious intolerance.) Houston Press reports.

Those parents then allegedly bent the ear of Superintendent Guy Sconzo, who ordered another librarian to uninvite Hopkins -- even though she had already appeared at two of the festivals Humble-area high schools, without causing any of the teenagers to slit their wrists, become pregnant, or turn to prostitution to subsidize chronic substance-abuse problems.

When fellow writer and invitee Pete Hautman heard about it, he decided to drop out of the festival, and, according to his blog three more writers have dropped out -- Melissa de la Cruz, Tara Lynn Childs and Matt de la Pena. -- Read More

Banned Book To Be Read at Show in New Jersey

Critics of a decision to pull a gay-themed book from two local libraries will stage a protest this weekend -- by reading aloud from the controversial work.

Sunday's free show at a Cinnaminson theater marks the South Jersey debut of a theater group that supports the book, "Revolutionary Voices" an anthology of first-person pieces by gay youths.

Brandon Monokian, a 23-year-old actor-director from Passaic County, formed the group after the book was ordered removed in May from the library at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly. That decision followed a citizen's complaint over the book's sexual content. "Revolutionary Voices," which won an award when it was published in 1990, also was removed this spring from the Burlington County Library.

"This book is a valuable resource to youths who might have questions about their lives, and the fact that a small group of people could have it banned is upsetting," said Monokian, a Lumberton native and a 2005 graduate of Rancocas Valley.

Here's an editorial from the South Brunswick Post in response to the book having been removed from both school and public libraries.

Google Search Engine Is Blocked in China

Google said it was the first time the site had been blocked since March.

Full story in the NYT:
http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/29/google-search-engine-is-blocked-in-china/?ref=techn...

New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history

New Jersey ACLU open records requests show book removal decisions history
The New Jersey ACLU filed an open records request and uncovered some email documents at libraries that have removed Revolutionary Voices from their shelves.

An active censorship campaign is underway in New Jersey, to remove a book entitled Revolutionary Voices, edited by Amy Sonnie, an anthology of literature and art recommended by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Educational Alliance. A conservative group told the Philadelphia Inquirer l that the book, which contains some sexually explicit material, is "pervasively vulgar, obscene, and inappropriate.”

Would Kagan Ban Books?

The NY Sun's air tight legal analysis says books no, but, pamphlets yes... "Let us just say that these columns have been covering the courts since 1933, and it’s hard to recall an exchange before the high bench more unsettling in respect of our basic liberty to conduct a free and robust election debate."

Libraries Fight Challenges to Graphic Novels

At the recent Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo, a librarian from Jessamine County, Kentucky, spoke firsthand about dealing with calls for censorship in his library, and an expert from the American Library Association discussed how to handle challenges to graphic novels at the panel titled "Burn It, Hide It, Misshelve It, Steal It, Ban It! Dealing with Graphic Novel Censorship in Your Library."

Full article at Publisher's Weekly

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