Censoring kids’ books is difficult

Redcardlibrarian writes “Quote of the week

“The Constitution exists precisely so that opinions and judgments, including esthetic and moral judgments about art and literature, can be formed, tested and expressed. What the Constitution says is that these judgments are for the individual to make, not for the government to decree, even with the mandate or approval of the majority…”

— Anthony Kennedy, Supreme Court Justice, in United States et al. v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc.

A RECENT POSTING on the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC) listserv caught my attention. A library school student asked the list members for comments or opinions on book censorship in schools. One of the members of this list posted a link to a blog called “Let them read books!” (letthemread.blogspot.com).

It is written by Mary Zdrojewski, who is a graduate student in the School Library Media program in the University of Buffalo’s School of Information. She begins with a description of a children’s literature class she took a few years ago and the short amount of time given to discussing the censorship or challenges of children’s literature.

What she finds most difficult is they were given complaint forms and rote answers, and an effort was made to avoid conflict by avoiding certain books. Isn’t this censorship, she asks?

Contra Costa Times