Submitted by Blake on June 8, 2009 - 11:56am
'A writer's life and work are not a gift to mankind; they are its necessity', Nobel laureate tells launch of the Free Speech Leadership Council.
"Certain kinds of trauma visited on peoples are so deep, so cruel, that unlike money, unlike vengeance, even unlike justice, or rights, or the goodwill of others, only writers can translate such trauma and turn sorrow into meaning, sharpening the moral imagination."
Submitted by Lee Hadden on June 2, 2009 - 8:55am
Egypt's candidate to head the UN cultural organisation, Farouk Hosny, apologises for anti-Israeli remarks in May 2008.
Farouk Hosny, who is Egypt's culture minister, expressed "solemn regret" over a May 2008 pledge to burn Israeli books in Egyptian libraries.
Israel withdrew its protest about Mr Hosny's candidature following a request from Egypt's President, Hosni Mubarak.
But Jewish European cultural groups continued to object to the candidacy.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 28, 2009 - 11:09am
Published in conjunction with the PEN American Center, Burn This Book is a powerful collection of essays that explore the meaning of censorship and the power of literature to inform the way we see the world, and ourselves.
More info here.
Submitted by shelfcheck on May 24, 2009 - 1:15pm
On a question posted to Yahoo! Answers, a high school student asks, Is it OK to run an illegal library from my locker at school?, then continues:
"Let me explain.
I go to a private school that is rather strict. Recently, the principal and school teacher council released a (very long) list of books we're not allowed to read. I was absolutely appalled, because a large number of the books were classics and others that are my favorites. One of my personal favorites, The Catcher in the Rye, was on the list, so I decided to bring it to school to see if I would really get in trouble. Well... I did but not too much. Then (surprise!) a boy in my English class asked if he could borrow the book, because he heard it was very good AND it was banned! This happened a lot and my locker got to overflowing with the banned books, so I decided to put the unoccupied locker next to me to a good use. I now have 62 books in that locker, about half of what was on the list. I took care only to bring the books with literary quality. Some of these books are:
>The Perks of Being a Wallflower
>His Dark Materials trilogy
>The Canterbury Tales
>The Divine Comedy
>Interview with the Vampire
>The Hunger Games
>The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
>A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
>The Evolution of Man
> the Holy Qu'ran
... and lots more.
Submitted by birdie on May 21, 2009 - 5:13pm
A media specialist and several high school students are suing two school districts in Tennessee for unconstitutionally blocking access to online information about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) issues.
Librarian Karyn Stort-Brinks, students Keila Franks and Emily Logan, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and Knox County Schools. Franks and Logan attend Hume-Fogg High School in Nashville. Knox News reports.
Submitted by StephenK on May 21, 2009 - 1:36pm
Submitted by Blake on May 18, 2009 - 3:30pm
A teachers union in MA says the principal should be fired for trying to hock her book on school grounds. A Lawrence school principal has been placed on leave while the administration investigates teachers union allegations that she promoted her racy romance novel during faculty meetings.
Superintendent Wilfredo Laboy tells The Eagle-Tribune that Oliver School Principal Beth Gannon is "emotionally fragile" because of the accusation. He says Gannon wrote "Crazy Fortunes" before she started working in the city's schools.
Submitted by Lee Hadden on May 5, 2009 - 4:55pm
"Why Jane Fonda Is Banned in Beirut: Anti-Semitism leads to startling censorship in Lebanon." Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2009, Opinion. By WILLIAM MARLING
Censorship is a problem throughout the Arabic-speaking world. Though a signatory of the Florence Agreement, the Academy of Islamic Research in Egypt, through its censorship board al-Azhar, decides what may not be printed: Nobel Prize winner Naghib Mahfouz's "Awlad Haratina" (The Sons of the Medina) was found sacrilegious and only printed in bowdlerized form in Egypt in 2006. Saudi Arabia sponsors international book fairs in Riyadh, but Katia Ghosn reported in L'Orient that it sends undercover agents into book stores regularly.
Works that could stimulate dialogue in Lebanon are perfunctorily banned. "Waltz with Bashir," an Israeli film of 2008, is banned -- even though it alleges that Ariel Sharon was complicit in the Sabra and Shatilla massacres. According to the Web site Monstersandcritics, however, "Waltz with Bashir" became an instant classic in the very Palestinian camps it depicts, because it is the only history the younger generation has. But how did those copies get there?
The answer is also embarrassing. Just as it ignores freedom of circulation, Lebanon also ignores international copyright laws. Books of all types are routinely photocopied for use in high schools and universities. As for DVDs, you have only to mention a title and a pirated copy appears. "Slumdog Millionaire" was available in video shops before it opened in the U.S.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on May 5, 2009 - 10:30am
Hailed for its bracing portrait of a future media-addled society victimized by the systematic burning of all books, Ray Bradbury's classic science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451 is the perfect work to highlight issues of censorship and the freedom to read. And in August, Farrar, Straus & Giroux's Hill and Wang imprint will republish the book to do just that. The house will publish a comics adaptation of the novel—“a graphic translation”—created by artist Tim Hamilton, overseen by Ray Bradbury himself and supported by an elaborate marketing campaign that will peg the book to the American Library Association's Banned Books Week in September as well as a host of educational, book trade and comics industry events and promotions.
Full story at Publisher's Weekly
Submitted by birdie on April 29, 2009 - 2:58pm
Four members of a library board in West Bend, WI were dismissed last week for refusing to remove controversial books from the library’s young adult section—and yesterday, the ABFFE, the National Coalition Against Censorship, the Association of American Publishers and PEN American Center criticized the firings.
The groups sent a letter to the West Bend Common Council stating that the dismissals threatened free speech in two ways: punishing the board members for attempting to apply objective criteria in the selection of books, and pressuring the library to remove the controversial books. The letter said, “The role of a public library and its board members is to serve the entire community and to evaluate books and other library materials on the basis of objective criteria. By removing half the members of the library board, the Common Council is imposing its opinions on the rest of the community.”
The controversy began in February when two patrons complained that the library’s YA section included fiction and nonfiction books about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues. Publishers Weekly has the story.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 27, 2009 - 7:46pm
Apple pulled a baby shaking application from the Apple App's Store recently. The NYT Bits blog has a piece titled, "In Defense of Baby Shaking on the iPhone" that makes comparisons to libraries and bookstores. Some of the library refrences are in the comments to the piece.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 24, 2009 - 1:29am
Author Craig Yoe explores the risque art of the man behind Superman in his new book, Secret Identity: The Fetish Art Of Superman's Co-creator Joe Shuster.
As Yoe explains, artist Joe Shuster did not earn much money for his part in the creation of the man of steel. After suing D.C. Comics over the copyright for Superman, Shuster drew art for an obscure series of magazines called Nights Of Horror. In Secret Identity, Yoe collects Shuster's racy drawings and details the scandal and murder trial related to Nights Of Horror.
Full piece here.
Related item at The Book Calendar: The Ten-Cent Plague: The Great Comic-Book Scare and How It Changed America
Submitted by StephenK on April 23, 2009 - 2:35pm
Submitted by Pete on April 17, 2009 - 3:00pm
This post at <A HREF="http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/Science-Fiction-News.asp?NewsNum=2240">Technovelgy</A> ask the question, Could Amazon, via the Kindle, end up being the Big Brother of 1984 fame? Or at least his proxy?
"The apparent success of Amazon's wonderful Kindle has everyone's head full of blissful visions of instantly updated newspapers, books, periodicals, pamphlets, posters, leaflets, films, sound tracks, cartoons, photographs - every last error corrected and every last and most recent version included.
Submitted by Blake on April 17, 2009 - 8:10am
Four sex-related books will remain on the shelves at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library.
The Board of Trustees voted 7-3 Thursday night to keep "Sex for Busy People," ''The Lesbian Kama Sutra," ''The Joy of Sex" and "The Joy of Gay Sex" on the library's shelves. The board passed an amended version of a recommendation from Gina Millsap, the library's executive director.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on April 1, 2009 - 12:44am
Kenneth D. Gariepy: You're invited by the CLA Advisory Committee on Intellectual Freedom to participate in its <a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=RWKKQYVxVLEmmGOLOE_2b4_2fQ_3d_3d">annual Survey of Challenged Materials and Policies</a>.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on March 30, 2009 - 2:47am
Submitted by Bibliofuture on March 28, 2009 - 4:25pm
Follow-up blog entry at Comicbook.com to this story.
After watching the news story on Omaha’s KETV Channel 7 website, I did some research into the title of the book, since it’s never mentioned but the cover appears on air. The graphic novel is Spider-man Volume 2: Revelations. Written by J. Michael Straczynski, with luscious curves provided by John Romita, Jr., Revelations was published in 2002 in hardback. Both Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and the Marvel Comics website do not list the book as having been published within the last 6 years, so I don’t know why the book was reported as being new, other than the fact that it was apparently new to that library’s collection.
Now here’s where the school district might have dropped the ball in a big time way. On the copies I have been able to find, the book says in big white letters “Rated PG, Ages 12+.” This book would have been fine in middle or high school, just not in the hands of a 6-year old! Whoever reviewed this book didn’t do their job. Mrs. Svendsen has a right to complain.
Full blog entry here.
Submitted by Blake on March 25, 2009 - 9:17am
A parent's complaint over sexual content in the Mormon author's fourth novel, Breaking Dawn, coincided with the book's temporary absence from the library at Brockbank Junior High in Utah.
Officials at the Magna school purchased copies of the book some time ago, but as of Wednesday hadn't placed them on library shelves. Principal Terri Van Winkle would not say whether the delay stemmed from a parent's complaint about a honeymoon scene in which sex is implied between the central characters Bella and Edward. But Granite School District officials confirm a complaint was voiced.
Meanwhile, the school has ignored repeated complaints from another parent "appalled" by the "censorship" of a book she says promotes chastity and tolerance.
Submitted by StephenK on March 17, 2009 - 5:28pm
First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA, posted to his group blog The Volokh Conspiracy
about an attempt by the Australian government
to ban an anti-abortion website. Professor Volokh also links to the site of Mike Meloni, who has been featured in the past couple months on LISTen, who also speaks to the matter.