Submitted by SafeLibraries on March 9, 2011 - 11:10pm
<a href="http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2011/03/ala-joins-cair-to-oppose-radicalization.html">ALA Joins CAIR to Oppose Radicalization Hearings Sponsored by Congressman Pete King</a>
Submitted by Lee Hadden on March 1, 2011 - 10:20am
There is an article in the Monday Guardian, "Banned books return to shelves in Egypt and TunisiaWorks by censored authors available again in wake of revolutions." by Benedicte Page. It talks about how books banned in Tunisia and Egypt by the repressive government are now appearing in bookstores and other locations.
"Alexis Krikorian, director of the Freedom to Publish programme at the IPA, said the emergence of these and other formerly banned books within Tunisia was "very good news". Whether censorship still existed with regard to new titles was a separate issue, he added, but it was likely that the legal submission procedure, which under the old regime had been misused to block books at their printers, "no longer applies".
Anecdotal reports are also emerging of once suppressed titles appearing for impromptu sale on street corners and newspaper kiosks across Egypt. Salwa Gaspard of joint English/Arabic language publisher Saqi Books said accounts in the Arabic press told of books that had been hidden for years in private basements now once more seeing the light of day.
Cairo is also to hold a book fair in Tahrir Square – the focus for protests against former president Hosni Mubarak – at the end of March, according to Trevor Naylor of the American University of Cairo Press bookshop, which is based in the square. Naylor told the Bookseller that the event had been planned in the wake of the cancelled Cairo Book Fair, which was abandoned in January in the face of growing political unrest.
Submitted by birdie on January 28, 2011 - 10:18am
From The Irish Times:
LOOKING OUT the window of her bookshop on Avenue Bouguiba, where two dozen curious faces are pressed against the pane to catch a glimpse at her latest display, Selma Jabbes is a picture of quiet satisfaction.
The crowds outside the Al Kitab bookshop are staring at a selection of newly arrived titles under the heading Livres interdits , a selection of books banned under the regime of deposed president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali and now freely available for the first time.
Most concern Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi, political repression, Islamism and corruption in the regime.
Al Kitab is still awaiting delivery of its first order of banned books from Europe; those in the window were donated by readers and put on display “to give an idea of how we suffered here”, says Jabbes, a softly-spoken woman greeted by name by many of her customers.
Under Ben Ali’s rule, booksellers required a visa from the interior ministry for every work they wanted to import, and the process could take several months. The list of sensitive subject matter was long and ever-changing, but virtually every foreign title that touched on the president or his entourage, or which denigrated his policies, was strictly prohibited.
Submitted by StephenK on January 27, 2011 - 8:54pm
Submitted by birdie on January 27, 2011 - 11:52am
The Enfield Public Library and town officials have reached a compromise that will allow a screening of the Michael Moore documentary "Sicko" about the American health care system.
Mayor Scott Kaupin tells The Associated Press that the library will show the movie in the next few weeks as part of a series that will include multiple points of view on controversial topics.
The library last week canceled a planned screening of the movie, which is critical of the U.S. health care system, after the Republican mayor and some town council members objected.
That led to accusations of censorship.
Kaupin says the issue was not whether the film should be shown, but whether the library should offer just one side of the health care debate.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 21, 2010 - 10:26am
Apple became the latest company to step back from WikiLeaks when they removed an unofficial WikiLeaks app from the App Store.
According to TechCrunch, Apple approved the app earlier this month and added it to the store. The WikiLeaks app cost $1.99 and allowed you to simply view the content of WikiLeaks.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 19, 2010 - 6:46pm
It's like 1984 all over again.
Amazon may be in the process of stirring up some more trouble for itself thanks to reports that the company is deleting certain kinds of erotica from both the online store and users' devices. The erotica in question is controversial: it talks about certain acts of incest. Judging from Amazon's most recent bouts with book "censorship," users who have already paid for the deleted content are likely to get fired up.
The article goes on to say how one customer who complained about how their content that they paid for disappeared from their Kindle received only chastising remarks from Amazon about the severity of the item they purchased.
Meanwhile, the Strict Leather Forced Orgasm Belt remains on the virtual shelves of online retailer.
Submitted by birdie on December 15, 2010 - 2:18pm
The National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) recently recognized author Lauren Myracle, school librarian Dee Ann Venuto, and 19-year-old college student Jordan Allen for fighting against censorship in schools.
NCAC's annual "Celebration of Free Speech and Its Defenders" ceremony in New York City brought together more than 150 authors, publishers, and First Amendment advocates to celebrate the work of the 36-year-old organization.
Venuto, a media specialist at the Rancocoas Valley High School in Mount Holly, NJ, was honored for her efforts to keep a list of gay-themed books on her library shelves. The titles Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology (Alyson, 2000) edited by Amy Sonnie.
Venuto followed her district's materials review policy, which outlines the steps that must be taken when library materials or other instructional material are questioned, when a local grassroots organization called the 9/12 Group challenged the books, drawing media attention.
Venuto says she's grateful to NCAC for spreading the word about the challenge and for the professional and personal support they gave her.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on December 14, 2010 - 12:52am
A New Hampshire couple is asking a school board to remove a book that refers to Jesus Christ as a "wine-guzzling vagrant" and let a committee of parents rate all other books taught in their son's high school.
The 2001 book is called "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America
" It documents author Barbara Ehrenreich's attempts to live on minimum wage.
Dennis and Aimee Taylor have complained to Bedford High School officials about the book and have removed their son from the school at his request. They also object to obscenities in the book.
On Monday, they accused officials of either being careless in choosing books or intentionally pushing the author's views.
School board members took no action because they're waiting to hear from the district's curriculum committee.
Full article here
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 9, 2010 - 8:15am
Among its many services, Amazon.com offers hosting for websites in the form of data storage. When Wikileaks dumped a massive cache of diplomatic cables onto the Internet, it didn't take long for some technologically minded people to find out that Amazon had been hosting Wikileaks' data and content for quite some time. Yet, after the blow up over the cables, Amazon tossed Wikileaks from their servers, siting violations of their terms of service.
So make of this what you will, but Amazon UK is selling a Kindle version of the Wikileaks data. You can also have a look at the customer comments.
Submitted by Anonymous Patron (not verified) on December 8, 2010 - 9:55pm
The Congressional Research Service is seeking guidance on the use of information revealed by Wikileaks. CRS researchers can use all the resources of one of the world's greatest libraries, BUT they are prohibited from using a website that's easily accessible to the average fifth-grader. Does this impede their mission to provide accurate and reliable reports to Congress?
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 3, 2010 - 5:54pm
From The Guardian:
The Library of Congress tonight joined the education department, the commerce department and other government agencies in confirming that the ban is in place.
Although thousands of leaked cables are freely available on the Guardian, New York Times and other newspaper websites, as well as the WikiLeaks site, the Obama administration insists they are still classified and, as such, have to be protected.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 2, 2010 - 8:35am
The Smithsonian Museum has been under pressure from Catholics and congressmen to pull pieces of an exhibit focusing on homosexuality and homosexual Americans. From NPR:
At least one critic has accused the Smithsonian of caving in to pressure from Catholics and from two Republican members of Congress. Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia called the exhibition "an outrageous use of taxpayer money." A spokesperson for incoming House Speaker John Boehner told The Hill newspaper that "Smithsonian officials should either acknowledge the mistake or be prepared to face tough scrutiny beginning in January."
More from NPR.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 15, 2010 - 1:04pm
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 14, 2010 - 12:14pm
Amazon is backpedaling after initially coming to the defense of one of its electronic book authors, a man selling a how-to-guide for pedophiles.
"Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable," the company said in a statement. However, after receving massive media attention, the book self-published by Phillip R. Greaves II, The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-lover's Code of Conduct, has been removed quietly from the Kindle store.
This latest action further highlights how Amazon seemingly has no idea how to defuse a public relations nightmare; has sketchy business ethics; and apparently lacks a quality control mechanism to prevent more of these publicity headaches. Here are some takeaways from Amazon's fiasco.
Full blog post here
Submitted by Bibliofuture on November 11, 2010 - 10:35am
Greenwich's top educator is defending the use of a handout sheet of literary passages containing racial, ethnic and gender slurs that was part of a homework assignment on free speech and censorship in the middle schools.
An "appetizer" to a project coinciding with the American Library Association's Banned Books Week, which took place in early October and celebrated the First Amendment, the handout was intended to get students to think about why certain literary classics are considered taboo, said Sidney Freund, the superintendent of schools.
Submitted by Blake on October 28, 2010 - 8:53am
Book Bans and Challenges, 2007-2010 Mapped
Hundreds of books are challenged in schools and libraries in the United States each year. A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, while a banning reflects the actual removal of those materials. The American Library Association (ALA) provides confidential support to teachers and librarians and tracks challenges that occur. ALA recorded 460 challenges in 2009 but estimates that this reflects only 20-25% of actual incidents, as most challenges are never reported.
This map is drawn from cases documented by ALA and the Kids' Right to Read Project, a collaboration of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression. Details are available in ALA's "Books Banned and Challenged 2007-2008; 2008-2009; and 2009-2010,"and the "Kids' Right to Read Project Report."
Submitted by birdie on September 30, 2010 - 2:47pm
Further to our earlier story about an associate professor at Missouri State U. who referred to the young adult novel "Speak" as "soft pornography," the Penguin Young Readers Group has taken out a full page ad in today’s New York Times to defend the novel by Laurie Halse Anderson.
In an op-ed piece earlier this month in the Missouri News-Leader, Wesley Scoggins wrote that Speak was not appropriate for students of the Republic School District and also challenged Slaughterhouse-Five and Twenty Boy Summer.
From Publishers Weekly: “That such a decorated book could be challenged is disturbing,” said Penguin’s Shanta Newlin about the decision to run an ad. With Banned Books Week now in full swing (Sept. 25-Oct. 2), Penguin believes the ad points to the larger issue of books still being challenged in large numbers across the country, Newlin added. The ad, in fact, notes that "every day in this country, people are being told what they can and can't read," and it asks Times readers to "read the book. Decide for yourself."
Submitted by birdie on September 28, 2010 - 12:26pm
For an event like Banned Books Week, it never hurts to have a cause célèbre, and this year, organizers needn’t have gone very far in search of one. They just had to turn to Twitter, where people have been rallying behind the young-adult author Laurie Halse Anderson, whose best-selling 1999 novel, “Speak,” has found itself at the center of a heated censorship debate.
Earlier this month, Anderson posted a series of messages about a Missouri man who wanted “Speak” removed from the high school curriculum in his school district. The man, Wesley Scroggins, an associate professor of management at Missouri State University, wrote an opinion article for The Springfield News-Leader in which he said that “Speak” — as well as Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five” and Sarah Ockler’s “Twenty Boy Summer” — should be classified as “soft pornography.” (“Speak,” for the record, is the story of a high school girl who is raped by an acquaintance but then tells no one, is ostracized as a result of rumors about the episode, and becomes virtually mute. It was nominated for the 1999 National Book Award and was a Printz Honor title in 2000.)