Submitted by birdie on September 28, 2010 - 8:42am
The sign on the podium from which Mary Siegle reads a passage from “Catcher in the Rye” says: THINK for yourself and let others do the same. Kansas State is celebrating Banned Books Week.
This event has been taking place since 2006, during American Library Association's Banned Books Week. This year's event began Monday and will continue through Friday.
According to the Office of Intellectual Freedom, there are many specific reasons why books are banned, but the top three reported are: inappropriate language, sexually explicit material and being "unsuited to any age group."
Many famous, classic novels - some of which are required reading in many high school English curricula - are part of the list of banned and challenged books. For example: "The Great Gatsby," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "The Color Purple" and "Gone with the Wind."
"It's important to raise awareness of the dangers of censorship and banning books," said Naomi Wood, associate professor of English. "When books are censored and banned, too often it means that information is being suppressed. Often, individuals want to prevent everyone from accessing information that perhaps only they and a few people like them find objectionable."
K-State Collegian has the story.
Submitted by birdie on September 27, 2010 - 8:28pm
Harry Potter and Huck Finn never met in their adventures, but they'll share a shelf at libraries across America during Banned Books Week, Sept. 25 to Oct. 2. The weeklong celebration of our freedom to read began in 1982 in response to an increase in the number of books being challenged in the nation's libraries and schools.
From DePauw University, Greencastle, IN: Banned Books Week has continued annually, and its need has not diminished. According to the American Library Association's (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom, there were 460 recorded attempts to remove materials from libraries last year and many thousands more since the organization began counting in 1990.
Three books by Lauren Myracle -- ttyl, ttfn, and l8r, g8r -- topped the ALA's Top Ten List of the Most Frequently Challenged Books of 2009 (see article below). Written entirely in texting shorthand, Myracle's books were challenged for sexual content and drug references. Stephenie Meyer's popular Twilight series was challenged on religious grounds, evoking opposition to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels for promoting witchcraft. And it's not just new books that are being challenged. Classics such as Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird and J.D. Salinger's Catcher in the Rye are perennial contenders for the distinction of being the most challenged book.
Submitted by birdie on September 27, 2010 - 8:56am
Lauren Myracle, author of ttyl and Luv Ya Bunches, two frequently challenged books, writes about the phenomenon of Banned Books. She says that parents anger springs from fear. Grown-ups who care about what kids read aren't the enemy.
From Shelf Awareness: As 2009's number one most frequently challenged author in the country (Mom, cover your ears), I often catch flack for writing about topics that certain parents, teachers and librarians would prefer I didn't. Like what? Like a teenager kissing her female best friend, or high school kids drinking too much and doing really stupid things, or a discussion of the pros and cons of thongs.
I've also come under fire for writing (lovingly) about a fifth-grader who has two moms, as well as a boy who won't join the Boy Scouts because of the Boy Scouts' discriminatory policies. Biology gets me in trouble, too. For example, parents get all kinds of upset about a scene in one of my novels in which a 12-year-old girl sits down with a box of tampons and attempts to make heads and tails of the dense instruction pamphlet.
In grappling with issues surrounding censorship, I've come to the conclusion that the enemy--at least in part--is the inevitable us/them dichotomy that arises in discussions of intellectual freedom.
Submitted by Bearkat on September 25, 2010 - 3:12pm
"Banned books are a sign of an oppressive regime. That said, forcing age-inappropriate reading materials on youngsters not ready to deal with the material -- and doing so just for the sake of a bigger principle -- is just as oppressive..." Read more at <a href=http://news.yahoo.com/s/ynews/ynews_ts3726>Yahoo News</a>
Submitted by birdie on September 22, 2010 - 7:29am
Submitted by birdie on September 21, 2010 - 1:20pm
Interesting analysis from Philip Nel's blog Nine Kinds of Pie:
When I posted news of my “Censoring Children’s Literature” course last month, several people (well, OK, one person …maybe two) expressed an interest in hearing more about the course. So, given that Banned Books Week is coming up next week, here’s an update. Having lately been examining two versions of Hugh Lofting’s Doctor Dolittle (1920, 1988) and three versions of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964, 1973, 1998), we’ve been addressing this question: Do Bowdlerized texts alter the ideological assumptions of the original? The answer is more complicated than you might think.
Blog entry here.
Submitted by birdie on September 16, 2010 - 12:36pm
From Alaska Dispatch:
Alaska librarians and bookstore owners are nervous about new laws they say stifle Alaskans' First Amendment rights -- and after trying unsuccessfully to address their concerns with the governor, they say they've got no choice but to sue.
Despite warnings that their attempts to crack down on the ability of sexual predators to entice minors online were seriously flawed, this spring Alaska state legislators and Gov. Sean Parnell went ahead and passed changes to Alaska law that critics claim are unconstitutional.
Senate Bill 222, sponsored by Parnell and introduced to the Legislature at his request, is intended to toughen the state's human trafficking, sex offense and child pornography laws through increased jail time and more ways for cops to close in on offenders. At the bill signing earlier this year, Parnell touted the legislation, in concert with other crime bills passed that same day, as a package of laws that "better protects children and all victims of assault."
Incidentally, the anonymous poster who sent in this news item wrote that his/her submission triggered the installed spam filter on the computer and would not be accepted.
Submitted by birdie on September 10, 2010 - 11:49am
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.
Submitted by effinglibrarian on September 10, 2010 - 8:05am
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.
Submitted by birdie on September 8, 2010 - 6:03pm
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.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on September 4, 2010 - 2:31pm
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.
Submitted by birdie on August 23, 2010 - 9:12am
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.
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.
Submitted by birdie on August 20, 2010 - 9:54am
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.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on July 30, 2010 - 5:17pm
Submitted by Blake on July 24, 2010 - 1:20pm
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.”
Submitted by Blake on May 14, 2010 - 6:51am
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."
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 29, 2010 - 10:33am
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
Submitted by ahniwa on April 28, 2010 - 10:51am
A cautionary tale about copyright, and the <a href="http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/library/index.php/2010/04/the-perils-of-automatic-copyright-protection/">automated systems that enforce it</a>.
If you post a video on YouTube, using one of their very own video creation tools, don't you expect it to go up and be viewable without any problems? Because of YouTube's Content ID system, it might not be so easy ...
Read the full story <a href="http://blogs.sos.wa.gov/library/index.php/2010/04/the-perils-of-automatic-copyright-protection/">here</a>.
Submitted by Bibliofuture on April 25, 2010 - 10:46pm
"Catcher in the Rye" is passed out in class on South Park. You can watch the full episode here. This is South Park. If you click on the link expect to hear profanity.
Submitted by birdie on February 18, 2010 - 1:41pm
A citizen of the Fond du Lac School District has added more books to a list she wants banned from the schools.
The school district has scheduled a reconsideration hearing for 6:30 p.m. today at Fond du Lac High School to hear public comment on Ann Wentworth's request to have the book "One of Those Hideous Books Where the Mother Dies" by Sonya Sones taken off the shelves of Fond du Lac school libraries.
The popular young adult book is being challenged by Wentworth as inappropriate for students of middle school age. In addition, Wentworth is asking the district to review the following six library books at Theisen Middle School:
# "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" by Ann Brashares.
# "The Second Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Girls in Pants "The Third Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood" by Ann Brashares.
# "Get Well Soon" by Julie Halpern.
# "What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya Sones.
Several interested persons have signed up to speak at Thursday's hearing. The district reconsideration committee will be asked to begin scheduling dates to review the other six books in question. Each book will be considered individually, according to the Fond du Lac School District.
Fond du Lac Reporter has the story.