Submitted by StephenK on February 17, 2010 - 11:42am
Click on "Read More" to see the column as well as to get to the download link for the PDF version.
Submitted by Blake on February 11, 2010 - 3:41pm
Submitted by AndyW on January 30, 2010 - 11:48pm
"In 2007 a student working his way through college was found guilty of racial harassment for reading a book in public. Some of his co-workers had been offended by the book’s cover, which included pictures of men in white robes and peaked hoods along with the tome’s title, Notre Dame vs. the Klan. The student desperately explained that it was an ordinary history book, not a racist tract, and that it in fact celebrated the defeat of the Klan in a 1924 street fight. Nonetheless, the school, without even bothering to hold a hearing, found the student guilty of “openly reading [a] book related to a historically and racially abhorrent subject.”
Read the full story.
(Note: Trust me, it's worth the time. -AndyW)
Submitted by birdie on January 30, 2010 - 1:18pm
Check out The Huffington Post's Press Freedom Page ("some news so big it needs its own page"), with stories on how schools in Culpeper County VA have decided to stop assigning The Diary of Ann Frank; and several other stories on banned books and censorship.
Submitted by Blake on January 25, 2010 - 1:45pm
No Sex Please! We're Just Kids!:
Perhaps it's not that surprising that a mother in Menifee, California, asked the Menifee Union School District to ban all copies of the 10th edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary after her child stumbled across the term "oral sex." What is surprising, indeed horrifying, is that district officials immediately complied with her request, and pulled all dictionaries off classroom shelves throughout the Southern California school district, which serves 9,000 kids, kindergarten through eighth grade.
Submitted by Blake on January 21, 2010 - 6:31am
Submitted by Blake on January 13, 2010 - 6:55am
Google to end China censorship after e-mail breach
Google Inc. will stop censoring its search results in China and may pull out of the country completely after discovering that computer hackers had tricked human-rights activists into exposing their e-mail accounts to outsiders.
Submitted by birdie on December 8, 2009 - 12:01pm
The parents told the school board that they were never asked or even told that their children’s librarian was going to write and use profanity as part of a lesson on controversial books.
However, when they heard what happened afterwards, from their 8th grade children In West Linn, OR, the upset parents said they were furious and in disbelief. They said the teacher exposed their kids to more than a dozen curse words (ed: I bet the kids could have taught her a few more).
“There was the “F-word” written on the board. The teacher yelled them at the kids and then asked the kids to yell them back at him," said parent Elizabeth Thiede. She also explained that her child was upset by the display that was apparently carried out as part of a language arts unit at Athey Creek Middle School.
For nearly 10 years, the school has discussed banned and controversial books as part of a successful First Ammendment curriculum. But never before has profanity been used in such a way, school district officials admitted.
NWCN.com has report and video.
Submitted by Great Western Dragon on December 7, 2009 - 12:24pm
Edit: Moved the image to a server with higher transfer and bandwidth.
Submitted by AndyW on December 3, 2009 - 5:45pm
An area woman wants the Pataskala Public Library to toss out a book she considers obscene.
The book in question is Eric Marlowe Garrison's "Mastering Multiple Position Sex," billed on its back cover as a lovemaking guide.
Pataskala resident Marti Shrigley said she saw the book on display while visiting the library and found it offensive. The cover contains seminude pictures of adults, and there are instructive illustrations inside.
"This, to me, is porn, under the guise of a learning manual," Shrigley said.
Submitted by Blake on November 24, 2009 - 6:53am
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
The legislative library rebuffed demands by police lawyers who argued that the public document should be removed because it names undercover officers.
"It was pretty amazing," said Library Director Robbie LaFleur. "I have been here 20 years, and no one really has questioned these publicly available reports before."
Submitted by Blake on November 18, 2009 - 8:08am
Here's a follow up on The Jessamine County Library story (that's the place the firing of two library workers for allegedly taking matters into their own hands to prevent what they regarded as obscene material from getting into the hands of children.)
Director Critchfield can not talk about the firings, but he did say he was surprised Tuesday to receive a petition saying The Black Dossier and 3 other books represent a threat to public safety.
The petition reads in part, "This community is known to have sexual predators, and works such as these encourage those predators to act out their desires or at the very least justify their desires."
Submitted by Blake on November 12, 2009 - 1:22pm
Library employees fired over censorship of graphic novel: It has become a question of what public libraries are enshrined to do, what role they are to play in monitoring children and whether they get to decide what people get to read.
What complicates this is that the graphic novel in question meets no standard of obscenity by the law.
Submitted by birdie on October 27, 2009 - 9:03am
According to the Daily Herald, someone has been crossing out dirty words in books, and employees at the Maury County (TN) Library aren’t happy about it.
“It bothers me because nobody is holding a gun to their head making them read these books,” said Elizabeth Potts, director of the county library. “If they don’t like them, they should just return them.”
Library Director Elizabeth Potts shows one of several books which have had “dirty” words marked through. Others have editorial comments added.
Submitted by Blake on October 26, 2009 - 6:37am
Two Nicholasville librarians are fired for not allowing a kid check out a book. The women say the book contains pornographic material inappropriate for children.
The two women say they were fired last month when they wouldn't let a young girl check out a book from The League of Extraordinary Gentleman series. Now, both women say they're less concerned with their jobs and more concerned with keeping material like this out of children's hands.
Submitted by Martin on October 23, 2009 - 11:11am
A group called Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays says there's an entire community of people across the world whose sexual orientation changed from gay to straight. But they're not getting their message out because libraries refuse to carry literature that describes these experiences or any studies that support them. The group claims that their efforts to find support from ALA's Banned Book Week fell on deaf ears.
Submitted by birdie on October 21, 2009 - 4:46pm
Follow-up on yesterday's story about the potential banning of a book relating the real-life home invasion crime that took place in Cheshire, Connecticut.
Today's blog in the Hartford Courant proposes that the community keep the book ( In the Middle of the Night: The Shocking True Story of a Family Killed in Cold Blood by Brian McDonald) on the shelf and the librarian, Ramona Harten, in charge of the library.
I rise in support of Ramona Harten, the embattled librarian of Cheshire. I understand the pain and outrage that would lead a large group of Cheshire residents to resist the notion of having on their shelves a book written from the point of view of an accused killer. But it's a book. It's quite relevant to the town. It belongs on the shelves. If we ban books because we find them distasteful, we narrow our collective field of vision, and we risk replacing one of our precious freedoms with a popularity contest.
From Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" to Norman Mailer's "Executioner's Song" to several attempts to write fiction from the perspective of Lee Harvey Oswald, mind-of-the-murderer literature seems to have a place in the overall canon. I have no idea whether McDonald's book is any good. Most books like this are not particularly good. But the only way to sort out that question is for interested parties to read it and discuss it.
Submitted by Lee Hadden on October 15, 2009 - 8:32am
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an intereesting article today. "NC church plans to burn Bibles, Christian books." The Associated Press
CANTON, N.C. — A North Carolina pastor says his church plans to burn Bibles and books by Christian authors on Halloween to light a fire under true believers.
Pastor Marc Grizzard told Asheville TV station WLOS that the King James version of the Bible is the only one his small western North Carolina church follows.
Submitted by Blake on September 28, 2009 - 9:19am
Submitted by AndyW on September 24, 2009 - 7:45pm
WSJ:'To you zealots and bigots and false patriots who live in fear of discourse. You screamers and banners and burners. . . ." These are the opening lines of the official Manifesto of Banned Books Week, which starts tomorrow. This annual "national celebration of the freedom to read" is led by the American Library Association (ALA) and co-sponsored by a number of professional associations and advocacy groups. Events and displays at "hundreds" of libraries and bookstores will "draw attention to the problem of censorship" in the U.S.
As the tone of the Manifesto suggests, the sponsors are more interested in confrontation than celebration. The Banned Books Week Readout in Chicago will feature "wildly successful" and "incredibly popular" authors who will "share their experiences as targets of censors." The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression has produced posters, based on a graphic-novel adaptation of "Fahrenheit 451," to help "publicize the hundreds of attacks on books that occur every year in the United States." The ALA has launched an online U.S. "censorship map" to show how pervasive the threat is.