Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Preparing for Challenges

To be a reponsible LMS one must be prepared. I have mentioned briefly what to do if the materials in ones library are challenged and I also spoke about the office of intellectual freedom which can be found on the ALA site. While researching this topic I found another good site about preparing for challenges.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Interesting Site

Here is an interesting site I found about popular banned/challenged books. They describe what the book is about and what groups are responsible and what their issues are.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

One of my Favorites

I love Dav Pilkey the author of the Captain Underpants Series! I have a son who is quite bright but yet I had to force him to sit down and read for his daily reading log requirement. I picked up some Captain Underpants Books and now my son will take the book on his own time and go up to his room to read. Mr. Pilkey has been banned and challenged due to what others feel is improper behavior and fears that chidlren will act out! Again when dealing with cencsorship, someone or a group is trying to do what they think is best and taking away others rights to view certain materials. This series has been such a success with young boys that have a hard time getting into reading, it is sad when others try to take away these books. Here is an interview with Mr. Pilkey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Frightful Halloween Authors

Just in time for Halloween, check out an interview with R.L. Stine. He is another popular banned/challenged author. R.L. Stine
Another fun site speaking about author J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter Series). Rowling

Have a spooky halloween and read as many scary banned/challenged books as possible!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

An Author's Point of View

I think on my upcoming posts, I would like to focus on authors and how they feel when their work has been banned or challenged. Judy Blume one of the most successful and banned/challenged authors, is a great example! Writers don't write to become banned, they write to express themselves. For me as a reader and a future librarian, protector of intellectual freedom ( I sound like a super hero) it is frustrating when wonderful books are banned/challenged yet for the author it must be even more so.
Judy Blume

Devil's Advocate

Oh I hate to post this site. But one must see the other side to defeat them! The link posted below is a website call the Citizens for Library Standards in schools. Really just a censorhip group. This is their mission statement: "The spirit of this Web site is to encourage the public schools to help our children develop a love of reading and gain a rigorous literary education through excellent literature choices. " They basically are saying that books that have any sexual themes are pornography. What infuriates me most about these groups is insinuating that if a book has any sexual contact, the teen reader is going to out and do absolutely that! Teen readers need to be exposed to a variety of books and content. If a book is a describing an action it doesn't mean that the author is saying go ahead and do it. These censorship groups don't look at the whole work and the action that is offending them, in context to what is going on in the story!! These parents need to worry about their own children and not take others rights away.
http://www.classkc.org/ yuck
and another one:

A Good Week

Well it has been a good week school and life wise! I finished all my assignments early for next week and I scored floor tickets (section 4) tickets to Depeche Mode, this has absolutely nothing to do with my blog but I am so bloody happy I have to let the world know. Any way back to business.... I found this wonderful blog on Intellectual Freedom, primarily looking at teen reads. You should check it out. http://www.teenlibrarian.com/blog.html

Monday, October 10, 2005

Latest Group Trying to Ban Books (video link)

It's so warming to see ignorant people trying to ban sex education books from the library, NOT! Enjoy this video from Library Link of the Day


PBS Intellectual Freedom Site


Here is a great and interesting site about intellectual freedom dealing with not just books, but the arts and freedom of expression in general. It is a great site for anyone who is interested in freedom of any kind and a valuable resource for teachers discussing this topic.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Librarians Unite for Banned and Challenged Books Week!

From September 25-October 1st Libraries around the world observe Banned Books Week. You can thank Librarians for stopping many challenged books from ever becoming banned! During this week we emphasize the importance of books that have been baned and the cultural significance of this activity. Deck your halls with banned and challenged books. A great activity for middle school would be a reading group focusing on a banned book of their choice and a discussion with refreshments. The librarian can discuss why do the children think that the book was banned and the importance of intellectual freedom.

Top Ten Banned Books from 2004

Here is the ALA's list of top ten banned or challenged books from 2004. It should be noted that the ALA has an Office of Intellectual Freedom where people can go to when a book in their library has been challenged. They provide a kit for those who have been challenged and protocol to follow in the event that should come up. Never just accept a challenge, it needs to be addressed through the right channels. Usually the librarian will try to speak to the parent for example first explain that there are other books that their child can be directed to if they are upset with something rather than taking away someone else's right to the offensive material. Then if they are still upset you can ask that they right a formal letter of complaint to the principal. Often they won't take the matter further if they feel their concerns have been addressed. Sometimes they do follow up and then it falls in the hands of the administration. But if your library has a protocol for this type of thing and the reasons why your books have been chosen, you have covered all your bases. The rest would then be left to the administration.

"The Chocolate War" for sexual content, offensive language, religious viewpoint, being unsuited to age group and violence

"Fallen Angels" by Walter Dean Myers, for racism, offensive language and violence

"Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture" by Michael A. Blacklist, for inaccuracy and political viewpoint

Captain Underpants series by Dav piles, for offensive language and modeling bad behavior

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" by Stephen Chbosky, for homosexuality, sexual content and offensive language

"What My Mother Doesn't Know" by Sonya son's, for sexual content and offensive language

"In the Night Kitchen" by Maurice sends, for nudity and offensive language

"King & King" by Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, for homosexuality

"I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, for racism, homosexuality, sexual content, offensive language and unsuited to age group

"Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, for racism, offensive language and violence

Top 20 Banned or Challenged Books of all Time

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Catcher in the Rye, JD
The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
Ulysses, James Joyce
Beloved, Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
1984, George Orwell
The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
Charlotte's Web, EB White
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm, George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway


Why and Who??

People ban or try to ban books for various different reasons. They may feel that the content is inappropriate for children of a certain age group, has bad language, or because of religious beliefs. What is so infuriating is that it is fine if they don't want to read something but to protest and try to ban a book from a public or school library and take away someone else's freedom to access the material is an infringement of the First Amendment.
Books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information. Censorship can be subtle, almost imperceptible, as well as blatant and overt, but, nonetheless, harmful. As John Stuart Mill wrote in On Liberty.

Who:Throughout history, more and different kinds of people and groups of all persuasions than you might first suppose, who, for all sorts of reasons, have attempted—and continue to attempt—to suppress anything that conflicts with or anyone who disagrees with their own beliefs

Top 20 Banned Books 1990-2000

The top ten banned books from 1990-2000:

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel