Rather than an introduction this week, a number of groups working toward combatting book bans suggested polling readers on a few different topics to gauge where and how Book Riot and others can be more helpful for you.
This survey is short, but it will be extremely helpful for all of us. It asks for what and how we can provide the information, tools, and resources you need to get on the ground or keep your energy and activism alive.
The form will close August 1, and all responses are anonymous. Ask away–there are no dumb or obvious questions or comments when it comes to this fight.
Book Censorship News: July 22, 2022
- Launching with (the only?) good news: Salem-Keizer Public Schools (OR) will not be removing Gender Queer from shelves.
- Loyalty Books, a DC bookstore, experienced protesters at their Drag story time.
- Parents held a “teach in” to challenge the board’s decision to reject the use of a book about Japanese American internment in Muskego-Norway schools (WI).
- “Two copies of a book that a Lafayette Public Library [LA] patron wanted banned were removed anyway, one as part of a routine discard process, the other for unknown reasons, the library director said Friday.” Unknown reasons? Sure.
- In Livingston Parish (LA), several books came under fire at the board meeting. More details of the meeting are here.
- Independence, Missouri, schools have banned a book about cats fighting robots because of a nonbinary character in the story. Read that sentence a few times.
- 200+ people showed up to the Ashland Public Library (OH) board meeting to complain about health books they believe are pornographic. It was led by a Baptist pastor who led prayer circles. No one actually filed a formal complaint, though.
- A neighborhood association in Los Angeles, California, wanted to restrict access to the graphic novel The Best We Could Do from children in the LA Public Library. The group considered it “obscene” but because the letter did not pass the association’s own vote, it did not go on to the library. This is…a bizarre story.
- “More than two dozen parents spoke before the Boone County Schools Board of Education Thursday night on a topic that wasn’t on the agenda – books related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) themes.” This is in Kentucky.
- In Forest, Virginia, the public library heard complaints about their Pride display and while they did not take it down, they moved it to a “less visible” area. That’s the opposite of Pride.
- All of this nonsense and the new purposefully-challenging-to-follow collection development policy in Roanoake County schools (VA) over a challenge to and ban of When Aiden Became a Brother.
- Bedford County Public Schools (VA) will launch this fall a new system where every book checked out by students will trigger a notice to their parents. Every. Book. This is opt-out, not opt-in. Not only will this do incredible damage to kids who need to borrow books on topics that are sensitive, but it will lead them to false information they can find online. This comes after Follett said their library management system would not be implementing this; the libraries in the district use Follett.
- “After a Boundary County Library Board meeting was canceled “in the interest of public safety,” community members descended on the library Monday to show their support through messages of encouragement and gratitude on the nearby sidewalks.” This is in Idaho, where one of their lawmakers encourages harassment.
- The Miami-Dade School Board (FL) rejected a sex ed textbook because of the new “Don’t Say Gay” law, meaning the school district will have no sex ed curriculum for an undetermined amount of time.
- The harassment of educators (and library workers!) will continue to move online.
- A fantastic piece from American Theater about how these bans won’t stop at books.
Finally, a thread I shared on Twitter this week about one of the leaders in censorship and his latest plan to target educators. This is a hard read, but it’s necessary and a reminder that these hard reads are meant to help you formulate a plan to stay safe because folks like this do not care about you. They care about their agenda.
Also In This Story Stream
- The Landmine of Common Sense Media: Book Censorship News, March 1, 2024
- What Updates Should Library Collection Policies Include?: Book Censorship News, February 23, 2024
- Targeting Demographic Data to Skew Reality: Book Censorship News, February 16, 2024
- Why Do We Even Read?: Book Censorship News, February 9, 2024
- American Intolerance and Book Bans: Book Censorship News, February 2, 2024
- The Library Trust Matrix: Book Censorship News, January 26, 2024
- Be Your Own Library Advocate: Book Censorship News, January 19, 2024
- Book Banning Will Not Stop at Schools: Book Censorship News, January 12, 2024
- Data Overwhelmingly Supports Libraries and Library Workers: Book Censorship News, January 5, 2024
- Partial Victory in Iowa Book Ban Lawsuit: Book Censorship News, December 29, 2023