Check Your Shelf

Rating Systems That Don’t Need to Exist



Always books. Never boring.

Welcome to Check Your Shelf. This week, y’all. Good grief. In slightly better news, the cicada infestation is supposed to die down by the end of June…just in time for the annual cicadas to emerge! Oh joy!

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Libraries & Librarians

Cool Library Updates

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library expands in North Carolina with a new bilingual book collection.

Book Adaptations in the News

Bridgerton fans will have to wait two years for Season 4.

Netflix is adapting Agatha Christie’s The Seven Dials Mystery.

Kate Winslet is starring in the HBO adaptation of Hernan Diaz’s Trust.

John Grisham’s The Rainmaker was adapted for film in 1997, and now it’s being relaunched as a limited series.

Howard Blum’s true crime book When the Night Comes Falling: A Requiem for the Idaho Student Murders is being developed as a scripted series.

Stephen King’s The Institute is being adapted as a series, starring Ben Barnes & Mary-Louise Parker.

AMC is adding to its Anne Rice Immortal Universe with The Talamasca.

Henry Selick is developing Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Why adapting YA books is uniquely challenging.

Censorship News

States that have banned book bans.

Fighting public school book bans with the Civil Rights Act.

Why is Midwest Tape/hoopla creating a new rating system for library purchases?

This digital library offers hundreds of free LGBTQ books in response to the wave of book bans across the country.

An appeals court ordered the Llano County (TX) library system to return 8 of the 17 books that were previously banned. The other 9 are staying off shelves while the appeal plays out.

Mission CISD (TX) received a demand last month from a conservative group to potentially remove hundreds of titles from the school library. The district’s response? “Remove the books? We’re on it!”

This is in response to a (paywalled) book banning story out of San Antonio, but this tweet from TXFReadomFighters really hits the nail on the head for a lot of school districts: “We need school administrators to step up and stick to their published library reconsideration policies. When you cater to groups creating chaos they learn that is the way to do it and just come back for more.”

Houston ISD has faced some strong backlash after a photo was posted of the former library at Askew Elementary School after it had been transformed into a detention center (oops…sorry…New Education System).

Fort Bend ISD (TX) is discussing a proposed policy that would give the superintendent the power to decide when to remove a book, and they could only be challenged by the school board.

They came for the school library, and now they’re at the public library in Escambia County, Florida.

Moms for Liberty isn’t a fan of the Volusia (FL) School Board’s new Media Selection for Print and Non-Print Materials policy.

With censorship on the rise, this Providence (RI) librarian says the state needs to do more to protect libraries.

Police are investigating a bomb threat made against the Woodstock Library (NY) which was apparently made in retaliation to a recently held drag queen story hour.

Uncovering the cover-up: how the Republican Pennridge (PA) school board directors secretly banned books.

“Two children’s books are being recommended for exclusion from Carroll County [MD] public schools’ prekindergarten and kindergarten family life curriculum.” The books in question depict families other than the traditional cisgender heterosexual nuclear family model, so of course the books can’t be used.

Howard County (MD) students were mostly quiet about book bans — until now.

“In a 3-1 vote, the Rockingham County School Board voted to leave the Virginia School Board Association and join the conservative School Board member association.” Yeah, this sounds like a sensible move. They also postponed a vote on two challenged books that the review committee recommended retaining.

Two vague and dangerous book ban bills in South Carolina target public and school libraries.

(Paywalled): More about the dissolution of the Baldwin County Library Cooperative (AL).

Clean Up Alabama is fundraising for the Autauga-Prattville Public Library’s legal fees, fees that the library has because of Clean Up Alabama’s actions against the library. Make it make sense.

“A group of Limestone County citizens is hoping to raise $5,000 to hire [legal] representation to consider next steps in their fight against the Athens-Limestone Public Library [AL] board.” The fight is over representation on the Library board, but the fundraiser is being hosted on a far-right crowdfunding website, and several of the people involved have appealed to the state to intervene in funding the library until the matter of board representation is settled.

(Paywalled): Tears and questions erupt as the Shelby County (AL) library board is pushed out of office.

(Paywalled): St. Charles (MO) officials have delayed the vote to close several library branches.

Knox County Schools (TN) failed to pass a proposal that would have banned all materials that depict sexual imagery.

A newly proposed Ohio bill would defund public libraries for displaying books deemed “harmful to children.” So libraries could be defunded because of their book displays.

The Carmel Clay (IN) school board voted to keep All Boys Aren’t Blue in the high school library.

The Iron River Public Library (WI) is facing calls to shut down the library entirely because they only relocated a challenged book a year ago, instead of removing it.

“The Le Sueur-Henderson School Board [MN] is drafting a policy aiming to give parents the opportunity to restrict their child’s access to certain books,” but some people say that the policy needs to actually remove books that they deem inappropriate.

The James River Valley Library System (ND) estimates that it cost the library $54,500 in taxpayer dollars to review the children and teen collections for “explicit sexual material.” Four books were relocated and no books were removed entirely, so that’s $13,625 per book. I appreciate this choice quote from library trustee Robert Hoekstra: “‘Thanks to our state legislators for this undue burden on the library with one of the dumbest pieces of legislation I ever heard of in my life.’”

The Oklahoma Supreme Court (OK) ruled in favor of the Edmond Public School District and said that the state Department of Education overstepped its authority by demanding that the district remove two titles.

“Before school begins this fall, Utah officials will send a list of books to all public schools, ordering their ‘disposal.’”

Orem (UT) has adopted new policies aimed to protect employee free speech after the city faced a First Amendment lawsuit last year.

(Paywalled): Boise (ID) libraries prepare for more liability under “harmful” materials law. What’s changing?

A new Lodi school district (CA) policy will allow parents to restrict book access for their teens.

The Seward Public Library (AK) also received a bomb threat in response to a scheduled drag story hour. The library was evacuated, but the program was moved to the nearby Alaska SeaLife Center.

The Mat-Su (AK) school board is reinstating a few banned books in school libraries. Not all of them, but a few.

Books & Authors in the News

“Indian authorities have granted permission for the prosecution of the Booker prize-winning Indian novelist Arundhati Roy over comments she made about Kashmir at an event in 2010.”

Numbers & Trends

The most-read books on Goodreads last week.

The best-selling books of the week.

Award News

The 2024 Nebula Award winners were announced.

On the Riot

Meet the cast of Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us.

The 10 most Instagrammable bookstores in the world.

The top 10 book podcasts to tune into in 2024.

the tail end of a black cat sticking out of a black tote bag

Pictured: If there’s a bag somewhere, you can be sure Dini will have to crawl inside to inspect it.

It’s Friday, folks, and that means it’s only 2 weeks until my birthday! I’ll catch you next week!

—Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.