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One of these things is not like the others

ALA’s latest elucidating Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights‘ Article VI (“Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use”) has it in hot water. In this revision of […]

Re: verso

SLJ has posted a picture I’ve been hankering to see: the full double-page-spread containing the infamous up-skirting image in The Ultimate Book of Space. It isn’t a great scan of the spread but it makes clear that the picture making the rounds on Twitter was incomplete: what was a pic of some robotic thing lifting the […]

Free trade agreement

Oh, Susan Hill. The Brits haven’t given me this much material since Lynne Reid Banks complained of lesbian love in a David Almond novel. A bookstore choosing not to stock a book is not censoring it. A bookstore taking a political point of view is not censorship. A bookstore saying to a customer, “no, we don’t […]

Hbook Podcast 1.31 – Library Censorship, Intellectual Freedom, and VOYA

Podcast the 31st in which Siân and Roger talk about, well, the title: library censorship, intellectual freedom, and VOYA. Also Christian romances. Books we talk about Kody Keplinger, Run Selene Castrovilla, Melt Stephanie Kuehn, The Smaller Evil Simon Mason, Running Girl Ruth Alexander, Changing Bodies, Changing Lives Kate Breslin, For Such a Time Nathan Aldyne, […]

When the censor is you

While you all know what I think of the term “self-censorship” (which does not mean censorship by oneself so much as of oneself, and you are not your library), SLJ’s survey of censorship by school librarians is eye-opening. Siân and I will be talking about it on the podcast we’re recording today (and publishing next Monday) […]

Hbook Podcast 1.21 – There Is a Tribe of Kids

Podcast the 21st in which Roger and Siân talk about Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids, Siân actually considers the idea of a library not carrying the Harry Potter books, and Roger expresses a strong opinion about vampirism. Books we talk about Lane Smith, There Is a Tribe of Kids and It’s a Book Antoinette Portis, […]

Freeing writers AND readers

I agree with Allie Jane Bruce that “kids say this stuff” is a piss-poor reason for racist language in books for children. It’s a piss-poor reason generally, as the point of fiction has never been to mimic reality, which rarely makes nearly as much sense as even the most hackneyed novel. Fiction is always selecting: as Miss Binney explained to Ramona, […]

Whips AND chains

I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

Beyond the Pluto Problem

Perusing Debbie’s Reese’s  provocative (to me, anyway!) and useful site American Indians in Children’s Literature, I came across a comment she made referencing and linking to the Texas State Library’s guide to weeding, CREW: A Weeding Manual for Modern Libraries (link goes to a pdf). Last revised in 2012 by my most respected colleague and […]

THIS, my dears, is censorship.

We talk a lot in this field (and on this blog, I guess) about censorship. And most of the time we use the term loosely, describing those who challenge a book’s distribution by a library, for example, as “censors.” I’ve always found the term in this context alarmist–it’s not the challengers who are censors, the censor is […]