Tag Archives: Book Bans

Report finds increase in attempts to ban books | KPBS Public Media

By Jade Hindmon / KPBS Midday Edition Co-Host, Andrew Bracken / Producer, KPBS Midday Edition

Published September 19, 2022 at 4:03 PM PDT

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A new report from the American Library Association found a rise in the number of book banning attempts throughout the country. To help counter the trend, libraries this week are commemorating Banned Books Week, whose 2022 theme is “Books Unite Us. Censorship Divides Us.”

Tarryn Mento/KPBS
Downtown San Diego’s public library is shown in this undated image.

“I should say, it doesn’t stop with just banning books. What we’re seeing across the country is they’re banning voices, modern voices, librarians, teachers,” said Patrick Stewart, CEO of the San Diego Public Library Foundation. “It’s gone beyond just the banning of a book, or a certain piece of literature or textbook.”

Stewart joined San Diego Public Library director Misty Jones on Midday Edition Monday to talk about their reaction to the report’s findings.

“It’s disheartening,” Jones said. “It is seeing just the increase in the number not only of challenges, but the extent and the links to what people are going for, these challenges going before school boards, the personal attacks on librarians and teachers for doing their job.”

Many of the books being targeted involve topics on race and sexuality.

Source: https://www.kpbs.org/news/local/2022/09/19/report-finds-increase-in-attempts-to-ban-books

The history of book bans in the United States | National Geographic

From religious texts and anti-slavery novels to modern works removed from school libraries, here’s how the targets of censorship have changed over the years.

By Erin Blakemore, Published September 6, 2022

Book banning is more common than ever. Stories featuring LGBTQ+ issues are often targets today—including these five books that recently survived an attempt to remove them from the shelves of the library at North Hunterdon Regional High School in Annandale, N.J.
Photograph by Bryan Anselm, Redux

Mark Twain. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Judy Blume. William Shakespeare. These names share something more than a legacy of classic literature and a place on school curriculums: They’re just some of the many authors whose work has been banned from classrooms over the years for content deemed controversial, obscene, or otherwise objectionable by authorities.

Book banning is once again in the headlines. Earlier this year, Utah approved a state law suppressing “sensitive material” in classrooms. Meanwhile, a group of Georgia moms have gotten attention for attending school board meetings and reading passages out loud from books they find objectionable, such as Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, claiming they are “pornographic materials.” (Did Ovid’s erotic poetry lead to his exile from Rome?)

Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…

Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/article/history-of-book-bans-in-the-united-states

Is Your School Facing a Book Challenge? These Online Resources May Help | Education Week

By Ileana Najarro — September 01, 2022

Amanda Darrow, the director of youth, family, and education programs at the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City, poses with books that have been the subject of complaints from parents in recent weeks.
Rick Bowmer/AP Photo

Book challenges, restrictions, and outright bans on materials in K-12 classrooms and school libraries are popping up more and more across the country these days.

Though such challenges are a perennial problem, school districts have seen an uptick in requests to ban books about LGBTQ characters, race, and racism. A PEN America report found that 2 million students in 86 school districts across the country have had their access to books restricted this past school year. And the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom is now getting reports of at least two—and sometimes three or four—book challenges a day, when in the past they would get that many cases per week, said the office’s director, Deborah Caldwell-Stone.

Some educators have been successful in overturning such efforts by supporting students eager to push back, a balancing act requiring them to observe constitutional boundaries about student protests and First Amendment rights. Yet many now teach in states where pushback to book challenges can be even trickier, thanks to new laws that more broadly restrict how topics such as race and gender are discussed in school.

Source: https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/is-your-school-facing-a-book-challenge-these-online-resources-may-help/2022/09

Librarians push back against book-banning | Salon.com

“Book bans are about limiting kids’ freedom to read and teachers’ freedom to teach”

By Kenny Stancil, Published May 12, 2022 5:00AM (EDT)

A big selection of books in English language are on sale, for example in the ‘Fantasy and Science Fiction’ section at the ‘English Bookshop’ of culture department store Dussmann in Berlin, Germany, 25 August 2016. More and more readers choose the original versions of the books in English. (Jens Kalaene/picture alliance via Getty Images)

The American Library Association, the American Federation of Teachers, and more than two dozen other organizations on Tuesday formed a coalition to fight the far-right’s record-breaking censorship barrage—wherein nearly 1,600 books were targeted for removal from public shelves and schools across the United States in 2021.

The goal of Unite Against Book Bans—which also includes the Authors Guild and prominent publishers such as Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster—is “to empower individuals and communities to fight censorship and protect the freedom to read,” according to the ALA.

“This is a dangerous time for readers and the public servants who provide access to reading materials,” Deborah Caldwell-Stone, director of the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, said in a statement. “Readers, particularly students, are losing access to critical information, and librarians and teachers are under attack for doing their jobs.”

Source: Librarians push back against book-banning | Salon.com